Chapter 1 - Statement of Legislative Intent

The City of New York
Bill de Blasio, Mayor
City Planning Commission
Marisa Lago, Chair

The Commercial Districts established in this Resolution are designed to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:

(a)        to provide sufficient space, in appropriate locations in proximity to residential areas, for local retail development catering to the regular shopping needs of the occupants of nearby residences, with due allowance for the need for a choice of sites;

(b)        to provide appropriate space and, in particular, sufficient depth from a street, to satisfy the needs of modern local retail development, including the need for off-street parking spaces in areas to which a large proportion of shoppers come by automobile, and to encourage the natural tendency of local retail development to concentrate in continuous retail frontage, to the mutual advantage of both consumers and merchants;

(c)        to protect both local retail development and nearby residences against fire, explosions, toxic and noxious matter, radiation and other hazards, and against offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust and other particulate matter, odorous matter, heat, humidity, glare and other objectionable influences;

(d)        to protect both local retail development and nearby residences against congestion, particularly in areas where the established pattern is predominantly residential but includes local retail uses on the lower floors, by regulating the intensity of local retail development, by restricting those types of establishments which generate heavy traffic, and by providing for off-street parking and loading facilities;

(e)        to provide sufficient and appropriate space and, in particular, sufficient depth from the street, to meet the needs of the city's expected future economy for modern commercial floor space in central, major or secondary commercial centers, including the need for off-street parking space in areas where a large proportion of customers come by automobile, with due allowance for the need for a choice of sites, and to encourage the natural tendency of commercial development to concentrate in continuous retail frontage, to the mutual advantage of both consumers and merchants;

(f)        to protect commercial development in central, major or secondary commercial centers, as far as is possible and appropriate in each area, against fire, explosions, toxic and noxious matter, radiation, and other hazards, and against offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust and other particulate matter, odorous matter, heat, humidity, glare and other objectionable influences;

(g)        to protect commercial development in central, major or secondary commercial centers against congestion, as far as possible, by limiting the bulk of buildings in relation to the land around them and to one another, by restricting those types of establishments which generate heavy traffic, and by providing for off-street parking and loading facilities;

(h)        to provide sufficient space in appropriate locations for all types of commercial and miscellaneous service activities, with due allowance for the need for a choice of sites;

(i)        to provide freedom of architectural design, in order to encourage the development of more attractive and economic building forms, within proper standards;

(j)        to protect the character of certain designated areas of historic and architectural interest, where the scale of building development is important, by limitations on the height of buildings; and

(k)        to promote the most desirable use of land and direction of building development in accord with a well-considered plan, to promote stability of commercial development, to strengthen the economic base of the City, to protect the character of the district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses, to conserve the value of land and buildings, and to protect the City's tax revenues.

These districts are designed to provide for local shopping and include a wide range of retail stores and personal service establishments which cater to frequently recurring needs. Since these establishments are required in convenient locations near all residential areas, and since they are relatively unobjectionable to nearby residences, these districts are widely mapped. The district regulations are designed to promote convenient shopping and the stability of retail development by encouraging continuous retail frontage and by prohibiting local service and manufacturing establishments which tend to break such continuity.

These districts are designed to provide for a wide range of essential local services not involving regular local shopping. Since these establishments are less frequently visited by customers, they tend to break the continuity of prime retail frontage and, therefore, hamper the development of convenient shopping. The permitted services create relatively few objectionable influences for nearby residential areas.

This district is designed to provide for the growing recreational activities of pleasure boating and fishing by permitting rental, servicing and storage of boats in appropriate waterfront areas, normally adjacent to residential development.

These districts comprise the City's major and secondary shopping centers, which provide for occasional family shopping needs and for essential services to business establishments over a wide area, and which have a substantial number of large stores generating considerable traffic. The district regulations are designed to promote convenient shopping and the stability of retail development by encouraging continuous retail frontage and by prohibiting service and manufacturing establishments which tend to break up such continuity.

These districts are designed to provide for office buildings and the great variety of large retail stores and related activities which occupy the prime retail frontage in the central business district, and which serve the entire metropolitan region. The district regulations also permit a few high-value custom manufacturing establishments which are generally associated with the predominant retail activities, and which depend on personal contacts with persons living all over the region. The district regulations are also designed to provide for continuous retail frontage.

These districts are designed to provide for the wide range of retail, office, amusement service, custom manufacturing and related uses normally found in the central business district and regional commercial centers but to exclude non-retail uses which generate a large volume of trucking.

These districts are designed to provide for necessary services for a wider area than is served by the Local Service Districts. Since these service establishments often involve objectionable influences, such as noise from heavy service operations and large volumes of truck traffic, they are incompatible with both residential and retail uses. New residential development is excluded from these districts.

The regulations regarding C5P, C5-2.5, C5-3.5, C6-4.5, C6-6.5 and C6-7.5 Districts and any other underlying districts within the Special Midtown District are set forth in Article VIII, Chapter 1 (Special Midtown District).

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