Monday, January 07, 2008

Zoning Unimportant In Carroll Gardens!

Carroll Gardens Zoning Map

Welcome to the wild wild west!
Doesn't anybody look at zoning maps any more? Or has it become optional for the NYC Buildings Department and our local Community Board 6 to consider the zoning resolution when they are making decisions on whether to allow businesses to open in Carroll Gardens and whether a liquor license should be issued?
How can it be that a business (wine bar) was allowed to open at 415 Union Street at the corner of Hoyt Street in a location that is not zoned commercial? And how can it be that the same business may be able to open a second business (cocktail lounge), attached to the first at 303 Hoyt Street?
On the zoning map, that location is NOT zoned commercial. It had been used as a doctor's office before, which would have been allowed in a residential neighborhood as a community facility. According to the zoning resolution, once that doctor's office closed, it should have reverted back to residential use.
Our city ignores the zoning rules for businesses and developers but is awfully quick to penalize residents for putting out their trash too early.
Pardon me for asking, but does that seem fair?

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Anonymous said...

The zoning resolution allows the ground floors in residential buildings on many streets to be used for stores. Commercial zoning is for large businesses, etc.
Bob Furman

Anonymous said...

Only if there is a commercial overlay on that street!

Kelly said...

Bob, if this is the case, why can't we all open stores on residential blocks?
Could you clarify?

Anonymous said...

Without commercial zoning designation, any commercial usage in a residentially zoned building is "non-conforming" and reverts back to conforming (residential) use if the commercial use is discontinued for a period of two years or more. The wine bar should have been dis-allowed since commercial use had been discontinued. The new bar does not qualify since it would be a change of use group from a community facility (doctor's office) to a non conforming eating and drinking establishment (use group 6)

Anonymous said...

If the property was historically used as commercial, and has not been renovated for residential use, the zoning allows for the commercial use to reopen.

A zoning loophole to support small business in our City.

Anonymous said...

If the property was "historically" used for commercial activity, this is considered a non-conforming use and is "grandfathered" in until such use is changed to another non conforming use group or is discontinued for a period greater than two years. At that point, the property reverts back to residential use (or to a community facility use (use groups 3 & 4))
This only applies to properties which were non-conforming at the time the zoning resolution was created and does (should) not allow new non-conforming use.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure CB6 or more specifically its Land Use Committee uses any criteria other than its own desire to cozy-up with developers to make decisions about these things. The Land use Committee chaired by Peter Fleming was on the side of the owners of the wine bar from the start of a meeting at CB6 last week. When the meeting was over he went over to the wine bar owner and congratulated him on his presentation. Every single resident of the block is opposed to the liquor license and to weekend opening hours up to 2.00 a.m, but the Committee decided that they, not the residents, know best what's good for the block.

Anonymous said...


please read ZR 52-61 on DISCONTINUANCE

"... the provisions of this Section SHALL NOT apply to vacant ground floor or #basement# stores in #buildings designed for residential use# located in R5, R6 or R7 Districts where ..."