North Brooklyn rezoned

Greenpoint-Williamsburg Contextual Rezoning, Proposed Zoning used with permission of the New York City Department of City Planning. All rights reserved.

Additional 175 blocks of Greenpoint and Williamsburg rezoned. The City Council approved a 175-block rezoning plan for Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. The newly rezoned area lies east of the City’s large 2005 rezoning initiative. 2 CityLand 67 (June 15, 2005). Unlike the 2005 plan, which concerned redevelopment of the manufacturing-zoned blocks along North Brooklyn’s former industrial waterfront, this new plan seeks to prevent further out-of-character construction along Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s residentially-developed inland blocks.

Originally developed in the 19th and 20th centuries as worker housing, the area has recently seen construction of 200-foot, as-of-right apartment towers along blocks characterized by small, wood-framed, two- and three-story buildings. The Department of City Planning proposed some increased residential density and commercial development, but set height and density limits along streets characterized by two- to four-story residential buildings.

The approved plan replaces the area’s predominantly R6 zoning, which covered 93 percent of the rezoning area. The new contextual zoning districts (R6A, R6B, and R7A) eliminate as-of-right development of large towers without height limits. Planning assigned the R7A zoning district, which allows a slight increase in density, to 44 blocks along the area’s major commercial corridors of Grand Street, McGuinness Boulevard, and Manhattan, Metropolitan, Union, and Bushwick Avenues. The City’s Inclusionary Housing program will now apply to these blocks, allowing developers to increase a project’s floor area in exchange for an agreement to build affordable housing.

After finding that the existing commercial overlays and zoning in the area extended to blocks characterized by only residential development, Planning proposed narrowing commercial overlays from a depth of 150 to 100 feet and rezoning the blocks to a C2-2 overlay. Along Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s Grand Street, the plan narrowed the commercial zoning in areas with residential uses and extended commercial zoning to other blocks. The plan also reduced the area along the intersection of Bushwick and Manhattan Avenues that allowed for heavy commercial uses, such as automobile repair.

When the plan reached the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee, no one opposed. The Subcommittee and Land Use Committee approved the plan without modification, and the full Council followed suit on July 29, 2009.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: BK 1,App’d, 27-3-0
Boro.Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 11-0-0
Council: App’d, 47-0-4

Council: Greenpoint/Williamsburg Contextual Rezoning (C 090334 ZMK – rezoning); (C 090333 ZRK – text amend.) July 29, 2009.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.