Why is Brooklyn Rewriting Its Zoning Code?

The City of Brooklyn adopted its current zoning code in 1992. Since then, we’ve only changed specific parts of the code. We haven’t reviewed and revised the zoning code as a whole in 29 years.

A lot has changed in the last three decades. The city we are now isn’t the city we were then. We want different things for our neighborhoods, our homes, and our families.

In 2020, Brooklyn went through a visioning process to decide what we wanted for our future. We adopted our new master plan at the conclusion of the project. Brooklyn’s Master Plan identifies five goals for its future:

Our zoning code is particularly important to Goals 3 and 5. The 2020 Master Plan identifies zoning-related actions tied to these goals.

Goal 3: Promote a Strong Local Economy

  • Action—Update the city’s zoning code and zoning map to create modern and easily understood development regulations.
  • Action—Codify design guidelines for commercial centers to help guide redevelopment.
  • Action—Adopt a “Future Character Areas” map that identifies areas where redevelopment or land-use changes could occur and the nature of future development in those areas.

Goal 5: Be a livable community for all

  • Action—Identify potential areas for new townhomes or condominiums in existing commercial areas to modernize and diversify the housing stock.
  • Action—Identify opportunities for the development of senior-friendly housing.

This update will be an all-inclusive review and rewrite of Brooklyn’s planning and zoning code and will allow Brooklyn to better encourage and attract the kind of development it wants and can be proud of.