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Chapter 1 Special Downtown Brooklyn District (DB)

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101-00 General Purposes
The "Special Downtown Brooklyn District" established in this Resolution is designed to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:
  1. to strengthen the business core of Downtown Brooklyn by improving the working and living environments;
  2. to foster development in Downtown Brooklyn and provide direction and incentives for further growth where appropriate;
  3. to create and provide a transition between the Downtown commercial core and the lower-scale residential communities of Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights;
  4. to encourage the design of new buildings that are in character with the area;
  5. to preserve the historic architectural character of development along certain streets and avenues and the pedestrian orientation of ground floor uses, and thus safeguard the vitality of Downtown Brooklyn;
  6. to improve the quality of development in Downtown Brooklyn by fostering the provision of specified public amenities in appropriate locations;
  7. to improve visual amenity by establishing special sign regulations within the Fulton Mall and Atlantic Avenue Subdistricts; and
  8. to promote the most desirable use of land and building development for Downtown Brooklyn and thus conserve the value of land and buildings and thereby protect the City's tax revenues.
101-01 Definitions
For purposes of this Chapter, matter in italics is defined in Section 12-10 (DEFINITIONS), Section 101-702 (Definitions Specific to the Atlantic Avenue Subdistrict) or in this Section.
Automated parking facility
An "automated parking facility" shall refer to an accessory off-street parking facility or public parking garage where vehicular storage and retrieval within such facility is accomplished entirely through a mechanical conveyance system, and shall not refer to a parking facility with parking lift systems that require an attendant to operate the vehicle that is to be parked.
Development or to develop
For purposes of this Chapter, "development" includes a development, an enlargement or an extension.
To "develop" is to create a development.
101-02 General Provisions
The provisions of this Chapter shall apply within the Special Downtown Brooklyn District. The regulations of all other Chapters of this Resolution are applicable, except as superseded, supplemented or modified by the provisions of this Chapter. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of this Chapter and other regulations of this Resolution, the provisions of this Chapter shall control. However, for transit-adjacent sites or qualifying transit improvement sites, as defined in Section 66-11 (Definitions), in the event of a conflict between the provisions of this Chapter and the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 6 (Special Regulations Applying Around Mass Transit Stations), the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 6 shall control.
Whenever a zoning lot is divided by the boundary of the Special Downtown Brooklyn District, the requirements set forth in this Chapter shall apply, and shall apply only to that portion of the zoning lot within the Special Downtown Brooklyn District.
101-021 Applicability of Inclusionary Housing Program
In Mandatory Inclusionary Housing areas, as specified in APPENDIX F of this Resolution, the provisions of Sections 23-154 (Inclusionary Housing) and 23-90 (INCLUSIONARY HOUSING), shall apply, except as superseded, supplemented or modified by the provisions of this Chapter.
101-03 District Plan and Maps
The regulations of this Chapter are designed to implement the Special Downtown Brooklyn District Plan.
The District Plan includes the following seven maps:
Map 1        Special Downtown Brooklyn District and Subdistricts

Map 2        Ground Floor Retail Frontage

Map 3        Ground Floor Transparency Requirements

Map 4        Street Wall Continuity and Mandatory Sidewalk Widenings

Map 5        Curb Cut Restrictions

Map 6        Height Limitation Areas

Map 7        Subway Station Improvement Areas
The maps are located within Appendix E (Special Downtown Brooklyn District Maps) of this Chapter and are hereby incorporated and made part of this Resolution. They are incorporated for the purpose of specifying locations where special regulations and requirements set forth in the text of this Chapter apply.
101-04 Subdistricts
In order to carry out the provisions of this Chapter, two subdistricts are established within the Special Downtown Brooklyn District. In each of these subdistricts, certain special regulations apply that do not apply within the remainder of the Special Downtown Brooklyn District. The subdistricts are outlined on Map 1 (Special Downtown Brooklyn District and Subdistricts) in Appendix E of this Chapter. Special regulations set forth in Sections 101-60 through 101-632, inclusive, shall apply to the Fulton Mall Subdistrict. Special regulations set forth in Sections 101-70 through 101-75 and Appendices A, B, C and D, inclusive, shall apply to the Atlantic Avenue Subdistrict. The subdistricts are also subject to all other regulations of the Special Downtown Brooklyn District and the underlying districts except as otherwise specified in the subdistrict regulations.
101-05 Applicability of Special Permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals
Within the Special Downtown Brooklyn District, Section 73-68 (Height and Setback and Yard Modifications) shall not be applicable.
101-10 Special Use Regulations
101-11 Special Ground Floor Use Regulations
Map 2 (Ground Floor Retail Frontage), in Appendix E of this Chapter, specifies locations where the special ground floor use regulations of this Section apply.

