Zoning

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.

According to Zoning Resolution 73-36, physical culture establishments are only allowed in districts C1-8X, C1-9, C2, C4, C5, C6, C8, M1, M2 or M3 by BSA approval. (more...)

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The Obama Administration recently published a Housing Development Toolkit that aims to promote urban development by emboldening developers and bypassing bureaucracy. In many instances, New York City, with its recently passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), is a step ahead of the Toolkit’s core objectives. Other recommendations are impractical or politically untenable for the city. Here are the ten principles in the Housing Development Toolkit and their potential for implementation in New York. (more...)

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Perhaps the most significant piece of the Zoning for Quality and Affordability amendment is the new allowance of an extra five feet of ground floor height for many buildings.

The extra five feet serves two purposes. Residential units can elevate five feet giving ground floor tenants extra privacy, security and allowing for planting. For commercial districts, the extra five feet allows higher ceilings, appealing to a wider variety of retail tenants. (more...)

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New York City Planning is now allowing some residential districts to have significantly smaller courts. The Zoning for Quality and Affordability Amendment (ZQA) created a category for “small inner courts,” which can be as small as 200 square feet. Small inner courts are permitted in R6 – R10 districts under the following circumstances:

  • Light and air windows cannot face small inner courts.
  • Small inner courts cannot be less than 200 feet.
(more...)

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Under the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), corner lots in R6-R10 contextual districts will now be permitted 100% lot coverage. Previously these corner lots were limited to 80% coverage.

The ZQA also grants 100% lot coverage to R6-R10 buildings in either of the following circumstances.

  • Buildings within 100 ft. of the street corners.
  • Buildings on interior or through lots, on the short side of the block, coinciding with all or part of a street line less than 230 ft.
(more...)

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The Quality Housing Program was established in 1987 to help maintain the architectural character of New York City neighborhoods. The program includes rules concerning height, bulk, lot coverage, street line and more. Quality Housing is mandatory in contextual R6-R10 districts, but only optional in non-contextual R6-R10 districts.

Under what circumstances would a non-contextual building voluntarily opt-in to Quality Housing?

More FAR

FAR in non-contextual R6-R10 Districts depends on height factor. (more...)

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The redevelopment of industrial areas for residential use has been a trend throughout New York City’s recent history. Thirty years ago it was happening in neighborhoods like Soho and Tribeca. Today luxury residential development has expanded to industry parts of Dumbo and North Brooklyn. However, a new residence cannot be established in just any manufacturing district. New residences are only allowed in what are called Special Mixed Use Districts. (more...)

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