Home Forums Zoning

Forum: Zoning

Start a Topic

You must be logged in to start a new topic. or

This forum contains 28 topics and 101 replies, and was last updated by  a2chitect 1 week, 5 days ago.

Brownstoner March 14, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Community Management 101

Thanks for visiting the Brownstoner Forum.

If you are a service provider (contractor, plumber, electrician, etc) or a person with knowledge and experience on a topic, we appreciate your participation greatly. This forum is a place for consumers to get information they need and for people like you, people with helpful information, to provide it!

If you’d like to promote your business, we ask that you don’t do it here. Instead, please sign up to become a Brownstoner Local Home Pro so we can help get you in front of the customers you are looking for!

If you are a person looking for information, we appreciate you coming here to engage the Brownstoner community! If you have information to share, like prideful before and after photos of your project, however large or small, feel free to do that too. Unfortunately, we can not accept negative, angry, or disgruntled reviews here. Though we feel for you, please use Yelp or another review and recommendation site for that!

Zoning January 26, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Retail in R6B without a Commercial Overlay

Can someone explain how this is possible. For instance, there is 177 North 7th Street. Developer plans for a mixed-use building with retail at the base. How is this feasible when R6B does not permit and there is no Commercial Overlay.


Zoning August 31, 2015 at 7:56 am

Terrace vs. balcony

Good morning,

I would like to know if, by pushing back a building from the front lot line, we can provide for a terrace that covers the entire street wall of the building. We would call it a terrace, as terraces have no length restrictions in the Zoning Resolutions… like balconies do.

Provided that this would be ok, what would technically qualify it as a terrace as opposed to a balcony?

Thank you all for your help

Zoning May 4, 2015 at 11:46 am

Mini split condenser – zoning code

When we installed our mini split system we were advised that to meet zoning regulations the condensing unit has to be placed eight feet from the property line. Long story short we now have a small farm of the things smack bang in the middle of the yard.

We want to fix up the yard and I’m really hoping that the rules have changed – can anyone confirm?


Zoning April 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm

R4B Zone Potential Addition

Hi I was just curious to find out if anyone knew how strict the maximum building height of 24′ was? I’ve found a piece of property I’m really interested in purchasing but I’d want to add a 3rd floor but from everything I’m reading it looks like that’s next to impossible. Should I even bother keeping this property on my potential list or is getting a variance for something like this never really going to happen?

Zoning February 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Office in an R6B townhouse?

Can our neighbors rent their townhouse to a company who plans to use it as an office space during the daytime? It won’t be a retail location with walk in traffic–only employees during the day. They argue it’s no different than people working from home.

According to DOB, there’s no c of o for the property but it’s taxed as a two family residence.

Any thoughts out there?


Zoning January 13, 2015 at 8:25 pm

R4A next door to R4-1

I have plans to build a new construction detached home in Brooklyn. My lot is zoned R4A, the adjacent neighbor is zoned R4-1. The plans were rejected based on code ZR113-543 ZR23-461, in relation to the side yard. From what I understand, since there is a semi-attached building with an 8′ side yard next door, we must provide a minimum of 5′ side yard on the adjacent side. Our plans currently show a 3′ side yard on the adjacent side (with a 7’ side yard on the other neighbor’s side).

Aside from the fact that the code makes no sense to me, I have also driven up and down local streets in search of a similar situation. I have yet to find one! To add to my confusion, does the fact that we are zoned differently affect our side yard requirements? I’ve asked NYC planning office and they said the side yard requirements are confusing and ambigouos — and can be interpreted in different ways. How can I get the examiner to interpret it my way?? For many reasons, the required 5′ side yard will complicate our driveway, and I refuse to give in without doing my research. I do not have the time or money to go through the BSA, please help! thanks!

