ToC

Chapter 1 - Special Midtown District (MID)

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

The “Special Midtown District” established in this Resolution is designed to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:

(a)        to strengthen the business core of Midtown Manhattan by improving the working and living environments;

(b)        to stabilize development in Midtown Manhattan and provide direction and incentives for further growth where appropriate;

(c)        to control the impact of buildings on the access of light and air to the streets and avenues of Midtown;

(d)        to link future Midtown growth and development to improved pedestrian circulation, improved pedestrian access to rapid transit facilities, and avoidance of conflicts with vehicular traffic;

(e)        to preserve the historic architectural character of development along certain streets and avenues and the pedestrian orientation of ground floor uses, and thus safeguard the quality that makes Midtown vital;

(f)        to continue the historic pattern of relatively low building bulk in midblock locations compared to avenue frontages;

(g)        to improve the quality of new development in Midtown by fostering the provision of specified public amenities in appropriate locations;

(h)        to preserve, protect and enhance the character of the Theater Subdistrict as the location of the world's foremost concentration of legitimate theaters and an area of diverse uses of a primarily entertainment and entertainment-related nature;

(i)        to strengthen and enhance the character of the Eighth Avenue Corridor and its relationship with the rest of the Theater Subdistrict and with the Special Clinton District;

(j)        to create and provide a transition between the Theater Subdistrict and the lower-scale Clinton community to the west;

(k)        to preserve, protect and enhance the scale and character of Times Square, the heart of New York City's entertainment district, and the Core of the Theater Subdistrict, which are characterized by a unique combination of building scale, large illuminated signs and entertainment and entertainment-related uses;

(l)        to preserve, protect and enhance the character of Fifth Avenue as the showcase of New York and national retail shopping;

(m)        to preserve the midblock area north of the Museum of Modern Art for its special contribution to the historic continuity, function and ambience of Midtown;

(n)        to protect and strengthen the economic vitality and competitiveness of the East Midtown Subdistrict by facilitating the development of its exceptional and sustainable buildings and enabling improvements to the pedestrian and mass transit circulation network;

(o)        to ensure that development within the East Midtown Subdistrict occurs on sites that meet sound site planning criteria and therefore can accommodate additional density as appropriate;

(p)        to protect and strengthen the role of landmark buildings as important features of the East Midtown Subdistrict;

(q)        to protect and enhance the role of Grand Central Terminal as a major transportation hub within the City, to expand and enhance the pedestrian and mass transit circulation network connecting Grand Central Terminal to surrounding development, to minimize pedestrian congestion and to protect the surrounding area’s special character;

(r)        to expand the retail, entertainment and commercial character of the area around Pennsylvania Station and to enhance its role as a major transportation hub in the city;

(s)        to provide freedom of architectural design within limits established to assure adequate access of light and air to the street, and thus to encourage more attractive and economic building forms without the need for special development permissions or “negotiated zoning”; and

(t)        to promote the most desirable use of land and building development in accordance with the District Plan for Midtown and thus conserve the value of land and buildings and thereby protect the City’s tax revenues.

Except as modified by the express provisions of this Chapter, the regulations of the underlying districts remain in effect.

The regulations of the districts set forth below are applicable in the following Midtown districts unless modified by this Chapter:

Midtown Districts

Districts Whose Regulations Apply

C5P C5-2.5

C5-2

C6-4.5

C6-4

C6-5.5

C6-5

C6-6.5

C6-6

C6-7T

C6-7

Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this Section, wherever the Special Transit Land Use District includes an area which also lies within the Special Midtown District, as designated on the zoning map by the letters "MiD-TA", the requirements of the Special Transit Land Use District, as set forth in Article IX, Chapter 5, shall apply.

(a)        However, the requirements of Article IX, Chapter 5, shall be waived where the City Planning Commission certifies, in the case of a specific development otherwise subject to those requirements, that:

(1)        the developer has agreed in a writing recorded against the property to implement a plan approved by the Commission and New York City Transit for off-street relocation of a subway stair entrance, in accordance with the requirements of Section 81-46 (Off-street Relocation or Renovation of a Subway Stair); or

(2)        the developer has agreed in a writing recorded against the property to implement a plan approved by the Commission and New York City Transit for the provision of a subway station improvement in accordance with the provisions of Section 74-634 (Subway station improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and in Commercial Districts of 10 FAR and above in Manhattan).

(b)        Where the requirements of Article IX, Chapter 5, are not waived, modifications of the underlying district bulk regulations as set forth in this Chapter shall prevail over any inconsistent bulk regulations in Article IX, Chapter 5.

(c)        In the East Midtown Subdistrict, the provisions of paragraph (c) of Section 81-673 (Mass transit access) shall supersede the provisions of Sections 95-031 (Selection of transit easement) and 95-052 (Special access facilities for persons with disabilities).

Wherever the Special Midtown District includes an area which also lies within the Special Clinton District, the regulations of the Special Clinton District as set forth in Article IX, Chapter 6, shall also apply. In the event of any conflict or discrepancy between the regulations, the more restrictive regulations shall apply in accordance with Section 11-22 (Application of Overlapping Regulations).

The portion of the Special Clinton District within the Special Midtown District includes the area bounded by a line 150 feet west of Eighth Avenue, West 45th Street, Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street. The area is designated on the zoning maps by the letters CL-MiD.

(a)        The underlying zoning districts shall be deemed to be integral parts of the Special Midtown District. If the underlying zoning district of any zoning lot shall be amended or shall be nullified by any court of competent jurisdiction, such amendment or adjudication shall be construed to amend the Special Midtown District to remove such zoning lot from the Special Midtown District whereupon the regulations of the prior underlying district shall apply.

(b)        The bulk regulations contained in Sections 81-20 through 81-29, inclusive, shall be deemed to be an integral unit and no modification thereof shall be permitted, except in accordance with the provisions of Section 200 of the New York City Charter. If any sentence, clause, paragraph or part of Sections 81-20 through 81-29, inclusive, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not be confined in its operation to the sentence, clause, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered, but shall also be construed to invalidate and prohibit the application of the remainder of Sections 81-20 through 81-29, inclusive. However, any such judgment shall not act to invalidate any other sentence, paragraph, clause, section or chapter of the Zoning Resolution.

The regulations of this Chapter are designed to implement the Special Midtown District Plan.

The District Plan includes the following maps:

Map 1         Special Midtown District and Subdistricts

Map 2        East Midtown Subdistrict and Subareas

Map 3         Retail and Street Wall Continuity

Map 4        Subway Station and Rail Mass Transit Facility Improvement Areas

The maps are located in Appendix A of this Chapter and are hereby incorporated and made a part of this Resolution. They are incorporated for the purpose of specifying locations where special regulations and requirements set forth in the text of this Chapter apply.

In order to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Chapter, five special Subdistricts are established within the Special Midtown District. In each of these Subdistricts certain special regulations apply which do not apply in the remainder of the Special Midtown District. The Subdistricts are outlined on Map 1 (Special Midtown District and Subdistricts) in Appendix A of this Chapter.

The Subdistricts, together with the Sections of this Chapter specially applying to each, are as follows:

Subdistricts

Sections Having

Special Application

Penn Center Subdistrict

81-50

East Midtown Subdistrict

81-60

Theater Subdistrict

81-70

Fifth Avenue Subdistrict

81-80

Preservation Subdistrict

81-90

The Subdistricts are also subject to all other regulations of the Special Midtown District and, where applicable pursuant to Section 81-023, the Special Clinton District and the underlying districts, except as otherwise specifically provided in the Subdistrict regulations themselves.

Within the East Midtown Subdistrict, certain special regulations apply to Subareas that do not apply within the remainder of the Subdistrict. These Subareas are established, as follows:

Grand Central Transit Improvement Zone Subarea

Northern Subarea

Other Transit Improvement Zone Subarea

Park Avenue Subarea

Southern Subarea

Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea

The entirety of the Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea and the Grand Central Transit Improvement Zone Subarea as well as the portions of the Other Transit Improvement Zone Subarea south of East 47th Street, are hereinafter referred to as the Grand Central Core Area.

These Subareas, as well as the boundary of the Grand Central Core Area, are shown on Map 2 (East Midtown Subdistrict and Subareas) in Appendix A of this Chapter.

For developments, enlargements or other alterations within the Special Midtown District, any building permits issued by the Department of Buildings prior to April 28, 1988, shall continue in effect through May 12, 1988. Thereafter any non-conformance or non-compliance with the Zoning Resolution as so amended shall be subject to the provisions of Section 11-33 (Building Permits for Minor or Major Development or Other Construction Issued before Effective Date of Amendment).

Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals for non-complying buildings shall not be applicable:

Section 73-621        (Enlargement, change of use, or extension within buildings containing residential uses)

Section 73-63        (Enlargement of Non-residential Buildings)

Section 73-64        (Modifications for Community Facility Uses)

Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals shall only be applicable as modified below:

Section 73-16        (Public Transit, Railroad or Electrical Utility Substations) shall be applicable subject to the provisions of the Special Midtown District.

Section 73-28        (Newspaper Publishing) shall be applicable subject to the provisions of the Special Midtown District.

Section 73-36        (Physical Culture or Health Establishments) shall be applicable subject to the locational restrictions of the Special Midtown District.

Section 73-51        (Modification of Supplementary Use Regulations) shall be applicable subject to the height and setback or alternate height and setback regulations of the Special Midtown District.

Section 73-52        (Modifications for Zoning Lots Divided by District Boundaries) shall be applicable subject to the height and setback or alternate height and setback regulations of the Special Midtown District.

Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the City Planning Commission shall not be applicable:

Section 74-72        (Bulk Modification)

Section 74-74        (General Large-scale Development)

Section 74-75        (Educational Construction Fund Projects)

Section 74-82        (Through Block Arcades)

Section 74-83        (Court Houses)

Section 74-841        (Developments in certain Commercial Districts)

Section 74-852        (Height and setback regulations for zoning lots divided by district boundaries)

Section 74-87        (Covered Pedestrian Space)

Section 74-91        (Modification of Public Plazas)

Section 74-95        (Modifications of Housing Quality Special Permits)

Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the City Planning Commission shall only be applicable as modified below:

Section 74-71        (Landmark Preservation) shall be applicable subject to the height and setback modifications of Sections 81-067, 81-254, 81-266 and 81-277

Section 74-79        (Transfer of Development Rights From Landmark Sites) shall be applicable subject to modifications of the conditions and limitations on transfer of floor area (see Sections 81-212 and 81-747), the meaning of the term "adjacent lot" (see Section 81-747) and the provisions relating to height and setback variations (see Sections 81-254, 81-266 and 81-277).

Within the Theater Subdistrict of the Special Midtown District, the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 7 (Special Provisions for Zoning Lots Divided by District Boundaries), are modified in part by the provisions of Section 81-746 (Additional provisions for zoning lots divided by district or subdistrict core boundaries).

Within the Special Midtown District, the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 8 (Special Regulations Applying to Large-scale Residential Developments), permitting the City Planning Commission to authorize the location of buildings without regard for height and setback regulations shall be inapplicable.

Within the Special Midtown District, the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 9 (Special Regulations Applying to Large-scale Community Facility Developments), permitting the City Planning Commission to authorize the location of buildings without regard for height and setback regulations shall be inapplicable.

(a)        The City Planning Commission, by special permit, for zoning lots where the lot area is at least 60,000 square feet or that occupy an entire block, may permit modification of the mandatory district plan elements of Section 81-40 or the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 7, that determine the distribution of permitted floor area on such zoning lots and, in conjunction with such modifications, may also modify the applicable yard and court requirements. However, no exception to the street wall or retail continuity requirements shall be permitted on Fifth Avenue or within 50 feet of Fifth Avenue within the Special Midtown District.

The modifications shall be subject to the following findings:

(1)        that the modifications of mandatory plan elements, floor area allocation or rear yard and court regulations, result in a better arrangement of required facilities or in better site planning on a uniquely large zoning lot;

(2)        that a substantial majority of the zoning lot is either vacant at the time of certification for review, pursuant to Section 197-c of the New York City Charter, or contains buildings that will be integrally related to developments, both physically and programmatically;

(3)        that the design, scale and location of the new buildings or enlarged buildings are compatible with the character of the surrounding area and existing buildings to remain on the zoning lot;

(4)        that such modifications will not unduly obstruct the access of light and air to surrounding properties;

(5)        that any adverse impact on retail continuity is minimized by a site plan that requires pedestrian-oriented uses along the boundaries of any open or enclosed public areas on the zoning lot;

(6)        that such modifications of mandatory plan elements or floor area allocation are consistent with the basic strategy of the Special Midtown District and the purposes of the Mandatory District Plan Elements.

