ToC
32-435

Ground floor use in high density Commercial Districts

The regulations of this Section shall apply to any development occupied by predominantly residential use, constructed after April 21, 1977, located on any zoning lot within C1-8, C1-9, C2-7, C2-8, C4-6, C4-7, C5-1, C5-2, C5-4, C6-3, C6-4, C6-5 or C6-8 Districts, or C1 or C2 Districts mapped within R9 or R10 Districts. However, this Section shall not apply within any Special Purpose District nor shall it apply to any Quality Housing building, except as otherwise set forth herein.

An application to the Department of Buildings for a permit respecting any development shall include a plan and an elevation drawn to a scale of at least one-sixteenth inch to a foot of the new building and buildings on contiguous lots or contiguous blocks showing signs, other than advertising signs, arcades, street wall articulation, curb cuts, street trees, sidewalk paving, central refuse storage area and such other necessary information as may be required by the Commissioner of Buildings.

(a)        Definitions

For the purposes of this Section, the following definitions shall be applicable.

Contiguous block

For the purposes of this Section, inclusive, a “contiguous block” is a block containing one or more zoning lots separated by a narrow street from the block containing the development.

Contiguous lot

For the purposes of this Section, inclusive, a “contiguous lot” is a zoning lot which shares a common side lot line with the zoning lot of the development.

Development

For the purposes of this Section, inclusive, in addition to the definition of development in Section 12-10 (DEFINITIONS), “development” shall also include an enlargement involving an increase in lot coverage.

Predominantly residential use

For the purposes of this Section, inclusive, a “predominantly residential use” means a building having a residential floor area in excess of 50 percent of the total building floor area.

(b)        Applicability of Article II, Chapter 6

In C1-8, C1-9, C2-7, C2-8, C4-6, C4-7, C5-1, C5-2, C5-4, C6-3, C6-4, C6-5 or C6-8 Districts, or C1 or C2 Districts mapped within R9 or R10 Districts, the regulations of Article II, Chapter 6 (Special Urban Design Guidelines), shall apply to any development occupied by predominantly residential use, except as modified by the provisions of this Section. The purpose of these modifications is to make the regulations of Article II, Chapter 6, applicable to Commercial Districts.

(c)        Retail Continuity

For buildings with front building walls that are at least 50 feet in width and front upon a wide street, a minimum of 50 percent of the width of such front building wall shall be occupied at the ground floor level by commercial uses, as permitted by district regulations.

In C1-8, C1-9, C2-7, C2-8 and C4-6 Districts and C1 or C2 Districts mapped within R9 or R10 Districts, uses which occupy such 50 percent of the front building wall shall be limited to those listed in Use Groups 6A, 6C and 6F, excluding banks and loan offices, except that in C4-6 Districts only, such uses may additionally include those listed in Use Groups 8A, 8B and 10A. All uses permitted by the underlying district regulations are permitted in the remaining 50 percent of the front building wall.

Such requirement of commercial uses for a minimum of 50 percent of the front building wall may be waived, or additional uses permitted, upon certification by the City Planning Commission to the Commissioner of Buildings that an adequate supply of such uses already exists at the ground floor level in the surrounding area.

The Commission may require that an application for such certification of additional uses for a completed building, where floor area has been designated for occupancy for such commercial uses, establish that a good faith effort has been made to secure tenancy by such uses.

(d)        Ground floor transparency and articulation

When any building wall which is five feet or more in height adjoins a sidewalk, a public plaza or an arcade, ground floor level transparency shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-34 (Minimum Transparency Requirements).

In addition, any portion of such building wall, 50 feet or more in width, which contains no transparent element between curb level and 12 feet above curb level or the ceiling of the ground floor, whichever is higher, or to its full height if such wall is less than 12 feet in height, shall be covered with ivy or similar planting or contain artwork or be treated so as to provide visual relief. Plants shall be planted in soil having a depth of not less than 2 feet, 6 inches, and a minimum width of 24 inches. If artwork is being used, approval by the New York City Design Commission shall be obtained prior to the certificate of occupancy being issued for the development.

(e)        Sign regulations

In addition to the applicable district regulations in C1-8, C1-9, C2-7, C2-8 and C4-6 Districts and C1 or C2 Districts mapped within R9 or R10 Districts, all signs, other than advertising signs and window signs, shall be located in a horizontal band not higher than three feet, the base of which is located not higher than 17 feet above curb level. Where there is a grade change of at least 1.5 feet in 100 along the portion of the street upon which the development fronts, such signage band may be staggered along such street.

When a building on a contiguous lot or contiguous block contains accessory business signs within a coordinated horizontal band along its street frontage, the signage strip along the development shall be located at the same elevation as the adjacent band, but in no event higher than 17 feet above curb level. Where coordinated horizontal bands exist on two contiguous lots or contiguous blocks on both sides of the development, the signage strip shall be located at the same elevation as one adjacent band, or between the elevations of the two. For the purpose of this Section, the elevation is measured from the curb level to the base of the signage strip.

The City Planning Commission may, by certification to the Commissioner of Buildings, allow modifications of the requirements of this Section. Such modifications will be permitted when the Commission finds that such modifications will enhance the design quality of the street wall.

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