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Land Use Bulletin: The Department of City Planning Advances East New York Rezoning

The Department of City Planning (DCP) has advanced its East New York Rezoning to the next stage by releasing detailed zoning proposals and an Environmental Assessment Statement (posted on  The proposal covers a 191-block area of East New York, Cypress Hills and Ocean Hill in Brooklyn.  The rezoning would result in a net increase in housing units of 6,970 over the next 15 years, of which just over half would be affordable, and substantial growth in commercial and community facility uses.

This is the first of DCP’s location-based, area-wide planning initiatives to advance under the Mayor’s 10-year Housing Plan to produce 200,000 units of new and preserved housing.  Other neighborhood plans underway include East Harlem in Manhattan, Bay Street in Staten Island, Jerome Corridor in the Bronx, and Flushing West and Long Island City in Queens.

Rezoning Overview

The rezoning provides for increases in density on key corridors, rezoning manufacturing and C8 districts to allow for residential use, and rezoning certain manufacturing areas to “mixed-use” districts.  Under the rezoning, Atlantic Avenue corridor is expected to provide substantial new housing (up to 12 stories in height), retail, and other services.  Other key corridors for increased development and affordable housing include Pitkin Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Liberty Avenue, and to a lesser extent Fulton Street.  Increased densities and residential use are also proposed for a small portion of Ocean Hill, west of Broadway Junction.  On core residential blocks, lower density contextual zones are proposed to allow for infill development consistent with the existing built scale.

  • Where increases in density are proposed and in locations where the zoning promotes new housing, DCP will be proposing a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.  The details of this program have not yet been released.
  • The rezoning will also create an enhanced commercial district in the rezoning area along Atlantic, Pitkin, and Pennsylvania Avenues and Fulton Street to establish special regulations for ground floor uses, transparency, and curb cut limits.
  • DCP will also be advancing concurrent with the East New York Rezoning a set of citywide text amendments to eliminate obstacles to housing and affordable housing development.  The specific proposals will be released shortly.  They are expected to include:
  • Building envelope controls to allow a limited amount of additional building height and zoning flexibility to better accommodate commercial, community facility, and residential uses.  Additional height would be allowed in certain districts to relieve constraints posed by current height limits, and to accommodate   greater floor area for Inclusionary Housing development.
  • Senior and Supportive Housing  The zoning text would define “Affordable Independent housing for seniors”; “Senior long term care” including nursing homes and assisted living;  and “Supportive Housing” as permanent housing with services for populations with special needs.  Additional zoning text changes would be made to accommodate these important uses.
  • Off-street parking requirements, which can contribute significantly to the cost of housing, would be eliminated for low-income housing, as well as for Inclusionary Housing within areas designated as a Transit Zone. (East New York would be included).  A number of changes are contemplated including providing a mechanism to reduce or eliminate unused parking; eliminating parking requirements for senior housing; and providing a mechanism to reduce parking requirements to facilitate mixed-income development.

Key Dates and Timeline

DCP expects to hold a community meeting on the East New York rezoning on February 18.

A “public scoping meeting” on the East New York draft EIS is scheduled for March 5 at Brooklyn Community Board 5.

The Department is targeting the end of 2015 for completion of the land use review process for the East New York rezoning and related text amendments.

We will continue to track these proposals.

For further information on them or to discuss specific questions, please contact Richard Barth at 212.616.5845 or