(b)        For developments or enlargements on a zoning lot with a lot area of at least 60,000 square feet located wholly or partially in the Penn Center Subdistrict, which have been granted a floor area bonus for subway station and/or rail mass transit facility improvements pursuant to Section 81-541 in accordance with Section 74-634 (Subway station improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and in Commercial Districts of 10 FAR and above in Manhattan), the Commission may permit modifications of the mandatory district plan elements of Section 81-40, the height and setback regulations of 81-26 and 81-27, or the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 7 (Special Provisions for Zoning Lots Divided by District Boundaries), that determine the distribution of permitted floor area on such zoning lots and, in conjunction with such modifications, may also modify the applicable yard and court requirements subject to the following findings:

(1)        the modifications of mandatory plan elements, floor area allocation or rear yard and court regulations result in a better arrangement of required facilities or in better site planning on a uniquely large zoning lot;

(2)        the design, scale and location of the new buildings or enlarged buildings are compatible with the character of the surrounding area and existing buildings to remain on the zoning lot;

(3)        such modifications will not unduly obstruct the access of light and air to surrounding properties;

(4)        any adverse impact on retail continuity is minimized by a site plan that requires pedestrian-oriented uses along the boundaries of any open or enclosed public areas within the zoning lot;

(5)        such modifications of mandatory plan elements or floor area allocation are consistent with the basic strategy of the Special Midtown District and the purposes of the Mandatory District Plan Elements;

(6)        the improvements to the below-grade pedestrian circulation network provided by the development or enlargement significantly increase public accessibility to and from subway stations and/or rail mass transit facilities in and around Pennsylvania Station; and

(7)        the modifications of height and setback regulations:

(i)        are necessary due to the constraints or conditions of the development or enlargement and conditions imposed by the configuration of the site; and

(ii)        will provide an appropriate distribution of bulk on the zoning lot with due consideration of the basic strategy of the Special Midtown District and the purpose of the District’s height and setback regulations. In considering whether such distribution of bulk is appropriate, the Commission shall consider a complete daylight evaluation for the proposed design.

The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.

Within the Special Midtown District, for any zoning lot located in a Historic District designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, any applicable provisions relating to minimum base height and street wall location requirements as modified in Sections 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets), 81-671 (Special street wall requirements) pertaining to the East Midtown Subdistrict, 81-75 (Special Street Wall and Setback Requirements) pertaining to the Theater Subdistrict, 81-83 (Special Street Wall Requirements) pertaining to the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict, and 81-90 (SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR PRESERVATION SUBDISTRICT) pertaining to mandatory street walls may be modified pursuant to Sections 23-66 and 35-65 (Height and Setback Regulations for Quality Housing Buildings).

The use regulations of the underlying districts are modified in:

(a)        the East Midtown Subdistrict in accordance with the provisions of Section 81-62 (Special Use Provisions), inclusive;

(b)        the Theater Subdistrict in accordance with the provisions of Sections 81-72 (Use Regulations Modified) and 81-73 (Special Sign and Frontage Regulations); and

(c)        the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict in accordance with the provisions of Section 81-82 (Special Regulations on Permitted and Required Uses).

No special permits shall be issued by the Board of Standards and Appeals for automotive service stations pursuant to Section 73-21 for any zoning lots with frontage on any of the streets designated in Sections 81-42 (Retail Continuity Along Designated Streets) or 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets).

No other special permit use within the Special Midtown District shall be granted by the Board of Standards and Appeals pursuant to Section 73-10 (SPECIAL PERMIT USES) or by the City Planning Commission pursuant to Section 74-30 (SPECIAL PERMIT USES) without a finding that such special permit use will be consistent with the purposes and provisions of this Chapter.

(a)        For all existing and new uses in the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict, signs shall not be permitted on the exterior of any building below a level of 10 feet above curb level. The aggregate surface area of all signs in ground floor windows is restricted to not more than one-third of the window area.

Any sign that does not comply with the provisions of this paragraph, (a), shall be terminated, except that a sign which the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies is an integral part of the building, shall not be required to terminate.

(b)        In a C5-3 District within the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict, the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission may, by certification, modify the requirements of Section 32-655 (Height of signs in all other Commercial Districts), to allow a single non-illuminated sign per building, other than an advertising sign, to be located at a height between 25 and 50 feet above curb level, provided that the permitted sign shall:

(1)        be limited to one name and/or address of the building or the name of an establishment located therein, consisting only of individual letters and/or numbers not exceeding 18 inches in height;

(2)        not be within a frame, a border, or any kind of background other than the building facade;

(3)        not project more than three inches from the facade of the building; and

(4)        not exceed 25 square feet in aggregate surface area.

(c)        On any zoning lot occupied by a landmark designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission which lies partially or wholly within the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict, the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission may, by certification, modify the applicable sign regulations of Section 32-60 to permit illuminated signs on the open area of the zoning lot, provided that such signs shall:

(1)        be a re-creation of historic signs and that the Landmarks Preservation Commission has issued a Certificate of Appropriateness or other permit for such signs;

(2)        not exceed a surface area of 12 square feet per sign; and

(3)        not project across a street line.

(a)        Transparency requirement

On wide street frontages in underlying C5 Districts, at least 50 percent of a building's street wall surface shall be glazed and transparent at the ground floor level, and not more than 50 percent of such transparent surface shall be painted. For the purpose of the glazing requirements, the building’s street wall surface at the ground floor level shall be measured from the floor to the height of the ceiling or 14 feet above grade, whichever is less.

(b)        Banners or pennants

The display of banners or pennants from the exterior of any building in an underlying C5 District is prohibited.

The floor area ratio regulations of the underlying districts are modified in accordance with the provisions of Section 81-21, inclusive, or Section 81-241 (Maximum floor area ratios for a residential building or the residential portion of a mixed building). However, the provisions of Section 81-21, inclusive, shall not apply to non-residential buildings or mixed buildings in the East Midtown Subdistrict, where the special floor area provisions of Sections 81-62, 81-63 or 81-64 shall apply.  

(a)        For non-residential buildings or mixed buildings, the basic maximum floor area ratios of the underlying districts shall apply as set forth in this Section.

(b)        In the Special Midtown District, the basic maximum floor area ratio on any zoning lot may be increased by bonuses or other floor area allowances only in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, and the maximum floor area ratio with such additional floor area allowances shall in no event exceed the amount set forth for each underlying district in the following table:

MAXIMUM FLOOR AREA ALLOWANCES FOR SPECIFIED FEATURES AND MAXIMUM FLOOR AREA RATIOS BY DISTRICTS

Maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

Means for Achieving Permitted FAR Levels on a Zoning Lot

C5P

C6-4 C6-5 M1-6

C5-2.5 C6-4.5 C6-5.5 C6-6.5

C6-7T

C5-3 C6-6 C6-7

A. Basic Maximum FAR

8.0

10.0

12.0

14.0

15.0

B. Maximum As-of-Right Floor Area Allowances:(District-wide Incentives), Public plazas - Section 81-23

1.01,2

1.01,3

1.02

C. Maximum Total FAR with As-of-Right Incentives

8.0

11.01,2,7

13.01,3

14.0

16.0

D. Maximum Special Permit Floor Area Allowances:(District-wide Incentives), Subway station improvements - Section 74-634

2.01,6

2.41

3.0

E. Maximum Total FAR with District-wide and As-of-Right Incentives

8.0

12.0

14.4

14.0

18.0

F. Maximum Special Permit Floor Area Allowances in Penn Center Subdistrict: Mass Transit Facility Improvement - Section 74-634

2.0

3.0

G. Maximum Total FAR with As-of-Right, District-wide and Penn Center Subdistrict Incentives:

12.0

18.0

H. Maximum As-of-Right Floor Area Allowances in Theater Subdistrict:

 Development rights (FAR) of a "granting site" - Section 81-744

10.0

12.0

14.0

15.0

 Maximum amount of transferable development rights (FAR) from "granting sites" that may be utilized on a "receiving site" - Section 81-744(a)

2.0

2.4

2.8

3.0

 Inclusionary Housing - Sections 23-90 and 81-22

2.04

I. Maximum Total FAR with As-of-Right Floor Area Allowances in Theater Subdistrict

12.0

14.4

16.8

18.0

J. Maximum Floor Area Allowances by Authorization in Eighth Avenue Corridor - Section 81-744(b)

2.4

K. Maximum Total FAR with As-of-Right and Theater Subdistrict Authorizations

14.4

14.4

16.8

18.0

L. Maximum Special Permit Floor Area Allowances in Theater Subdistrict: Rehabilitation of "listed theaters" Section 81-745

4.4

2.4

2.8

3.0

M. Maximum Total FAR with Theater Subdistrict, District-wide and As-of-Right Incentives

8.0

14.4

14.4

16.8

18.0

N. Maximum FAR of Lots Involving Landmarks:

 Maximum FAR of a lot containing non-bonusable landmark - Section 74-711 or as-of-right

8.0

10.0

12.0

14.0

15.0

 Development rights (FAR) of a landmark lot for transfer purposes - Section 74-79

8.0

10.0

13.05

14.0

16.0

 Maximum amount of transferable development rights (FAR) from a landmark zoning lot that may be utilized on an "adjacent lot" - Section 74-79

1.6

2.0

2.4

No Limit

No Limit

O. Maximum Total FAR of a Lot with Transferred Development Rights from Landmark Zoning Lot, Theater Subdistrict Incentives, District-wide Incentives and As-of Right Incentives

9.6

14.4

14.4

No Limit

No Limit

1        Not available for zoning lots located wholly within Theater Subdistrict Core

2        Not available within the Eighth Avenue Corridor

3        Not available within 100 feet of a wide street in C5-2.5 Districts

4        Applicable only within that portion of the Theater Subdistrict also located within the Special Clinton District

5        12.0 in portion of C6-5.5 District within the Theater Subdistrict Core

6         Not available on west side of Eighth Avenue within the Eighth Avenue Corridor

7         12.0 for zoning lots with full block frontage on Seventh Avenue and frontage on West 34th Street, pursuant to Section 81-542 (Retention of floor area bonus for plazas or other public spaces)

The provisions of Section 74-79 (Transfer of Development Rights From Landmark Sites) shall apply in the Special Midtown District, subject to the modification set forth in this Section and Sections 81-254, 81-266 and 81-277 pertaining to special permits for height and setback modifications, Sections 81-63 (Special Floor Area Provisions for the Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea), 81-653 (Special permit for transfer of development rights from landmarks to non-qualifying sites), 81-747 (Transfer of development rights from landmark theaters) and 81-85 (Transfer of Development Rights From Landmark Sites).

The provisions of Section 74-79 pertaining to the meaning of the term "adjacent lot" in the case of lots located in C5-3, C5-5, C6-6, C6-7 or C6-9 Districts are modified to apply in the Special Midtown District where the "adjacent lot" is in a C5-3, C6-6, C6-7, C6-5.5, C6-6.5 or C6-7T District.

The provisions of paragraph (c) of Section 74-792 as applied in the Special Midtown District shall be subject to the restrictions set forth in the table in Section 81-211 on the development rights (FAR) of a landmark "granting lot" for transfer purposes.

Wherever there is an inconsistency between any provision in Section 74-79 and the table in Section 81-211, the table in Section 81-211 shall apply.

For developments or enlargements in C5-3, C6-6, C6-7 and C6-7T Districts, the City Planning Commission may also modify or waive the requirements of Section 23-86 (Minimum Distance Between Legally Required Windows and Walls or Lot Lines) and requirements governing the minimum dimensions of a court, where:

(a)        the required minimum distance as set forth in Section 23-86 is provided between the legally required windows in the development or enlargement and a wall or lot line on an adjacent zoning lot occupied by the landmark; and

(b)        such required minimum distance is provided by a light and air easement on the zoning lot occupied by the landmark building or other structure, and such easement is acceptable to the Department of City Planning and recorded in the County Clerk’s office of the county in which such tracts of land are located.

For developments or enlargements, on zoning lots located in C5-3, C6-6, C6-7 and C6-7T Districts and with frontage on streets on which curb cuts are restricted, pursuant to Section 81-44, the Commission may also modify or waive the number of loading berths required pursuant to Section 36-62. In granting such special permit, the Commission shall find that:

(1)        a loading berth permitted by Commission authorization, pursuant to Section 81-44, would have an adverse impact on the landmark building or other structure that is the subject of the special permit;

(2)        because of existing buildings on the zoning lot, there is no other feasible location for the required loading berths; and

(3)        the modification or waiver will not create or contribute to serious traffic congestion or unduly inhibit vehicular and pedestrian movement. For developments or enlargements, on zoning lots located in C5-3, C6-6, C6-7 and C6-7T Districts, the Commission may also modify the dimensions and minimum clear height required for pedestrian circulation space, pursuant to Sections 37-50 and 81-45. In granting such special permit, the Commission shall find that the modification will result in a distribution of bulk and arrangement of uses on the zoning lot that relate more harmoniously with the landmark building or other structure that is the subject of the special permit.

In C6-2 Districts within the Special Clinton District, for zoning lots, or portions thereof, comprised of listed theaters designated in Section 81-742, the City Planning Commission shall allow a transfer of development rights pursuant to Section 81-744 (Transfer of development rights from listed theaters). The basic maximum floor area ratio for transfer purposes for such zoning lots, or portions thereof, shall be 6.02.

As-of-right floor area bonuses are not permitted in the Special Midtown District, except in accordance with the provisions of the following Section:

Section 81-23        (Floor Area Bonus for Public Plazas).

In addition, the provisions of Section 23-90 (INCLUSIONARY HOUSING) shall be applicable in that portion of the Special Midtown District which is also within the Special Clinton District, pursuant to Section 81-023 (Applicability of the Special Clinton District regulations).