Zoning January 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Parking space, empty lot, regulations

Hi All, so an interesting situation – i’m about to lease a mostly-vacant lot in Brooklyn. The lot has a small work-shed, and i’m going to use that as a wood-workshop, along with a bit of the surrounding outdoor area for larger projects. but i want to supplement the rent the owner is asking fort by renting out a few parking spaces. wondering if anyone has a clue as to any legal complications with this (lot owner has not problem whatshoever with this plan). it seems lots of people rent parking spaces out of their vacant lots, but for the most part they own the lots rather than leasing them. i figure i may get some sort of general liability insurance, but i am curious if there are other major concerns.
location is in northern brooklyn, bed-stuy/bushwick area.
many thanks for any advice-

Zoning August 26, 2014 at 10:24 am

Extension Width


I recently closed on a small, narrow, two-story frame house in South Slope and am working with an architect to design plans. There is an existing (original, I believe) extension in the rear which runs approximately 3/4 of the width of the lot. My thoughts were to expand this to the full width to maximize interior space, but the architect just sent me this note:

“We cannot go full width on the extension because the building wall on the adjacent property at that side is set back from the property line approx 3′-6″ +/- and therefore zoning requires an eight foot distance between building walls when this condition is present. The building wall on the opposite property abuts the property line and therefore we may also abut the property line at that side. ”

I’ve attached a quick sketch of the properties. The red box is what I was hoping to accomplish. I knew there may be limitations with the extension related to lot coverage, light requirements, etc., but this confuses me. Why would the neighbors choice of where their extension was built limit my ability to go to the property line? Does anyone have experience with this?


You must be logged in to view attached files.
Zoning June 29, 2014 at 1:54 am

2 Fam C of O vs R2 (single family) zoning – who wins?

What governs the legal usage of a building: zoning, C of O, or tax classification when these three docs are inconsistent?

I recently viewed a BK brownstone that has:
– Zoning: R2 (single family)
– C of O: 2 family (issued in 1958, so post-construction mod)
– Tax status: A5 1-Family Dwelling
(Have personally reviewed docs online to confirm this).

The building is currently configured as a parlor + first floor duplex over a garden one-bedroom apartment; each unit has a separate entrance to the street, separate kitchen with stove, and full bath.

What would the legal usage be?

Zoning May 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Is it possible to get a veriance on ZR23- 851

I received an DOB objection because:

ZR23- 851
Proposed inner court is contrary in that it shall be no less than 1200 sft and minimum dimension shall be no less than 30 feet.
 is there any posibility to get a veriance on this?

Zoning March 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

Renovating a 2 family in M1-2 zone

I am thinking about purchasing a 2 family home that is in a M1-M2 zone. There is no c of o–how easy will it be to get a variance to do a major renovation. I would like to increase the building size — there is plenty of FAR available.

Zoning March 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Using My house as an Event Space

I have a large place in Prospect Heights, and would like to rent it out on occasion for small venues such as weddings, engagement parties, etc. I do not have a commercial grade kitchen, but access to a professional chef who has a food handlers license. Is anyone aware of insurance issues, food prep issues I would need to know? Is this possible to do? Thanks.

Zoning October 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

Protest the Lightstone Development

Hopefully something cool will be built along the Gowanus one day. But the Lightstone Development (http://nyti.ms/Ol6gyL) is not it. The massive complex is premature (as the Superfund clean-up is just starting), anti-Democratic (as the developer is circumventing the normal approval process that has community input) and may not be the best idea (as the NY state climate change task force says its too costly for taxpayers to support new developments in coastal zones.) Not to mention that local schools are already bursting at the seams with trailer classrooms in schoolyards and the F train is crammed full to the doors. And for all of you who dig the vibe in Carroll Park, those two new towers won’t fit in nicely with our skyline.
Please take a moment to sign this petition that will be presented to the Community Board in advance of its meeting Wednesday night: 
Really trying to reach all who live in the 11201, 11231, 11215, 11217 (though any Brooklyner should sign because neighborhood-altering development may be coming to your block next.) 

Zoning October 9, 2012 at 12:23 am
Zoning October 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Townhouse design

Can someone recommend a designer to help sketch the design of a new building/townhouse? The idea is to draw within constraints of zoning and to scale. I am looking for a modern rendition of a historic brick townhouse.

Viewing 16 topics - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)