In early 2018 the Regional Plan Association (RPA) put forward its solution to New York’s longtime affordable housing crisis—remove residential FAR limitations in Manhattan. On its face the idea seems radical. The FAR cap, a New York State addition to the Multiple Dwelling Law, prevents developers from building to the sun, peppering medium density to mid-rise districts with Towers of Babel. Upon closer look, the idea to remove FAR caps in Manhattan attempts to pick up where the recently passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) falls short. (more...)
In 2012, New York City’s Zone Green program amended the Zoning Code to allow wall thickness to be deducted from floor area provided the walls are energy efficient. City Planning claims New York buildings are responsible for 80 percent of the city’s carbon emissions. This floor area deduction gives both older and newer buildings an opportunity to insulate their walls and save on energy costs.
Zoning computes floor area from the outside of the building’s edge, encompassing the entire thickness of the wall. (more...)
Sliver buildings are taller buildings that have less than 45 width feet street frontage. The height allowances for sliver buildings are generally determined by the width of the street or 100 feet, whichever is less. Sliver buildings are not to be confused with towers. Towers are much taller than sliver buildings so they may appear thinner, but they lie on much larger zoning lots with wider street frontage. (more...)
You rarely see liquor stores alongside churches and schools in New York City. It’s not a zoning restriction. It’s actually a law imposed by the New York Liquor Authority called the 200 Foot Rule.200 Foot Rule
The 200 Foot rule prohibits liquor licenses from being issued to establishments located “on the same street and within 200 feet of a building that is used exclusively as a school, church synagogue or other place of worship.” The 200 Foot Rule applies to liquor only. (more...)
It’s no coincidence that New York City has seen a proliferation of yoga studios in the last several years. This is largely due to the Department of Buildings distinguishing yoga studios from their “physical culture” brethren–the massage parlors, bathhouses and gyms that require BSA approval.
Prospective building owners should do their homework before pulling the trigger on a purchase. There could be restrictions on the property or fees unrecognized in the sales price. Large buildings will typically get a due diligence report from an expediting company. Here are five things owners have to look into before buying New York City property.Is the site on a zoning lot merger?
Buildings on a zoning lot merger may be restricted from expanding. (more...)
Hostels, those bunked up dormitories filled with weary travelers easily recognized by their Ghostbuster sized backpacks, are common in many European and American cities. In New York City only a handful remain. Is New York City hostile to the hostel?
The major piece of legislation that stamped out hostels was New York State Senate Bill 6873-B, commonly known as the “Illegal Hotels Bill.” The bill is famously cited for making the short-term rentals found on apartment share sites illegal. (more...)