Any floor area bonus granted by certification for through block gallerias prior to August 6, 1998, shall remain in effect provided, however, that such certification shall automatically lapse if substantial construction, in accordance with the plans for which such certification was granted, has not been completed within four years from the effective date of such certification.

Within the Special Midtown District, for each square foot of public plaza provided on a zoning lot, the basic maximum floor area permitted on that zoning lot under the provisions of Section 81-211 (Maximum floor area ratio for non-residential or mixed buildings) may be increased by six square feet, provided that in no case shall such bonus floor area exceed a floor area ratio of 1.0.

This Section shall be applicable in all underlying districts throughout the Special Midtown District, except that there shall be no floor area bonus for a public plaza that is:

(a)        on zoning lots in the C5P District within the Preservation Subdistrict;

(b)        within 50 feet of a street line of a designated street on which retail or street wall continuity is required, pursuant to Sections 81-42 (Retail Continuity Along Designated Streets) or 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets);

(c)        on a zoning lot, any portion of which is within the Theater Subdistrict Core, as defined in Section 81-71 (General Provisions); and

(d)        on zoning lots, any portion of which is in the Grand Central Core Area, as shown on Map 2 (East Midtown Subdistrict and Subareas) in Appendix A of this Chapter, or on qualifying sites, as defined in Section 81-613, in any other subarea of the East Midtown Subdistrict.

All public plazas provided within the Special Midtown District shall comply with the requirements for public plazas set forth in Section 37-70, inclusive.

A major portion of a public plaza may overlap with a sidewalk widening which may be provided to fulfill the minimum pedestrian circulation space requirements set forth in Section 81-45 (Pedestrian Circulation Space), provided that the overlapping portion of the public plaza also conforms to the design standards of Section 37-50 (REQUIREMENTS FOR PEDESTRIAN CIRCULATION SPACE) for a sidewalk widening. Such sidewalk widening may be included in the major portion of a public plaza for purposes of calculating the proportional restrictions set forth in Section 37-715.

(a)        Elimination or reduction in size of existing publicly accessible open area or other public amenities

No existing publicly accessible open area or other public amenity, open or enclosed, for which a floor area bonus has been utilized, shall be eliminated or reduced in size, except by special permit of the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 74-761 (Elimination or reduction in size of bonused public amenities).

(b)        Kiosks and open air cafes

Kiosks and open air cafes may be placed within an existing publicly accessible open area for which a floor area bonus has been received by certification, pursuant to Section 37-73 (Kiosks and Open Air Cafes).

(c)        Nighttime closing of existing publicly accessible open areas

The Commission may, upon application, authorize the closing of an existing publicly accessible open area for which a floor area bonus has been received, during certain nighttime hours, pursuant to Section 37-727 (Hours of access).

(d)        Special provisions for certain covered pedestrian spaces

Where a portion of an existing covered pedestrian space was designated by a special authorization of the Commission prior to May 13, 1982, to be used for off-street loading after business hours, the Commission may, by special permit, after public notice and hearing, and subject to City Council action, allow relocation of the loading facilities and modifications relating to the loading berth requirements, provided that such modifications will result in substantial improvement of the pedestrian circulation system and amenities within the existing covered pedestrian space without adversely affecting the operation of off-street loading facilities.

(e)        Elimination or reduction in size of non-bonused open area on a zoning lot containing a bonused amenity

Any existing open area for which a floor area bonus has not been utilized that occupies the same zoning lot as an existing publicly accessible open area or other public amenity, open or enclosed, for which a floor area bonus has been utilized, may be reduced in size or eliminated only upon certification of the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission that all bonused amenities comply with the standards under which such floor area bonus was granted.

Where a public plaza is located on a zoning lot divided by a district boundary, the floor area bonus for such public plaza may be credited to either portion of the zoning lot regardless of the public plaza's location or the date when the zoning lot was created, provided that the amount of such bonus permitted on either portion of the zoning lot shall not exceed the maximum amount that would be permitted on such portion if it were a separate zoning lot and subject to all other applicable provisions of Article VII, Chapter 7.

For residential buildings or residential portions of mixed buildings in the Special Midtown District, the maximum floor area ratio for each underlying district is as follows:

(a)        In the C5-P District the maximum floor area ratio is 8.0, and no additional floor area shall be allowed above this limit.

(b)        In all underlying districts other than the C5-P District, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this Section, the maximum residential floor area ratio is 10.0.

(c)        In any underlying district other than a C5-P, C6-4 or C6-5 District, or in a C6-4 or C6-5 District within the Theater Subdistrict where a zoning lot has been granted bonus floor area or other floor area allowances in accordance with the provisions of Section 81-741 (General provisions), such zoning lot shall qualify for a maximum residential floor area ratio of 12.0 if the development or the building containing the enlargement includes recreational space for the residential occupants in an amount not less than 13 square feet for each rooming unit, 16.25 square feet for each dwelling unit, or a total area of at least 5,000 square feet, whichever is greater. The recreational space may be located at any level including a roof. Such recreational space shall:

(1)        be restricted to residential occupants of the development or the building containing the enlargement and their guests, for whom no admission or membership fees may be charged;

(2)        be directly accessible from a lobby or other public area served by the residential elevators;

(3)        be landscaped, including trees or shrubbery, except where covered or developed with recreational facilities and seating areas;

(4)        contain not less than 500 square feet of continuous area on a single level with no dimension of less than 15 feet;

(5)        have not less than 50 percent of the area open from its lowest level to the sky. The remaining portion may be roofed and up to 50 percent of its perimeter may be enclosed. In no event may more than 25 percent of the required recreational space be fully enclosed. All enclosures shall be transparent except when located within the building. Covered areas shall contain recreational facilities or seating areas.

A copy of requirements (c)(1) through (c)(5), as set forth in this Section, shall be permanently posted in a conspicuous place within each recreational space.

For all buildings in the Special Midtown District, except as provided in Section 81-90 (SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR PRESERVATION SUBDISTRICT), the height and setback regulations of the underlying districts are superseded by the provisions of this Section and by the two alternate sets of regulations controlling the height and setback of buildings as set forth in Sections 81-26 (Height and Setback Regulations--Daylight Compensation) and 81-27 (Alternate Height and Setback Regulations--Daylight Evaluation), respectively. For the purposes of applying height and setback regulations, the term “buildings” shall include buildings or other structures, except if specifically stated otherwise.

For the purposes of Sections 81-25 through 81-27, inclusive, all buildings on a zoning lot shall be considered a single building. Existing portions of such buildings are referred to as an “existing building.” A “new building” shall include developments, enlargements or alterations that increase the width or height of a building wall.

An applicant for plan approval by the Department of Buildings may elect to be governed by the provisions of either Section 81-26 or 81-27 in addition to the provisions of this Section.

This Section sets forth the provisions that are common to both sets of regulations.

The common purpose of these two sets of regulations is to offer maximum design flexibility while setting reasonable but firm standards to protect access of light and air to public streets and adjacent buildings.

This purpose is implemented by the two alternate sets of regulations, which are based on two distinct approaches. Both sets are concerned with daylight at street level.

The daylight compensation regulations require any building generally to be built within a sky exposure curve which relates required setbacks to building heights. Within limits, the buildings may encroach outside the curve but only if extra setbacks or recesses provided elsewhere on the same street frontage of the zoning lot compensate for the encroachment. In the regulations, the sky exposure curve for three street width categories is represented in each case by a table of required setbacks related to building heights.

The daylight evaluation regulations measure and evaluate portions of sky blocked by a building as viewed from specified vantage points in the street. The building is plotted on daylight evaluation charts representing the zoning lot's available daylight from specified vantage points, measured in daylight squares as defined in paragraph (b) of Section 81-272. Daylight blockage by the building is then measured to determine the building's score on each frontage and the average score for the building as a whole. The regulations specify the minimum passing scores for compliance.

Except as set forth in this Section, structures which under the provisions of Sections 33-42 or 43-42 (Permitted Obstructions) or 34-11 or 35-10 (GENERAL PROVISIONS), are permitted to penetrate a maximum height limit or a sky exposure plane shall not be permitted as exceptions to the height limitations, setback requirements or rules for the measurement of encroachments or compensating recesses set forth in Section 81-26 (Height and Setback Regulations—Daylight Compensation), nor shall they be excluded in determining daylight blockage pursuant to the provisions of Section 81-27 (Alternate Height and Setback Regulations—Daylight Evaluation).

The following shall be permitted as exceptions to the height regulations, setback requirements or rules for the measurement of encroachments or compensating recesses, set forth in Section 81-26, and shall be excluded in determining daylight blockage, pursuant to the provisions of Section 81-27:

(a)        unenclosed balconies conforming to the provisions of Section 23-13 (Balconies); and

(b)        exterior wall thickness, up to eight inches, where such wall thickness is added to the exterior face of a building wall existing on April 30, 2012, provided the added wall thickness has a thermal resistance (R-value) of at least 1.5 per inch. Where buildings that have added exterior wall thickness pursuant to this Section are enlarged, such enlarged portion may similarly penetrate a maximum height limit in order to align with the exterior walls of the existing building, provided such enlargement contains less floor area than the existing building, and there is no penetration of floor area above a maximum height limit.

The provisions of Sections 81-26 (Height and Setback Regulations-- Daylight Compensation) and 81-27 (Alternate Height and Setback Regulations--Daylight Evaluation) are supplemented and modified by special provisions applying in the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict, as set forth in Sections 81-81 (General Provisions) and 81-83 (Special Street Wall Requirements) or in the Theater Subdistrict as set forth in Sections 81-71 (General Provisions) and 81-75 (Special Street Wall and Setback Requirements) or in the East Midtown Subdistrict as set forth in Sections 81-61 (General Provisions), 81-66 (Special Height and Setback Requirements), inclusive, or 81-671 (Special street wall requirements), or in the Penn Center Subdistrict as set forth in Section 81-532 (Special street wall requirements).

The provisions of Sections 81-26 and 81-27 are not applicable in the Preservation Subdistrict, where height and setback is regulated by the provisions of Section 81-90 (SPECIAL REGULATIONS FOR PRESERVATION SUBDISTRICT).

In the Special Midtown District, the City Planning Commission may modify the special height and setback regulations set forth in this Chapter only in accordance with the following provisions:

Section 74-711        (Landmark preservation in all districts) as modified by the provisions of Sections 81-266 or 81-277 (Special permit for height and setback modifications)

Section 74-79        (Transfer of Development Rights From Landmark Sites) where development rights are transferred from a landmark site to an adjacent lot in a C5-3, C6-6 or C6-7 District, as modified by Section 81-212, and the total floor area on the adjacent lot resulting from such transfer exceeds the basic maximum floor area ratio by more than 20 percent. In such cases, the granting of a special permit by the Commission for height and setback modifications shall be in accordance with the provisions of Sections 81-266 or 81-277

Section 81-066        (Special permit modifications of Section 81-254, Section 81-40 and certain Sections of Article VII, Chapter 7)

Section 81-632        (Special permit for transfer of development rights from landmarks to the Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea)  

Section 81-633        (Special permit for Grand Central public realm improvements)

Section 81-685        (Special permit to modify qualifying site provisions)

81-261

Definitions

        

Compensating recess

A portion of a zoning lot which, at the building height selected for determining compliance with the provisions of Section 81-26 (Height and Setback Regulations--Daylight Compensation), lies in the free zone (Zone A on the encroachment grid), is not covered by any portion of a building and qualifies as compensating for encroachments beyond the free zone under the provisions of Section 81-264 (Encroachments and compensating recesses). (See illustration of Compensating Recess and Encroachment)

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.0

COMPENSATING RECESS AND ENCROACHMENT

(81-261.1)

Encroachment

A projection beyond the setback line, the free zone or the half-setback line by any portion of a building that exceeds the maximum height permitted at the street line. (See illustration of Compensating Recess and Encroachment)

        

Encroachment grid

A plan drawing of the zoning lot at any given height above curb level selected to determine compliance with the provisions of Section 81-26 and showing, for that height, street lines, setback lines, half-setback lines, Zone A (the free zone), Zones B and C (encroachment zones) and, where applicable, the ten-foot setback line. The encroachment grid serves as a device for measuring areas of encroachment beyond the free zone and areas of compensating recess within the free zone. (See illustration of Encroachment Grid)

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.1

ENCROACHMENT GRID

(81-261.2)

        

Free zone

That portion of a zoning lot, at any given height, which may be covered by a building without coverage constituting an encroachment that requires daylight compensation.

In addition to the area that lies behind a setback line or lines, the free zone shall include areas between the setback line and either the half-setback line or the ten-foot setback line, whichever is further from the street line, and which qualify as free zone areas under the middle one-third rule. The free zone is referred to as Zone A on the encroachment grid.