Uses within stories that have a floor level within five feet of curb level, and within 50 feet of the street line, shall be limited to commercial uses listed in Use Groups 5, 6A, 6C, 6D, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 8D, 9, 10, 11, 12A, 12B and 12C, where such uses are permitted by the underlying district. Libraries, museums and non-commercial art galleries shall be permitted. In addition, all non-residential uses permitted by the underlying district shall be permitted for buildings fronting on Myrtle Avenue between Ashland Place and the continuation of Prince Street. However, this minimum depth requirement may be reduced, to the minimum extent necessary, to accommodate a vertical circulation core, or structural columns associated with upper stories of the building.
A building's street frontage shall be allocated exclusively to such uses, except for Type 2 lobby space, entryways or entrances to subway stations provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-33 (Maximum Width of Certain Uses). However, loading berths serving any permitted use in the building may occupy up to 40 feet of such street frontage provided such street frontage is not subject to curb cut restrictions as shown on Map 5 (Curb Cut Restrictions) in Appendix E of this Chapter.
The regulations of this Section are modified as follows:
  1. Fulton Mall Subdistrict

    For buildings in the Fulton Mall Subdistrict, Use Group 6A shall not include post offices, dry cleaning, laundry, or shoe and hat repair establishments. Use Group 6C shall not include automobile supply establishments, electrolysis studios, frozen food lockers, loan offices or locksmiths. Use Group 8A shall not include billiard parlors, pool halls, bowling alleys or model car hobby centers. Use Group 9 shall be prohibited except for typewriter stores. Use Group 10 shall not include depositories for office records, microfilm or computer tapes. Use Groups 6D, 7A, 7B, 8B, 8D, 11, 12A and 12C shall be prohibited. Furthermore, no bank or off-track betting establishment shall occupy more than 30 feet of frontage at the ground floor of any building along the street line of Fulton Street. Any establishment that fronts on the street line of Fulton Street for a distance greater than 15 feet shall provide an entrance on Fulton Street.
  2. Atlantic Avenue Subdistrict

    Automotive service stations are not permitted. No bank, loan office, business or professional office or individual use in Use Group 9 shall occupy more than 50 feet of linear frontage on Atlantic Avenue. Moving and storage uses in Use Group 7 are permitted on the ground floor of a building only if such use is located at least 50 feet from the front wall of the building in which the use is located. Any buildings developed after June 28, 2004, or portions of buildings enlarged on the ground floor level after June 28, 2004, on a zoning lot of 3,500 square feet or more shall have a minimum of 50 percent of the ground floor area of the building devoted to permitted commercial uses in Use Groups 6, 7 or 9, except that this requirement shall not apply to any development occupied entirely by community facility use.

    In any building within the Atlantic Avenue Subdistrict, the provisions of Section 32-421 (Limitation on floors occupied by commercial uses) restricting the location of non-residential uses listed in Use Groups 6, 7, 8, 9 or 14 to below the level of the first story ceiling in any building occupied on one of its upper stories by residential or community facility uses, shall not apply. In lieu thereof, such non-residential uses shall not be located above the level of the second story ceiling.
101-12 Transparency Requirements
Map 3 (Ground Floor Transparency Requirements) in Appendix E of this Chapter specifies locations where the following transparency requirements apply.
For any buildings developed after June 28, 2004, or portions of buildings enlarged on the ground floor level after June 28, 2004, each ground floor street wall shall be glazed in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-34 (Minimum Transparency Requirements).
101-13 Sign Regulations
In the Special Downtown Brooklyn District, except as modified by the provisions of Section 101-131 (Permitted projection), the regulations of Section 32-60, et seq., pertaining to signs, shall apply. Further regulations for the Fulton Mall Subdistrict and the Atlantic Avenue Subdistrict are set forth in Section 101-60, inclusive, and Section 101-70, inclusive.
101-131 Permitted Projection
The provisions of Section 32-652 (Permitted projection in all other Commercial Districts) shall not apply. In lieu thereof, the provisions of this Section shall apply.
No permitted sign shall project across a street line more than 12 inches, except as otherwise provided in this Section.
Banners for theaters may project across a street line for a maximum distance of four feet, provided such banners are separated at least 25 feet apart, and further provided that such banners are located between 12 feet and 40 feet above curb level.
For each establishment located on the ground floor, non-illuminated double-faced signs may project perpendicularly across a street line for a maximum distance of 40 inches, provided that no more than two such signs, separated at least 25 feet apart, are permitted along each street on which such establishment fronts, and further provided that any such sign shall not exceed a surface area of 24 by 36 inches, and shall not be located above the sill level of the second story windows.
101-20 Special Bulk Regulations
The bulk regulations of the underlying districts shall apply, except as superseded, supplemented or modified by the provisions of this Section, inclusive.
Within Mandatory Inclusionary Housing areas, as shown on the map in APPENDIX F of this Resolution, the provisions of Sections 23-154 (Inclusionary Housing) and 23-90 (INCLUSIONARY HOUSING) shall apply.
In addition, for developments or enlargements on qualifying transit improvement sites, a floor area bonus for mass transit station improvements may be granted by the City Planning Commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 66-51 (Additional Floor Area for Mass Transit Station Improvements). For the purposes of this paragraph, defined terms additionally include those in Section 66-11 (Definitions).
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