Residence Districts: R6 - R6A - R6B

Residence Districts: R6 - R6A - R6B

R6 zoning districts are widely mapped in built-up, medium-density areas in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The character of R6 districts can range from neighborhoods with a diverse mix of building types and heights to large-scale “tower in the park” developments such as Ravenswood in Queens and Homecrest in Brooklyn. Developers can choose between two sets of bulk regulations. Standard height factor regulations, introduced in 1961, produce small multi-family buildings on small zoning lots and, on larger lots, tall buildings that are set back from the street. Optional Quality Housing regulations produce high lot coverage buildings within height limits that often reflect the scale of older, pre-1961 apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

Height Factor Regulations

Buildings developed pursuant to height factor regulations are often tall buildings set back from the street and surrounded by open space and on-site parking. The loor area ratio (FAR) in R6 districts ranges from 0.78 (for a single-story building) to 2.43 at a typical height of 13 stories; the open space ratio (OSR) ranges from 27.5 to 37.5. Generally, the more open space, the taller the building. In the diagram, for example, 81% of the zoning lot with the 13-story building is required to be open space (2.43 FAR × 33.5 OSR). Thus, the maximum floor area ratio is achievable only where the zoning lot is large enough to accommodate a practical building footprint as well as the required amount of open space. There are no height limits for height factor buildings although they must be set within a sky exposure plane which begins at a height of 60 feet above the street line and then slopes inward over the zoning lot.

Off-street parking is generally required for 70 percent of a building’s dwelling units, but requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified in certain areas, such as within the Transit Zone and the Manhattan Core, or for lots less than 10,000 square feet. Parking can be waived if five or fewer spaces are required.

R6 Height Factor Regulations

Quality Housing Regulations

Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn

The optional Quality Housing regulations produce high lot coverage buildings set at or near the street line. Height limitations ensure that these buildings are often more compatible with older buildings in the neighborhood. As an incentive for developers to choose the Quality Housing option outside the Manhattan Core, greater floor area ratio, and therefore, more apartments, is permitted  for buildings on or within 100 feet of a wide street than would be permitted under height factor regulations. The FAR is 3.0; the maximum base height before setback is 65 feet with a maximum building height of 75 with a qualifying ground floor (70 feet without). On a narrow street (beyond 100 feet of a wide street), the maximum FAR is 2.2; the maximum base height before setback is 45 feet with a maximum building height of 55 feet. The area between a building’s street wall and the street line must be planted and the buildings must have interior amenities for the residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program.

Higher maximum FAR and heights are available for buildings participating in the Inclusionary Housing Program or that provide certain senior facilities.

Off-street parking is generally required for 50 percent of a building’s dwelling units, but requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified in certain areas, such as within theTransit Zone and the Manhattan Core, or for lots less than 10,000 square feet. Parking can be waived if five or fewer spaces are required.

R6 Quality Housing Regulations
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg, Brooklyn

R6A is a a contextual district where the Quality Housing bulk regulations are mandatory. These regulations produce high lot coverage, six- to eight-story apartment buildings set at or near the street line. Designed to be compatible with older buildings found in medium-density neighborhoods, R6A districts are mapped in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Parts of Kingsbridge in the Bronx and Williamsburg in Brooklyn are typical R6A areas.

The floor area ratio (FAR) in R6A districts is 3.0. Above a minimum base height of 40 feet, the building must set back by at least 10 feet on a wide street and 15 feet on a narrow street before rising to its maximum height of 70 feet, or 75 feet if providing a qualifying ground floor. To preserve the traditional streetscape, the street wall of a new building can be no closer to the street line than any adjacent street wall , but need not be farther than 10 feet. The area between a building’s street wall and the street line must be planted. R6A buildings must have interior amenities for the residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program.

Higher maximum FAR and heights are available for buildings participating in the Inclusionary Housing Program or that provide certain senior facilities.

Off-street parking is generally required for 50 percent of a building’s dwelling units, but requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified in certain areas, such as within the Transit Zone and the Manhattan Core, or for lots less than 10,000 square feet. Parking can be waived if five or fewer spaces are required. Off-street parking is not allowed in front of a building.

R6A  Regulations
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

R6B districts are often traditional row house districts, which preserve the scale and harmonious streetscape of neighborhoods of four-story attached buildings developed during the 19th century. Many of these houses are set back from the street with stoops and small front yards that are typical of Brooklyn’s “brownstone” neighborhoods, such as Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant.

The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 2.0 and the mandatory Quality Housing regulations also accommodate apartment buildings at a similar four- to five-story scale. The base height of a new building before setback must be between 30 and 40 feet and the maximum height is 50 feet. For buildings providing a qualifying ground floor, the maximum base height and overall height increase by five feet. Curb cuts are prohibited on zoning lot frontages less than 40 feet. The street wall of a new building, on any lot up to 50 feet wide, must be as deep as one adjacent street wall but no deeper than the other. Buildings must have interior amenities for the residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program.

Higher maximum FAR are available for buildings participating in the Inclusionary Housing program or that provide certain senior facilities.

Off-street parking is generally required for 50 percent of a building’s dwelling units, but requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified in certain areas, such as within the Transit Zone and the Manhattan Core, or for lots less than 10,000 square feet. Parking can be waived if five or fewer spaces are required. Off-street parking is not allowed in front of a building.

 

R6B  Regulations