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.2

FREE ZONE

(81-261.3)

        

Half-setback line

A line drawn parallel to a street line and halfway between the street line and the setback line. (See illustration of Setback and Half-Setback Lines)

        

Middle one-third rule

The rule under which, for the middle one-third of the front lot line length, the free zone includes area between the setback line and either the half-setback line or the ten-foot setback line, whichever is further from the street line. However, on a corner lot the free zone does not extend beyond the setback line along an intersecting street. (See illustrations of Middle One-Third Rule)

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.3

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.4

MIDDLE ONE-THIRD RULE

(81-261.4)

        

Setback line

A line drawn in plan parallel to a street line and showing for a given building height the minimum depth to which a building is required to be set back from the street line by the applicable depth to height chart in Section 81-263 (Standard setback requirements). Required setbacks, established by the chart, increase with the building's height. (See illustration of Setback and Half-Setback Lines)

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.5

SETBACK AND HALF-SETBACK LINES

(81-261.5)

        

Street frontage zone

A portion of a zoning lot which lies within an area bounded by a continuous front lot line and either the center line of the block or a line 100 feet distant from and parallel to that front lot line, whichever is closer to that front lot line. There shall be a street frontage zone for each zoning lot street frontage. (See illustration of Street Frontage Zones)

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.6

STREET FRONTAGE ZONES

(81-261.6)

        

Ten-foot setback line

A line which is parallel to the street line at a depth of 10 feet and represents the minimum distance any portion of a building exceeding the maximum height at the street line is required to be set back from the street line. A greater setback distance may be required by a setback line or a half-setback line depending upon the building height for which such setback line or half-setback line is established.

Zoning Resolutions 81-261.7

TEN-FOOT SETBACK LINE ON AN ENCROACHMENT GRID

(81-261.7)

        

Zone A, Zone B, Zone C

"Zone A," "Zone B" and "Zone C" are zones on an encroachment grid defined as follows:

(a)        Zone A is the free zone.

(b)        Zone B, an encroachment zone, is the zone, exclusive of any area in Zone A and any area closer to the street line than the ten-foot setback line, which lies between the setback line and either the half-setback line or the ten-foot setback line, whichever is further from the street line.

(c)        Zone C, an encroachment zone and penalty zone, is the zone, exclusive of any area closer to the street line than the ten-foot setback line, which lies between the half-setback line and the ten-foot setback line.

(a)        General provisions

The front wall of a building at the street line shall not exceed the height limit applying along the street on which it fronts. Maximum front wall heights at the street line vary with the width of the street on which the wall fronts, as follows:

Street Width

(in feet)

Maximum Front Wall Height at Street Line (in feet)

60 or less

90

75 or 80

120

100 or more

150

(b)        Special provisions for corner lots

For a corner lot with frontage on streets of different widths, the maximum front wall height at the street line of the narrower street may be increased above that indicated in paragraph (a) in accordance with either one of the following rules:

Rule 1:

The maximum front wall height at the street line for the wider street may extend up to 100 feet from the corner along the street line of the narrower street; or

Zoning Resolutions 81-262.0

SPECIAL RULE 1 FOR CORNER LOTS

(81-262b.1)


Rule 2:

For any length of frontage from the corner along the narrower street, a maximum height for such length of frontage may apply, which shall be the weighted average of (1) the height permitted under Rule 1 for the first 100 feet from the corner, and (2) the standard height limit for front walls on the narrower street for the remainder of the frontage. (See illustration of Special Rules for Corner Lots)

Zoning Resolutions 81-262.1

SPECIAL RULE 2 FOR CORNER LOTS

(81-262b.2)

Buildings shall comply with the regulations of this Section.

(a)        Ten-foot setback requirement

Above the maximum height permitted at the street line pursuant to the provisions of Section 81-262, every portion of a building shall be set back at least 10 feet from the street line.

(b)        General setback provisions; depth to height charts

Above the maximum height permitted at the street line, buildings, in addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) of this Section, are required to be set back behind the applicable setback line, the depth of the setback line at any point depending upon the height of the wall at that point in accordance with the requirements of applicable Tables A, B or C of this Section presenting required setbacks from streets 60 feet or less, 75 or 80 feet, or 100 or more feet in width, respectively.

Table A

SETBACK REQUIREMENTS

ON STREETS 60 FEET OR LESS IN WIDTH

Depth of Setback Line from Street Line at

Stated Heights above Curb Level.

Height

Depth of Setback Line

90

0.00

100

2.00

110

4.00

120

6.00

130

8.00

140

10.00

150

12.00

160

13.75

170

15.25

180

16.75

190

18.50

200

20.00

210

21.25

220

22.50

230

24.00

240

25.25

250

26.50

260

27.50

270

28.75

280

30.00

290

30.75

300

31.75

310

32.75

320

33.75

330

34.75

340

35.50

350

36.25

360

37.25

370

38.00

380

38.75

390

39.50

400

40.25

410

41.00

420

41.75

430

42.25

440

43.00

450

43.50

460

44.25

470

44.75

480

45.50

490

46.00

500

46.50

510

47.00

520

47.50

530

48.00

540

48.50

550

49.00

560

49.50

570

50.00

580

50.50

590

51.00

600

51.50

610

52.00

620

52.25

630

52.75

640

53.00

650

53.50

660

53.75

670

54.25

680

54.50

690

55.00

700

55.25

710

55.75

Above 710

For every 10 feet the depth shall increase by one foot

Table B

SETBACK REQUIREMENTS

ON STREETS 75 OR 80 FEET WIDE

Depth of Setback Line from Street Line at

Stated Heights above Curb Level.

Height

Depth of Setback Line

120

0.00

130

1.50

140

3.50

150

5.50

160

7.50

170

9.25

180

11.00

190

12.75

200

14.25

210

15.75

220

17.25

230

18.75

240

20.00

250

21.25

260

22.50

270

23.75

280

24.75

290

26.00

300

27.00

310

28.00

320

29.00

330

30.00

340

31.00

350

32.00

360

32.75

370

33.75

380

34.50

390

35.50

400

36.25

410

37.00

420

37.75

430

38.25

440

39.00

450

39.75

460

40.50

470

41.00

480

41.75

490

42.50

500

43.00

510

43.50

520

44.00

530

44.75

540

45.25

550

45.75

560

46.25

570

46.75

580

47.25

590

47.75

600

48.25

610

48.75

620

49.00

630

49.50

640

50.00

650

50.50

660

50.75

670

51.25

680

51.75

690

52.00

700

52.50

710

53.00

Above 710

For every 10 feet the depth shall increase by one foot

Table C

SETBACK REQUIREMENTS

ON STREETS AT LEAST 100 FEET WIDE

Depth of Setback Line from Street Line at

Stated Heights above Curb Level.

Height

Depth of Setback Line

150

0.00

160

1.50

170

3.00

180

5.00

190

6.75

200

8.50

210

10.25

220

11.75

230

13.25

240

14.75

250

16.00

260

17.25

270

18.75

280

20.00

290

21.00

300

22.25

310

23.50

320

24.50

330

25.50

340

26.50

350

27.50

360

28.50

370

29.50

380

30.25

390

31.25

400

32.00

410

33.00

420

33.75

430

34.50

440

35.25

450

36.00

460

36.75

470

37.25

480

38.00

490

38.75

500

39.25

510

40.00

520

40.50

530

41.25

540

41.75

550

42.25

560

42.75

570

43.50

580

44.00

590

44.50

600

45.00

610

45.50

620

46.00

630

46.50

640

47.00

650

47.50

660

47.75

670

48.25

680

48.75

690

49.25

700

49.50

710

50.00

Above 710

For every 10 feet the depth shall increase by one foot

(c)        Use of tables

To comply with the setback requirements of this Section, a building at any height shall be set back at least to the depth of the setback line indicated on the applicable table.

For heights between those shown on the table, the depth of the setback line shall be interpolated.

Required depths of setback lines shall be rounded off to the next highest half foot.

The setback requirements apply only to portions of buildings above the maximum height permitted at the street line, so that required setbacks on the narrower street frontage of a corner lot shall apply only to heights above the maximum front wall heights permitted by the corner lot provisions of paragraph (b) of Section 81-262 (Maximum height of front wall at the street line).

(d)        Middle one-third rule

A building may penetrate beyond the setback line at any height if the penetration is confined to the middle third of the front lot line length and complies in all respects with the middle one-third rule as defined in Section 81-261 (Definitions).

In addition to complying with the setback requirements of Section 81-263 (Standard setback requirements), a building shall not at any height encroach beyond a half-setback line or a ten-foot setback line, except as provided below. For each street frontage zone and for all street frontage zones, taken together on a single encroachment grid, a building shall not, at any level, have an aggregate area of encroachment beyond the setback line, other than in any free zones, greater than the aggregate area of compensating recess at such level.

Except as provided below, an area of compensating recess in one street frontage zone shall not be used to compensate for encroachment in another street frontage zone. However, a building with a street frontage zone which lies along a north-south wide street and does not meet the above requirements because of excessive encroachment will be in compliance with the street frontage zone requirements of this Section if compensation is provided for such excessive encroachment by an overlapping street frontage zone.

The requirement that the aggregate area of compensating recess at least equal the aggregate area of encroachment, as set forth in this Section, shall also apply to any building which encroaches beyond a half-setback line and which is therefore subject to the provisions of Section 81-265 (Encroachment limitations by length and height rules). (See illustration of Encroachments and Compensating Recesses)

(a)        Rules for measuring encroachments and recesses

Areas of encroachment and compensating recess shall be measured in plan on one or more encroachment grids showing for the zoning lot, at a given height level, the street lines, the setback lines, the half-setback lines, the ten-foot setback lines, Zones A, B and C and the street frontage zones.

Zoning Resolutions 81-264.0

ENCROACHMENTS AND COMPENSATING RECESSES

(81-264a)

The scale of the encroachment grid shall be not more than 20 feet to the inch. All buildings, existing and proposed, shall be located accurately on the grid in plan at the height level selected to demonstrate compliance. For each street frontage zone, the areas of the building’s encroachment in Zones B and C and the compensating recess areas not covered by any building in Zone A shall be measured on the encroachment grid.

(b)        Limits of encroachment

Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this Section for existing buildings below specified heights, encroachment is limited as follows:

(1)        For each street frontage zone, at every height above the maximum front wall height at the street line, the area within Zone A that is not covered by a building and qualifies as compensating recess area shall, in the aggregate, equal or exceed the aggregate area in Zones B and C that is encroached upon by a building at such height.

(2)        No part of a building shall encroach into Zone C unless it complies with the provisions of Section 81-265.

(3)        On corner lots, the projection of a building beyond the setback or half-setback line on the narrower street shall not count as an encroachment except at heights above the maximum height permitted at the street line by the corner lot provisions in paragraph (b) of Section 81-262 (Maximum height of front wall at the street line).

(c)        Limitations on compensating recess

Compensating recess areas are subject to the following limitations:

(1)        Any required compensating recess area shall extend without diminution of dimensions downward at least to the lowest level at which any encroachment into Zone B or C occurs and upward to the sky. (See illustration of Extension Downward of Compensating Recess Area)

Zoning Resolutions 81-264.1

EXTENSION DOWNWARD OF COMPENSATING RECESS AREA

(81-264c1)

(2)        Compensating recess area shall be visible when viewed from at least one adjacent street along a line that intersects the front lot line of the zoning lot at right angles. (See illustration of Visibility of Compensating Recess Area)

Zoning Resolutions 81-264.2

VISIBILITY OF COMPENSATING RECESS AREA

(81-264c2)

(3)        The minimum length of a compensating recess, measured parallel to the street line, and behind the setback line, is 30 feet, except for any uncovered portion of an area that qualifies as Zone A under the middle one-third rule or an uncovered area located behind two intersecting setback lines. An uncovered area between the setback and half-setback lines that qualifies as Zone A under the middle one-third rule is not subject to the minimum length requirement. (See illustration of Minimum Length of Compensating Recess)

Zoning Resolutions 81-264.3

MINIMUM LENGTH OF COMPENSATING RECESS

(81-264c3)

(4)        Compensating recess area shall be within 100 feet of a front lot line.

(d)        Existing buildings on the zoning lot

Where a zoning lot contains an existing building which exceeds a height limit, an enlargement or development on such zoning lot shall comply with the following provisions:

(1)        For each street frontage zone, if the existing building is not more than 120 feet in height at any point and encroaches into Zone B or Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line along the frontage of a street 60 feet wide, or if the existing building is not more than 150 feet in height at any point and encroaches into Zone B or Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line along the frontage of a street 75 or more feet in width, the new building or enlargement is not required to compensate for such encroachment by the provision of compensating recess areas. Encroachment by such an existing building into Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line will not subject the new building or enlargement to the provisions of Section 81-265 unless the new building or enlargement also encroaches into Zone C.

(2)        For each street frontage zone, space above such existing building and within Zone A on the encroachment grid may count as compensating recess area for the new building or enlargement provided that such space is at or below the lowest level of any compensable encroachment by the new building or enlargement, that it is located within the same street frontage zone as that compensable encroachment, and that it qualifies in all respects under the provisions of paragraph (c) of this Section (Limitations on compensating recess).

