The Department of City Planning ("DCP") has released a proposal to rezone a portion of the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn from predominantly manufacturing districts to a new Special Gowanus MixedUse District (the "Rezoning").

What should I know about the Rezoning?

The Rezoning would cover portions of an area in the vicinity of the Gowanus Canal, as outlined on the map below.

The Rezoning aims to facilitate new development in the area to create a mixed-use neighborhood with a range of uses and new waterfront public access areas.

The Rezoning would allow development ranging from 2.2 FAR to 8.5 FAR (floor area ratio), depending on a site's location within the Rezoning area. On certain sites, development to the maximum FAR would require inclusion of specified non-residential uses identified in the Rezoning as "Gowanus Mix," which include certain community facility, retail, and service uses intended to contribute to the mixed-use character of the area.

A Waterfront Access Plan would modify existing waterfront zoning regulations to add site-specific waterfront public access requirements in certain locations along the Gowanus Canal and design guidelines specific to the Gowanus neighborhood.

Next steps

The proposed zoning text and maps for the Rezoning were recently published and are available on DCP's Zoning Application Portal (ZAP) (

The next step with the Rezoning is the commencement of the public review process under the City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). As of the date of this memorandum, the start date of the ULURP process is the subject of a legal dispute regarding whether DCP provided public notice as required under the New York City Charter to commence ULURP, and whether required public hearings under ULURP can be properly conducted remotely, given COVID-19 restrictions.