(3)        For each street frontage zone, if an existing building more than 120 feet in height at any point encroaches into Zone B or Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line along the frontage of a street 60 feet wide, or if an existing building more than 150 feet in height at any point encroaches into Zone B or Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line along the frontage of a street 75 or more feet in width, the encroachment of such building into Zone B or Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line at any height shall be subject to the requirements for compensating recess areas set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this Section, as if it were a new building. Where such an existing building encroaches into Zone C or beyond the ten-foot setback line, the provisions of paragraph (f)(2) in Section 81-265 shall apply in addition to the provisions of this Section. (See illustration of Existing Buildings on the Zoning Lot)

Zoning Resolutions 81-264.4

EXISTING BUILDINGS ON THE ZONING LOT

(81-264d3)

Above the maximum height of a front wall at the street line as set forth in Section 81-262, a building may only encroach beyond the half-setback line if it complies with the provisions of this Section and if the area of compensating recess equals or exceeds the area of encroachment in Zones B and C in accordance with the provisions of Section 81-264 (Encroachments and compensating recesses).

(a)        Special limitations

No encroachment beyond the half-setback line shall be within 30 feet of a side lot line. (See illustration of Prohibited and Allowed Encroachment Beyond Half-Setback Line)

Zoning Resolutions 81-265.0

        

PROHIBITED AND ALLOWED ENCROACHMENT BEYOND

HALF-SETBACK LINE

(81-265a)

(b)        General provisions

The length, depth, height and area of encroachments along any street frontage all contribute to a building's impact on daylight access. In order to determine whether the depth of a building's encroachment into Zone C is justified, the length of the encroachment, measured parallel to the street line, and its height above curb level must also be evaluated. The extent of encroachment also must be considered in relation to the extent of the area of compensating recess in the same street frontage zone. The purpose of the length and height rule is to ensure, in the case of encroachments beyond the half-setback line, that the closer a building comes to the street line, the less will be the length of its encroachment, its height or both. (See illustration of Elements Analyzed)

The elements comprising this analysis are represented by symbols and are as follows:

(1)        

De

=

depth of encroachment

D

depth of setback line

De        (depth of encroachment) means depth of encroachment beyond the setback line. Depth of encroachment is measured perpendicularly to the setback line.

D        (depth of setback line) means depth of setback line from the street line or depth of ten-foot setback line from the street line, whichever depth is greater.

(2)        

Le

=

length of encroachment

L

length of front lot line

Le        (length of encroachment) means total length of encroachment outside the half-setback line. Length of encroachment is measured as the total length of the encroachments' projections on the street line.

L        (length of front lot line) means the length of the front lot line along the particular street. However, the length of the front lot line for the purposes of this Section shall not exceed 300 feet, irrespective of the actual lot line length.

(3)        

Le

=

length of encroachment

Lr

length of recess

Le        (length of encroachment) as defined in paragraph (b)(2) of this Section.

Lr        (length of recess) means total length of setback line not encroached upon by a building.

(4)        

H

=

height of encroachment

L

length of front lot line

H        (height of encroachment) means the height of the encroachment above curb level.

L        (length of front lot line) as defined in paragraph (2) of this Section.

(5)        

Ar

=

area of compensating recess

Ae

area of encroachment

Ar        (area of compensating recess) means area of compensating recess in the particular street frontage zone. Area of compensating recess is calculated to a depth of 100 feet from the street line.

Ae        (area of encroachment) means area of encroachment beyond the setback line. Area of encroachment is calculated to a depth of 100 feet from the street line.

Values for the elements in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(5) shall be found for each street frontage zone on which there is any encroachment beyond the half-setback line.

Zoning Resolutions 81-265.1

ELEMENTS ANALYZED

(81-265b)

The elements, weighted according to the effects on daylight access, are represented in the formulas and charts that control the depth, length and height of encroachments, as set forth in paragraph (c) of this Section.

Encroachments of proposed buildings or enlargements beyond the half-setback line are permitted only if in compliance at every point with the formulas in paragraph (c) of this Section. Aside from this general requirement, specified points at which the length, depth, height and area rules shall be applied are presented in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this Section.

(c)        Encroachment limitations by Formulas 1 and 2

Where applicants elect to have their buildings regulated by the formulas, buildings shall comply with both Formula 1 and Formula 2 as set forth in this paragraph. Elements of the formulas and the symbols by which they are represented are as set forth in paragraph (b) of this Section.

Formula 1:

Maximum

H

=

5.5—4

(

De

)

—2.5

(

Le

)

L

D

L

Formula 2:

Minimum

Lr

=

L

3.5

The maximum height of encroachment (H) allowed by Formula 1 may be modified for certain conditions, as follows:

(1)        For short frontages

For any frontage less than 200 feet in length, the maximum

H

L

found by applying Formula 1 may be increased by the following multiplier:

2

L

200

(2)        For large areas of compensating recess

To the extent that the aggregate area of compensating recess (Ar) exceeds the aggregate area of encroachment (Ae), the maximum

(

H

)

L

found by applying Formula 1 may be increased by the following multiplier:

1

+

.067 Ar

Ae

For the purposes of this modification, the measurement of the area of compensating recess (Ar) and the area of encroachment (Ae) in each particular street frontage zone shall be made on the encroachment grid at the height level for which encroachments beyond the half-setback line are checked. The encroachment grid shall include all street frontage zones. (Ar) shall include all areas of compensating recess in the particular street frontage zone, whether or not connected, and (Ae) shall include all encroachments in both Zone B and Zone C in the same street frontage zone, whether or not such encroachments are connected.

(d)        Measurement of encroachments

The points at which the formulas are applied will depend upon the shape and dimensions of the encroachments beyond the half-setback line and shall be in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph and paragraph (e) of this Section.

Where the encroachments along a single street frontage are not connected outside the half-setback line, each encroachment shall be measured separately in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (e). However, at any given height, where such non-contiguous encroachments occur, the encroachments shall be examined together, and the length of encroachment (Le) shall be the total of the (Le) for the individual encroachments. (See illustration of Non-contiguous Encroachments)

Zoning Resolutions 81-265.2

NON-CONTIGUOUS ENCROACHMENTS

(81-265d)

(e)        Heights and depths at which formulas are applied

Heights and depths at which the formulas shall be applied are set forth in this paragraph. In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(2) of this Section, the applicant shall demonstrate that there is no height at which the proposed building or enlargement fails to comply with the formulas in paragraph (c) of this Section.

(1)        Standard requirement where length of encroachment is uniform

Where the length of the encroachment (Le) is uniform for the entire height of the encroachment (H) and the entire depth (De) at every height, the length, depth and height rules expressed in the formulas shall be applied only at the height where (De/D) is greatest and at the outermost edge of the encroachment. (See illustration of Uniform Length of Encroachment)

Zoning Resolutions 81-265.3

UNIFORM LENGTH OF ENCROACHMENT

(81-265e1)

(2)        Standard requirement where length of encroachment is not uniform

Where the length of the encroachment (Le) is not uniform, the rules shall be applied at the height level where (De/D) is greatest and also at the height level where the length of encroachment (Le) is greatest. If the greatest length of encroachment is uniform for part of the building's height, the rules shall be applied at the highest level at which such greatest length of encroachment occurs. (See illustrations Where Length of Encroachment Is Not Uniform).

If for a particular height level, the length of the encroachment (Le) varies with the depth of the encroachment (De), the largest (Le) of this encroachment shall be used together with the largest (De) in applying the rules as if the encroachment were of uniform length as provided in paragraph (e)(1) of this Section.

Zoning Resolutions 81-265.4

WHERE LENGTH OF ENCROACHMENT IS NOT UNIFORM

(81-265e2)

(f)        Encroachments by existing buildings

When a zoning lot contains an existing building which encroaches beyond a half-setback line or a ten-foot setback line, an enlargement or development on such zoning lot shall comply with the following provisions:

(1)        Existing buildings below specified heights

(i)        Except as provided in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this Section, an existing building not more than 120 feet in height shall not be considered in applying the length and height rules even though a portion of such building encroaches beyond the half-setback line or ten-foot setback line along a 60 foot wide street and an existing building not more than 150 feet in height shall not be considered in applying the length and height rules even though a portion of such building encroaches beyond the half-setback line or ten-foot setback line along a street 75 or more feet in width.

(ii)        However, the area occupied by the existing building shall be included in the calculation of (Ar/Ae) for the modification of Formula 1 allowed in the case of large areas of compensating recess, as set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this Section.

(2)        Existing buildings above specified heights

Where an existing building more than 120 feet in height encroaches beyond the half-setback line or ten-foot setback line along a 60-foot wide street or where an existing building more than 150 feet in height encroaches beyond the half-setback line or ten-foot setback line along a street 75 or more feet in width, the following provisions, in addition to those of paragraph (d)(3) of Section 81-264 (Encroachments and compensating recesses), shall apply:

(i)        no new construction on the zoning lot shall encroach beyond the half-setback line along any street, and

(ii)        the length and height rules of this Section shall not apply.

In C5-3, C6-6 or C6-7 Districts, where a special permit application is made pursuant to Section 74-71 (Landmark Preservation) for modification of bulk regulations on a zoning lot containing a landmark, or where a special permit application is made pursuant to Section 74-79 for transfer of development rights from a landmark site and the floor area represented by such transferred development rights exceeds 20 percent of the basic maximum floor area permitted on the zoning lot receiving the development rights, such application may include a request for modification of the height and setback regulations set forth in Sections 81-261 to 81-265, inclusive, relating to Height and Setback Regulations - Daylight Compensation. The City Planning Commission may authorize such height and setback modifications subject to the following conditions:

(a)        the applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that a feasible design for the proposed development or enlargement which accommodates the permitted floor area is not possible under the provisions of Sections 81-261 to 81-265, inclusive, and shall further indicate for the proposed design where and to what extent deficiencies of compensating recess are necessary or compliance with the length and height rules is not possible. Scale drawings shall be used in presenting the analyses required herein; and

(b)        the Commission shall make the following findings in addition to any required under the applicable provisions of Section 74-71 or Section 74-79:

(1)        that the requested departure from the height and setback regulations is the minimum amount necessary to achieve a feasible building design;

(2)        that the disadvantages to the surrounding area resulting from reduced light and air access will be more than offset by the advantages of the landmark's preservation to the local community and the City as a whole; and

(3)        that where the landmark is located on the zoning lot proposed for development or enlargement or on a lot contiguous thereto or directly across a street therefrom, the modification of height and setback regulations will adequately protect the setting for the landmark.

81-271

Definitions

Center line of the street (bounding a zoning lot)

A line equidistant from and parallel or nearly parallel to the street lines on both sides of the street. However, for the purposes of daylight evaluation:

(a)        on a street 75 feet in width, the center line of the street shall be considered to be a line 40 feet from, and parallel to, the front lot line of the zoning lot; and

(b)        on a street more than 100 feet in width, the center line of the street shall be considered to be a line 50 feet from, and parallel to, the front lot line of the zoning lot.

Daylight Evaluation Chart (DEC)

A graphic tool which permits objective measurements of portions of sky blocked by a building when it is viewed from a vantage point. There are three daylight evaluation charts for use with street widths of 60 feet, 75 to 80 feet and 100 feet and over, respectively. All buildings are drawn on the appropriate daylight evaluation chart to evaluate their compliance with the regulations of Section 81-27 (Alternate Height and Setback Regulations—Daylight Evaluation). These three daylight evaluation charts are in Appendix B of this Chapter. A fourth chart in Appendix B is available for use with qualifying sites in the East Midtown Subdistrict, as defined in Section 81-613, with frontage along Park Avenue.

Far lot line

A lot line intersecting the street line of the vantage street such that, when viewed from the vantage point, the zoning lot does not contain any lot area that is on the far side of and immediately adjoining the lot line at its intersection with the street line. (See illustration of Far Lot Line and Vantage Point)

Zoning Resolutions 81-271.0

FAR LOT LINE AND VANTAGE POINT

(81-271.1)

 

Near lot line

A lot line, other than the far lot line, which intersects the street line of the vantage street and which defines the extent of the zoning lot's continuous frontage along the vantage street from the far lot line.

 

Profile curve

A curved line on the daylight evaluation chart rising from the intersection of the curved line representing an elevation angle of 72 degrees with the vertical line at the far lot line. The profile curve is used to evaluate a building's obstruction of the sky as seen in profile from the vantage point.

 

Profile encroachment

The space on the daylight evaluation chart which, when viewed from the vantage point, is on the far side of the profile curve and which is blocked by the projection of the building on the daylight evaluation chart. (See illustration of Profile Encroachment)

Zoning Resolutions 81-271.1

PROFILE ENCROACHMENT

(81-271.2)

 

Vantage point

A point on the center line of the street bounding the zoning lot and located 250 feet from the intersection of the extension of the zoning lot's far lot line with the center line of the street. (See illustration of Far Lot Line and Vantage Point)

 

Vantage street

A street bounding the zoning lot and on the center line of which a vantage point is located.

The daylight evaluation chart (DEC) is a graphic representation of a pedestrian's field of view as he or she looks down a street and sweeps his or her view 90 degrees to the left or to the right.

Under special conditions, this view can be extended to 180 degrees horizontally as specified in Section 81-275 (Special conditions).

This pedestrian view is based on a vantage point located 250 feet from the intersection of the zoning lot's far lot line with the center line of the street.

There are three daylight evaluation charts for use with different Midtown street widths. They include a chart for 60-foot wide streets (for most east-west crosstown streets) as well as a chart for 75-foot or 80-foot wide streets and a chart for streets 100 feet or more in width (for avenues and major crosstown streets). All of these charts have the following features:

(a)        Horizontal and vertical axes

The daylight evaluation chart has both a horizontal and vertical component, encompassing views sweeping both 90 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically. (See illustration of Horizontal and Vertical Angles of View)

Under special conditions, this view can be extended to 180 degrees horizontally as specified in Section 81-275.

Zoning Resolutions 81-272.0

HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL ANGLES OF VIEW

(81-272a.1)

The horizontal axis of the daylight evaluation chart is measured in degrees of arc from zero degrees to 90 degrees starting from the vantage point along the center line of the vantage street and sweeping toward the building.

The horizontal axis is intersected by vertical lines corresponding to lines of sight from the vantage point to points 25 feet apart on the front lot line along the vantage street measured from the intersection of the far lot line with the vantage street line.

The vertical axis of the daylight evaluation chart is measured in degrees of arc from zero degrees to 90 degrees starting from the center line of the vantage street at curb level and sweeping upward.

The vertical axis is intersected by curved elevation lines representing elevation angles from the center line of the street at 10 degree intervals from zero degrees to 70 degrees and at two degree intervals from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. (See illustration of Horizontal and Vertical Axes)

Zoning Resolutions 81-272.1

Zoning Resolutions 81-272.2

HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL AXES

(81-272a.2)

(b)        Daylight squares

The horizontal and vertical lines form a curvilinear grid dividing the daylight evaluation chart into areas called daylight squares. Above the 70 degree line, the grid is divided into 100 daylight squares starting from the vertical line rising from the intersection of the far lot line with the street line of the vantage street and ending at the vertical line representing 90 degrees along the horizontal axis. Each of these 100 squares represents 25 feet of lot frontage on the vantage street and two degrees of elevation angle from the center line of the vantage street.

Below 70 degrees, the grid is divided into 70 daylight squares starting from the vertical line rising from the intersection of the far lot line with the street line of the vantage street and ending at the vertical line rising at 90 degrees along the horizontal axis. Each of these 70 squares represents 25 feet of lot frontage on the vantage street and 10 degrees of elevation angle from the center line of the street. (See illustration of Daylight Squares)


Zoning Resolutions 81-272.3

DAYLIGHT SQUARES

(81-272b)

(c)        Daylight subsquares

For greater plotting and scoring precision, the horizontal axis of the grid is further subdivided by vertical lines at points five feet apart on the front lot line as seen from the vantage point. The vertical axis is further subdivided by curved lines representing lines of equal elevation at one degree intervals from 70 degrees to 90 degrees. Therefore, each daylight square is subdivided into 10 subsquares, each representing five feet of lot frontage on the vantage street and one degree of elevation angle from the center line of the vantage street. (See illustration of Daylight Squares and Subsquares Above 70 Degrees)

Zoning Resolutions 81-272.4

DAYLIGHT SQUARES AND SUBSQUARES ABOVE 70 DEGREES

(81-272c)

(d)        The seventy degree line

Research shows that, as an average, 70 degrees is the elevation angle at which buildings in the Special Midtown District are set back from the street line. Most of the daylight below 70 degrees is blocked by such buildings. Slabs, towers or other setback portions of buildings rise to block an average of 25 percent of the available daylight squares above 70 degrees.

In building evaluation, the DEC measures the blocked sky above 70 degrees. Below 70 degrees, buildings are given credit for unblocked daylight.

(e)        The profile curve

The grid is traversed by the profile curve, which rises from the intersection of the curved line representing an elevation angle of 72 degrees with the vertical line at the far lot line. The profile curve is derived from the predominant built character of developed Midtown streets as seen in profile. Encroachment across the profile curve is penalized to discourage canyon-like Midtown streets and to protect neighboring buildings.

Evaluation of a development or enlargement requires drawing the new buildings, remaining buildings and open areas on the zoning lot on the appropriate daylight evaluation chart (DEC), as viewed from each required vantage point and then scoring the zoning lot. The rules for plotting buildings on the DEC are set forth in the following paragraphs of this Section and illustrated by an example of a building which fronts on a 100-foot wide street and occupies a site 170 feet long by 100 feet deep.

(a)        Draw the building

Draw the building in plan showing all street frontages of the zoning lot. Draw the building in section perpendicular to each street on which the zoning lot fronts. On both plan and section drawings label all corners of the building. In the example they are labeled corners (a) through (h). (See illustrations of Example: Building Drawings)

Zoning Resolutions 81-273.0

EXAMPLE: BUILDING DRAWINGS

(81-273a)

(b)        Establish vantage points

Establish on the plan all the vantage points from which views must be taken. Vantage points shall be established on the center line of the vantage street 250 feet from the intersection of the zoning lot's far lot line and the center line of the street. For each vantage street there are at least two vantage points. In the example, they are V1 and V2. For each vantage point there shall be a separate daylight evaluation chart. The example will use vantage point one.

(c)        Record plan and section dimensions

Record on a coordinate chart for each corner of the building the following dimensions:

(1)        Dimensions in plan:

The distance (S) between the corner and the center line of the street as measured along a line that intersects the center line of the street at right angles. In the example, distance (S) of corner (b) + 50 feet.

The distance (D) measured along the center line of the street from the vantage point to the point where the street center line is intersected by the perpendicular line from the corner. In the example, distance (D) of corner (b) + 250 feet.

(2)        Dimension in section:

The height (H) of the corner above curb level. In the example, height (H) of corner (b) + 140 feet.

(d)        Calculate plan and section angles

Determine the plan and section angles for each corner of the building as viewed from the vantage point.

(1)        A plan angle is an angle on the plan formed at the vantage point by the line of sight to a corner of the building and the center line of the vantage street. The plan angle is found by calculating the tangent. The tangent is the quotient found by dividing distance (S) by distance (D). The plan angle for the resulting tangent is found in a tangent table and is then entered on the coordinate chart in the column marked "plan angles."

(2)        The section angle is an angle formed by a line representing the distance in section from a corner of the building to the center line of the vantage street and a line representing the distance in plan (S) between the corner and the center line of the street. The section angle is found by calculating its tangent. The tangent is the quotient obtained by dividing the height of the corner (H) by its horizontal distance (S) from the center line of the street.

The section angle for the resulting tangent is found in a tangent table and is then entered on the coordinate chart in the column market "section angles."

EXAMPLE OF COORDINATE CHARTS

Plan Angles

Point

Distance (S) from Street Center Line (in feet)

Distance (D) from Vantage Point 1 (in feet)

Tangent (S÷D) of Angle

Angle

a

50

80

50/80 = 0.63

32.0o

b

50

250

50/250 = 0.20

11.3o

c

70

80

70/80 = 0.87

41.2o

d

70

250

70/250 = 0.28

15.6o

e

130

80

130/80 = 1.63

58.4o

f

130

250

130/250 = 0.52

27.5o

g

150

80

150/80 = 1.88

61.9o

h

150

250

150/250 = 0.60

31.0o

Section Angles

Point

Height (H) Above Curb Level (in feet)

Distance (S) from Street Center Line (in feet)

Tangent (H÷S) of Angle

Angle

a & b

140

50

140/50 = 2.80

70.3o

c & d

320

70

320/70 = 4.57

77.7o

e & f

320

130

320/130 = 2.46

67.9o

g & h

23

150

23/150 = 0.15

8.7o

(e)        Plot corner coordinates


Plot each corner of the building onto the daylight evaluation chart at the point where the coordinates for that corner intersect. The plan angle coordinates are found on the horizontal axis of the chart and the section angle coordinates are found on the vertical axis. The points plotted are then connected to represent the edges of the building as shown on the plan and section drawings. A connecting line parallel to the vantage street line is drawn as a curve parallel to the closest elevation line. A connecting line perpendicular to the vantage street line is drawn parallel to the closest dotted elevation line, which is perpendicular to the street. A connecting line which is neither parallel nor perpendicular to the vantage street is approximated on the chart by:

(1)        establishing points along the line in plan at 10-foot intervals;

(2)        finding the coordinates of the points and plotting them on the chart; and

(3)        connecting the resulting points.

The connecting lines produce a curvilinear perspective drawing of the building as seen from the vantage point projected onto the daylight evaluation chart. Since in the example vantage point one is on a 100 foot wide street, corner coordinates are plotted on a daylight evaluation chart for 100 foot wide streets. In the example, corner (b) is at the intersection of plan angle 11.3o and section angle 70.3o (See illustration of Building as Drawn on the Daylight Evaluation Chart)

Zoning Resolutions 81-273.1

BUILDING AS DRAWN ON THE DAYLIGHT EVALUATION CHART

(81-273e)

(f)        Determine daylight boundaries

Draw a vertical line on the chart rising from the intersection of the near lot line of the zoning lot with the center line of the block or with a line 100 feet distant from and parallel to the front lot line on the vantage street, whichever line is closer to the vantage street. This line and the far lot line represent the boundaries of the potential sky area that the building could block. (See illustration of Building as Drawn on the Daylight Evaluation Chart)

A zoning lot is scored by determining the number and the value of the daylight squares the building blocks when viewed from the vantage point, compared to the total number of daylight squares available within the daylight boundaries as determined in paragraph (f) of Section 81-273 (Rules for plotting buildings on the daylight evaluation chart) and above an elevation angle of 70 degrees.

(a)        Assign daylight values

The daylight squares on the daylight evaluation chart are each assigned a value.

(1)        Except along vantage streets designated for street wall continuity (see Section 81-43), each unblocked daylight square below the curved line representing an elevation of 70 degrees has a positive value of 0.3 and each unblocked subsquare below the same curved line has a positive value of 0.03.

(2)        Each blocked daylight square above the curved line representing an elevation of 70 degrees has a negative value of 1.0.

(3)        Where a building blocks any portion of a subsquare the building is charged with blocking the entire subsquare in computing the daylight evaluation score. Each blocked subsquare has a negative value of 1.0/10 or 0.1.

(4)        The daylight squares and subsquares which are on the far side of the profile curve are assigned additional weighted values set forth on the chart below. (See illustration of Profile Encroachment Incurring Profile Penalty)

Degrees of Elevation

Distance from Far Lot Line

1st 25ft

2nd 25ft

3rd 25ft

4th 25ft

5th 25ft

6th 25ft

7th 25ft

8th 25ft

88 to 90

8.5

8.0

7.5

7.0

6.5

6.0

5.5

5.0

86 to 88

7.5

7.0

6.5

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0

84 to 86

6.5

6.0

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0

3.5

-

82 to 84

5.5

5.0

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

2.5

-

80 to 82

4.5

4.0

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

-

78 to 80

3.5

3.0

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

-

-

76 to 78

2.5

2.0

1.5

1.0

.5

-

-

-

74 to 76

1.5

1.0

.5

.5

-

-

-

-

72 to 74

.5

.5

.5

-

-

-

-

-

Zoning Resolutions 81-274.0

PROFILE ENCROACHMENT INCURRING PROFILE PENALTY

(81-274a)

(5)        If the building encroaches beyond the profile curve, the entire subsquare in which the encroachment is located is given an additional weighted value. The total penalty is the additional weighted value of the daylight square multiplied by the negative value of the subsquare. The penalty is applied even if the subsquare does not lie entirely beyond the curve.

(b)        Calculate daylight blockage

Count the number of blocked daylight squares and subsquares which are above the curved line representing an elevation of 70 degrees. A negative sign is to be given to this number. Total value of daylight blockage in the example is -20.5.

(c)        Calculate unblocked daylight credit

Count the number of unblocked daylight squares which are below the curved line representing an elevation of 70 degrees and within the area defined by the intersection of the far lot line with the vantage street line and the intersection of the near lot line with the vantage street line. The total is given a positive value and multiplied by 0.3, the value of these daylight squares. This provision is not applicable where the vantage street is a designated street on which street wall continuity is required by the provisions of Section 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets). In the example, the number and value of squares unblocked below 70 degrees = +0.0.

(d)        Calculate profile daylight blockage

Count the number of blocked daylight squares which are entirely on the far side of the profile curve when viewed from the vantage point and the number of blocked or partially blocked subsquares which are on the far side of the profile curve. All of these daylight squares and subsquares are given a negative sign, multiplied by their respective weighted values in the table in paragraph (a)(4) of this Section and the products added. Subsquares are counted as one tenth of a daylight square. In the example, the total value of profile daylight blockage = -0.45.

(e)        Calculate available daylight

Count the number of daylight squares available to the site. This is the total number of daylight squares and subsquares, calculated to the nearest tenth, that are above the curved line representing the boundaries of the potential sky area available to the site, said boundaries being delineated in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (f) of Section 81-273 (Rules for plotting buildings on the daylight evaluation chart). Available daylight in the example is 89.9.

(f)        Calculate daylight remaining

Calculate the remaining or unblocked daylight by adding the results of paragraphs (b) through (e) of this Section. Daylight remaining in the example is (-20.5) + (0.0) + (-0.45) + (89.9) = 68.95.

(g)        Calculate daylight score

Compute the remaining daylight score from paragraph (f) of this Section, as a percentage of the available daylight from paragraph (e) of this Section. The percentage is the daylight score for the proposed building from that vantage point. In the example, the daylight score is 68.95/89.9 = 76.70 percent for vantage point one (V1).

(h)        Calculate overall daylight score

(1)        The street score is the arithmetic mean of all the scores from all vantage points along a vantage street. When a zoning lot fronts on only one street, the street score is also the overall score. Where a zoning lot has more than one street frontage along any one vantage street, the street score is the average of all those individual street frontage scores computed pursuant to paragraph (b) of Section 81-275 (Special conditions), weighted by the lengths of all those street frontages.

(2)        Where a zoning lot fronts on more than one street, the overall score is the average of the street scores, weighted by the length of their respective vantage street frontages.

(i)        The passing score

To be in compliance with these regulations, a zoning lot must have an overall score of not less than 75 percent, with no single street frontage having a street score of less than 66 percent. If a zoning lot fronts only on one street, a daylight evaluation score of not less than 75 percent is required for that street frontage. If a street score is less than 66 percent, or if the overall daylight score is less than the passing score of 75 percent, a modest improvement in either the street score or the overall score may be obtained by scoring the relative reflectivity of the building's surface, as specified in Section 81-276 (Modification of score for reflectivity). The passing daylight score of 75 percent is equivalent to the average daylight levels of Midtown buildings built as-of-right under the 1916 and 1961 Zoning Resolutions. The minimum requirement of 66 percent on one frontage is equivalent to the daylight level of any interior lot building built in Midtown under the 1916 Zoning Resolution in a two-times height district. However, if any one frontage is less than 75 percent, other frontages must be greater than 75 percent to reach the passing overall daylight score. This allows flexibility in building design while maintaining daylight standards within the levels established by buildings built as-of-right under the 1916 and 1961 Zoning Resolutions. (See illustration of Daylight Evaluation Score Results)

Zoning Resolutions 81-274.1

DAYLIGHT EVALUATION SCORE RESULTS

(81-274i)

Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 81-271 to 81-274, inclusive, relating to Alternate Height and Setback Regulations-Daylight Evaluation, the provisions of this Section shall apply under special conditions, as follows:

(a)        For zoning lots with street frontages exceeding 250 feet

(1)        Where the length of the street frontage is more than 250 feet but not more than 500 feet, the building as viewed from each vantage point shall be plotted on a daylight evaluation chart that extends in both directions from the 90 degree line on the horizontal axis. In each case, the number of available daylight squares for daylight evaluation shall be the number of squares between the far lot line and the near lot line.

(2)        Where the length of the street frontage is more than 500 feet, daylight evaluations shall be made from three vantage points, as follows: vantage points one and two, each 250 feet distant from a far lot line extended to the center line of the street, and vantage point three, on the center line of the street, half-way between the other two vantage points. The daylight evaluation charts for the first two vantage points shall in each case encompass a view extending from the far lot line to the 90 degree line on the horizontal axis and the number of available daylight squares shall be the number of squares between the far lot line and the 90 degree line and above the curved line representing an elevation angle of 70 degrees. The daylight evaluation chart for the third vantage point shall extend in both directions from the 90 degree line on the horizontal axis to the vertical lines representing the points on the front lot line directly opposite vantage points one and two. The number of available daylight squares for daylight evaluation shall be the number of daylight squares between such vertical lines and above the curved line representing an elevation angle of 70 degrees.

(b)        For zoning lots with interrupted street frontages

Where a zoning lot has two or more front lot lines on the same street which are separated by frontage of an intervening zoning lot, there shall be two daylight evaluations for each such front lot line. Each lot line of the zoning lot that intersects the street line shall be treated as a far lot line for the purposes of daylight evaluation from a vantage point.

(c)        Where front lot lines are curved or broken

If the front lot line of the zoning lot is curved or bent, the extremities of such front lot line shall be connected by a straight line, which shall be considered the front lot line.

Where zoning lots have utilized the daylight evaluation chart but a street score along one frontage is less than 66 percent or the overall score is less than 75 percent, a modest improvement in either the street score or the overall score of a zoning lot within a building which reflects more light than a medium gray or glass building may be obtained by scoring the relative reflectivity of the building's surface.

The use of reflectivity is optional and not necessary if a passing score can be obtained under Section 81-274 (Rules for determining the daylight evaluation score). Reflectivity scoring permits greater design flexibility for a light-colored building than a dark one.

Because the greatest reflectivity comes from the upper portions of buildings, the value of reflected light is credited against the amount of daylight blocked by the portions of the building above an elevation angle of 70 degrees from the center line of the street.

Reflectivity has two components: the reflectance of the surface material and the orientation of the material to the sun.

(a)        Reflectance

Reflectance values of materials will be determined by the Department of Buildings after the submission of samples of proposed surface materials by the applicant.

(1)        Mixed reflectance

A building of several surface materials will have a reflectance value determined by multiplying each material's reflectance value by its percentage of the total wall surface and adding the products. For example, a building that is 60 percent limestone and 40 percent clear glass would have a reflectance of .60 x .45 (the reflectance of limestone) plus .40 x .15 (the reflectance of clear glass) or an overall reflectance of .33.

(2)        Relative reflectance

In order to be included in the reflectivity score of a zoning lot, the material of the building must reflect more light than a medium gray or glass building. The reflectance value of a medium gray or glass building in Midtown is .15 so that the building with an overall reflectance of .33, given in the example in paragraph (a)(1) of this Section, would be increasing the expected reflectance by .33 minus .15 which equals .18.

Examples of potential reflectance values for different types of surface finishes are shown on the following chart.

REFLECTANCE VALUES - EXAMPLES OF BUILDING MATERIALS

White plaster or paint or glaze

.80 to .90

Aluminum paint

.55

Green paint

.50

Red paint

.26

Light gray paint

.25

Flat black paint

.06

Polished aluminum, stainless steel

.85

Polished light marble

.40 to .50

Light granite, limestone

.45

Copper, brass lead

.60 to .80

Smooth concrete

.45+

Rough concrete

.40

Asbestos cement

.31

Light buff brick

.48

Dark buff brick

.40

Light red brick

.45

Dark red glazed brick

.30

Dark red brick

.12

Slate

.11

Wood

.22+

Glass: double glazing with reflective coating*

Solarcool(r) bronze or gray

.35 to .36

Solarban(r) clear

.36 to .44

Solarban(r) bronze

.18

Solarban(r) gray

.14

Glass: tinted double glazing

Gray

.08

Bronze

.09

Solex(r) (green or blue)

.12

Glass: clear double glazing

.15

Glass: clear single glazing

.08

     

______

*        Reflectance varies according to which layer the reflective coating is placed on, but can be precisely determined for each position

Sources:

Anderson, Bruce. Solar Energy: Fundamentals in Building Design. (McGraw Hill, New York 1977).

Callendar, John Hancock. Time Saver Standards: A Handbook of Architectural Design. (McGraw Hill, New York, 4th Edition, 1964).

PPG Industries, Inc., Architectural Glass Products (G702). PPG, Pittsburgh, PA., 1977.

(b)        Facade orientation

Orientation of the facade of the building is the second component required for measurement of reflectivity. Because reflectivity varies according to the orientation of the facade, the orientation value for a particular surface from the chart below is multiplied by the reflectance of the surface to ascertain the amount of daylight reflectivity.

The orientation values are shown on the following reflectivity chart. Orientation angles shall be rounded to the nearest 22.5 degrees.

Orientation based on True North

Orientation Value

North:

0o

.09

22.5o

.15

45.0o

.22

67.5o

.40

East:

90.0o

.57

112.5o

.72

135.0o

.87

157.5o

.93

South:

180.0o

1.00

157.5o

.93

135.0o

.87

112.5o

.72

West:

90.0o

.57

67.5o

.40

45.0o

.22

22.5o

.15

(c)        Reflectivity Score

In order to obtain the reflectivity score for each view of the building, first count the daylight squares and subsquares which are blocked by the building on the daylight evaluation chart above an elevation angle of 70 degrees. This number shall be calculated separately for every orientation of each facade and multiplied by the relative reflectance of that portion of the building and the orientation value.

Reflectance = (% material A x reflectance material A) + (% material B x reflectance material B)

Relative reflectance (RR) = reflectance minus .15

Reflectivity score = RR x facade orientation value x daylight squares blocked above 70o.


The reflectivity scores for the several orientations are then added together to give the reflectivity score for that view of the building as a whole from the vantage point represented on the daylight evaluation chart.

The reflectivity score is added to the daylight remaining after accounting for daylight blockage as calculated in paragraph (f) of Section 81-274

The sum is then calculated as a percentage of the available daylight squares calculated in paragraph (e) of Section 81-274 to give the adjusted daylight score for the zoning lot from the vantage point represented on the daylight evaluation chart.

The adjusted street score along a particular vantage street is obtained by calculating the mean average of the adjusted daylight scores from all vantage points along the vantage street.

The adjusted overall score for the zoning lot is obtained by calculating the average of the adjusted street scores weighted by the lengths of their respective vantage street frontages.

(d)        Limits on adjusted scores

(1)        Adjusted street score

The adjusted street score shall not be more than six percentage points higher than the street score not adjusted for reflectivity.

If reflectivity scoring is used to bring the adjusted overall score for the zoning lot above 75 percent (the passing overall score), the street score for each street frontage without adjustment for reflectivity shall be not less than 66 percent.

(2)        Adjusted overall score

The adjusted overall score shall not be more than six percentage points higher than the overall score not adjusted for reflectivity.

If the reflectivity scores for any single street frontage are used to bring the adjusted street score for that frontage above 66 percent (the passing score for a single street frontage), the overall score of the zoning lot without adjustment for reflectivity shall be not less than 75 percent.

In C5-3, C6-6 or C6-7 Districts, where a special permit application is made pursuant to Section 74-71 (Landmark Preservation) for modification of bulk regulations on a zoning lot containing a landmark, or where a special permit application is made pursuant to Section 74-79 (Transfer of Development Rights From Landmark Sites) and the floor area represented by such transferred development rights exceeds 20 percent of the basic maximum floor area permitted on the zoning lot receiving the development rights, such application may include a request for modification of the height and setback regulations set forth in Sections 81-261 to 81-275, inclusive, relating to Alternate Height and Setback Regulations - Daylight Evaluation. The City Planning Commission may authorize such height and setback modifications subject to the following conditions:

(a)        The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that a feasible design for the proposed development or enlargement which accommodates the permitted floor area is not possible under the provisions of Sections 81-271 to 81-276, inclusive, and shall further present for the proposed design a complete daylight evaluation with an explanation of street score or overall daylight score deficiencies.

(b)        The Commission shall make the following findings in addition to any required under the applicable provisions of Sections 74-71 or 74-79:

(1)        that the requested departure from the alternate height and setback regulations is the minimum amount necessary to achieve a feasible building design;

(2)        that the disadvantages to the surrounding area resulting from reduced light and air access will be more than offset by the advantages of the landmark's preservation to the local community and the City as a whole; and

(3)        that where the landmark is located on the zoning lot proposed for development or enlargement or on a lot contiguous thereto or directly across a street therefrom, the modification of the alternate height and setback regulations will adequately protect the setting for the landmark.

On any single zoning lot within the Special Midtown District, if two or more buildings or portions of buildings are detached from one another at any level, such buildings or portions of buildings shall at no point be less than eight feet apart.

The City Planning Commission may grant special permits authorizing, for non-residential or mixed buildings, floor area bonuses in accordance with the provisions of this Section.

Except in the Preservation Subdistrict and except for zoning lots wholly within the Theater Subdistrict Core, as defined in Section 81-71 (General Provisions), the City Planning Commission may grant special permits for floor area bonuses for non-residential or mixed buildings, in accordance with the provisions of Section 74-634 (Subway station improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and in Commercial Districts of 10 FAR and above in Manhattan).

The subway stations where such improvements are permitted are listed in the following table and shown on Map 3 (Subway Station and Rail Mass Transit Facility Improvement Areas) in Appendix A of this Chapter.

MIDTOWN SUBWAY STATIONS

Station

Line

34th Street-Penn Station

Broadway-7th Avenue

34th Street-Penn Station

8th Avenue

34th Street-Herald Square

6th Avenue/Broadway-60th Street

42nd Street-Times Square/42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal

Broadway-7th Ave/Broadway/8th Ave/42nd Street Shuttle

42nd Street-Bryant Park/Fifth Avenue

6th Avenue/Flushing

42nd Street-Grand Central

Lexington Avenue/Flushing/42nd Street Shuttle

47th-50th Street-Rockefeller Center

6th Avenue

49th Street

Broadway-60th Street

50th Street

8th Avenue

50th Street

Broadway-7th Avenue

7th Avenue

53rd Street

Fifth Avenue-53rd Street

53rd Street

51st Street/Lexington Avenue-53rd Street

53rd Street/Lexington Avenue

57th Street

Broadway-60th Street

57th Street

6th Avenue

59th Street-Columbus Circle

Broadway-7th Avenue/8th Avenue

The regulations of Article I, Chapter 3 (Comprehensive Off-street Parking and Loading Regulations in the Manhattan Core), and the applicable underlying district regulations of Article III, Chapter 6, or Article IV, Chapter 4, relating to Off-street Loading Regulations, shall apply throughout the Special Midtown District, except as otherwise provided in this Section.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article I, Chapter 3, prohibitions of off-street parking facilities or accessory off-street loading berths or restrictions as to their location or access, as provided in Sections 81-44 (Curb Cut Restrictions) or 81-84 (Mandatory Regulations and Prohibitions), may be waived only in accordance with the applicable provisions of Sections 81-44 or 81-84.

The provisions of Section 81-40 (MANDATORY DISTRICT PLAN ELEMENTS) specify mandatory planning and urban design features. Requirements which apply generally or with minor specified exceptions throughout the Special Midtown District are fully set forth in the provisions of Section 81-40. For requirements which are not generally applicable but tied to specific locations within the District, the locations where these requirements apply are shown on Map 3 (Retail and Street Wall Continuity) or Map 4 (Subway Station and Rail Mass Transit Facility Improvement Areas) in Appendix A of this Chapter.

The provisions of Section 81-40 are all primarily oriented toward the accommodation and well-being of pedestrians. The requirements pertain to a number of elements which are interrelated and complement one another but are set forth in different sections because they can be treated separately. Sections 81-42 (Retail Continuity Along Designated Streets), 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets) and 81-44 (Curb Cut Restrictions) are a group of sections with closely related purposes concerned with amenity and the well-being and safety of pedestrians. Sections 81-45 to 81-48, inclusive, are all concerned primarily with pedestrian traffic circulation. Major building entrances are focal points of heavy pedestrian traffic, so that controls on the locations of these entrances, as set forth in Section 81-48, are closely related to the pedestrian circulation space requirements.

Special district plan requirements for the Penn Center Subdistrict are set forth in Section 81-50, for the East Midtown Subdistrict are set forth in Section 81-60, for the Theater Subdistrict are set forth in Section 81-70, for the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict are set forth in Section 81-80 and for the Preservation Subdistrict are set forth in Section 81-90.

Owners of property on which pedestrian circulation spaces are provided shall be responsible for their maintenance unless, in the case of relocated subway stairs, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has agreed in writing to such maintenance responsibility.

Directional signs are required to call attention to relocated subway stairs and through block connections and announce their accessibility to the public.

For buildings developed or enlarged after May 13, 1982, where the ground floor level of such development or enlarged portion of the building fronts upon a designated retail street (see Appendix A, Map 3), uses within stories on the ground floor or with a floor level within five feet of curb level shall be limited to retail, personal service or amusement uses permitted by the underlying zoning district regulations but not including uses in Use Groups 6B, 6E, 7C, 7D, 8C, 8D, 9B, 10B, 11 and 12D or automobile showrooms or plumbing, heating or ventilating equipment showrooms. Museums and libraries shall be permitted. A building's street frontage shall be allocated exclusively to such uses, except for:

(a)        lobby space or entrance space;

(b)        entrance areas to subway station improvements for which bonus floor area is granted and street wall continuity restrictions waived pursuant to Sections 74-634 (Subway station improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and in Commercial Districts of 10 FAR and above in Manhattan) and 81-292 (Subway station improvements);

(c)        one or more of the following pedestrian circulation spaces subject to the street wall continuity requirements of Section 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets):

(1)        relocated subway stairs provided in accordance with Sections 37-40 and 81-46 (Off-street Relocation or Renovation of a Subway Stair);

(2)        through block connections provided in accordance with paragraph (h) of Section 37-53 (Design Standards for Pedestrian Circulation Spaces); and

(3)        off-street improvements of access to rail mass transit facilities provided in accordance with Section 81-48 (Off-street Improvement of Access to Rail Mass Transit Facility).

Except as provided in the following sentence, in no event shall the length of street frontage occupied by lobby space, entrance space and/or a building entrance recess exceed the lesser of 40 feet or 25 percent of the building's total street frontage exclusive of any frontage occupied by a relocated subway stair, a through block connection, an off-street improvement of access to rail mass transit facility or the entrance area to a bonused subway station improvement. However, the total length of street frontage occupied by lobby space and/or entrance space need not be less than 20 feet.

Storefronts for the permitted ground floor uses shall be not more than 10 feet from the street line or, where an arcade is provided with supporting columns at the street line, not more than 10 feet from the supporting columns.

Access to each retail, personal service or amusement establishment required under this Section shall be provided directly from the designated retail street. Where more than one entrance is provided to the establishment, direct access from the designated retail street shall be provided via the entrance with the greatest aggregate clear opening width. At least 50 percent of the street wall surface of each required establishment shall be glazed with clear untinted transparent material and not more than 50 percent of such transparent surface shall be painted or obstructed with signs. For the purpose of this glazing requirement, the establishment's street wall surface shall be measured from the floor to the height of the ceiling or 14 feet above grade, whichever is less.

Special use regulations apply along designated retail streets located within the boundaries of the Penn Center Subdistrict, the East Midtown Subdistrict, the Theater Subdistrict or the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict and uses along such designated streets shall be subject to the respective subdistrict retail requirements in Sections 81-531, 81-674, 81-72 and 81-82.

Special ground level and entertainment-related use regulations apply to zoning lots located within the Theater Subdistrict Core, as defined in Section 81-71 (General Provisions), and such zoning lots shall meet the ground level and entertainment-related use requirements of Section 81-72 (Use Regulations Modified).

On designated streets where street wall continuity is required (see Map 2 in Appendix A) and, between 43rd and 50th Streets, on the narrow street frontages of zoning lots with street frontage on Seventh Avenue and/or Broadway, the street wall of a building, for the minimum width and height set forth in this Section, shall be within 10 feet of the street line or within 10 feet of a permitted arcade’s supporting columns at the street line, except that on 57th Street, 42nd Street, 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, no street wall setback below a height of 85 feet is permitted. The width of the street wall subject to setback restrictions shall be at least 80 percent of the length of the front lot line of the zoning lot along the specified street, measured at the specific heights or anywhere above the specific heights indicated in the table in this Section. At those specific heights or anywhere above those specific heights, the street wall must extend continuously within 10 feet of the street line for all of its required width, except that on 57th Street, 42nd Street, 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, at a height of 85 feet or above, the street wall must extend continuously without setback for at least 75 percent of its required width and no portion of its required width shall be set back more than 10 feet from the street line; and, for zoning lots between 43rd and 50th Streets with street frontage on Seventh Avenue and/or Broadway, any portion of the required width of a street wall which lies behind a sign required under the provisions of Section 81-732 (Special Times Square signage requirements) may be set back up to 15 feet from the street line.

The minimum height of a street wall subject to the setback restrictions shall be as follows:

Length of
Zoning Lot Frontage

Minimum Height of
a Street Wall Subject to
the Setback Restrictions

For zoning lots with frontages of 50 feet or less on the designated street

Four stories or 50 feet above curb level, whichever is less

For zoning lots with frontages of more than 50 feet on the designated street

Six stories or 85 feet above curb level, whichever is less

Developments, which are in their entirety no more than two stories in height, shall be exempt from the minimum street wall height requirements set forth in the table in this Section, except that, subsequent to the issuance of a building permit for such development, if there are additional developments on the zoning lot or if any building on the zoning lot is enlarged, the development exempt from the requirements set forth in the table in this Section, shall no longer be exempt from such requirements and its street walls shall be raised to a height complying with the table.

Existing buildings need not comply with the minimum street wall height and location provisions of this Section. Such buildings shall be included in the calculation of the required percentage of street wall width and height along a street frontage. No existing building shall be altered such that a non-compliance with the provisions of this Section is created, nor shall an existing degree of non-compliance with these provisions be increased.

Zoning Resolutions <a class='sec-link-inline' target='_blank' href='/article-viii/chapter-1#81-43'>81-43</a>.0

STREET WALL REQUIREMENT WITH EXISTING BUILDING

(81-43)

Pedestrian circulation spaces may be provided to meet the requirements of Sections 81-45 (Pedestrian Circulation Space), 81-46 (Off-street Relocation or Renovation of a Subway Stair) or 81-48 (Off-street Improvement of Access to Rail Mass Transit Facility), subject to the setback restrictions of this Section and to the minimum width of the street wall subject to such setback restrictions. However, the City Planning Commission may waive such restrictions for a subway entrance area which is part of a subway station or a rail mass transit facility improvement for which bonus floor area is granted, in accordance with the provisions of Sections 74-634 (Subway station improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and Commercial Districts of 10 FAR and above in Manhattan), 81-292 (Subway station improvements) and 81-542 (Retention of floor area bonus for plazas or other public spaces), or an off-street improvement of access to a rail mass transit facility that has been certified in accordance with Section 81-48.

Except on 57th Street, 42nd Street, 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, below the minimum height of a street wall subject to the setback restriction, recesses (whose depth shall be measured in all cases from the street line) shall be permitted only as follows: no recesses greater than 15 feet deep shall be permitted, recesses up to 15 feet deep shall be limited in their aggregate area to no more than 30 percent of the area of the new street wall below the minimum required street wall height; in addition, recesses up to 12 feet deep shall be limited in their aggregate area to no more than 20 percent of the area of the street wall below the minimum required street wall height, and recesses up to 10 feet deep shall not be limited in their aggregate area.

On 57th Street, 42nd Street, 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, below the minimum height of a street wall subject to the setback restriction, recesses (whose depth shall be measured in all cases from the street line) shall be permitted only as follows: no recesses greater than 10 feet deep shall be permitted; recesses up to 10 feet deep shall be limited in their aggregate area to no more than 30 percent of the area of the street wall below the minimum required street wall height; in addition, recesses up to two feet deep shall be limited in their aggregate area to no more than 20 percent of the area of the street wall below the minimum required street wall height and recesses up to one foot deep shall not be limited in their aggregate area.

The restrictions on recesses shall not apply to arcades, corner arcades, subway stairs relocated within the building, through block connections within the building or building entrance recess areas within the building, where such spaces are provided in accordance with the requirements and design standards of Sections 81-45 or 81-46 and provided that such spaces shall be subject to a maximum height limit of 30 feet. Any recesses in the residential portion of a building shall comply with the outer court regulations of Section 23-84.

No arcades, sidewalk widenings or public plazas shall be permitted on Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, 42nd Street or 57th Street frontages. Between 42nd and 56th Streets, no arcades or public plazas shall be permitted on Eighth Avenue. Between 43rd and 50th Streets, no arcades or public plazas shall be permitted on Seventh Avenue or Broadway and, with the exception of marquees and signs, any area between the Seventh Avenue or Broadway street line and any required street wall below the height of the first required setback, including permitted recesses, shall be open from curb level to the sky in its entirety. Any such area shall be at the same elevation as the adjoining sidewalk, directly accessible to the public at all times and free of all obstructions at ground level, including street trees. On the remaining streets designated for street wall continuity, arcades, if provided, shall be not less than 10 feet in depth and not more than 30 feet high. Arcades shall not be counted toward the recess allowances.

For zoning lots between 43rd and 50th Streets with street frontage on Seventh Avenue and/or Broadway, the minimum and maximum heights of street walls subject to the setback restrictions on all street frontages shall be in accordance with Section 81-75 (Special Street Wall and Setback Requirements).

For zoning lots located wholly or partially within the Eighth Avenue Corridor, the minimum and maximum heights of street walls subject to the setback restrictions on all street frontages shall be in accordance with Section 81-75.

On Fifth Avenue, the minimum required street wall height without setback shall be 85 feet and the maximum allowable street wall height without setback shall be 125 feet. Above the maximum street wall height, a setback of at least 10 feet shall be required, pursuant to the provisions of Section 81-83.

Along all avenues in Midtown and along 57th, 53rd, 42nd and 34th Streets, no driveway curb cuts for parking facilities or loading berths shall be permitted except for the following:

(a)        the Commissioner of Buildings may approve a curb cut where there are no alternative means of access to off-street loading berths from other streets bounding the zoning lot; or

(b)        the City Planning Commission may authorize curb cuts where such curb cuts are needed for required loading berths. Such loading berths must be adjacent to a fully enclosed maneuvering area on the zoning lot at least equal in area to the area of the required loading berth and arranged so as to permit head-in and head-out truck movements to and from the zoning lot. The City Planning Commission will refer such applications to the Department of Transportation for their comment.

In addition, for zoning lots with frontage along such avenues and streets in Midtown where curb cuts are prohibited, the Commissioner of Buildings may waive required off-street loading berths pursuant to the provisions set forth in Section 13-35 (Modification of Loading Berth Requirements).

Where a curb cut is permitted as indicated in this Section, the maximum width of such curb cut shall be 15 feet for one-way traffic and 25 feet for two-way traffic. These curb cut requirements shall be in addition to any other applicable City rules or regulations concerning driveway curb cuts.

The above exceptions do not apply to Fifth Avenue, or between 43rd and 50th Streets, to Seventh Avenue or Broadway and no curb cuts shall be permitted in these cases. Between 43rd and 50th Streets, access to accessory off-street loading berths or off-street parking facilities shall not be permitted on Seventh Avenue or Broadway or, except where the length of a narrow street block frontage between the street lines of Seventh Avenue and Broadway exceeds 75 feet but is less than 125 feet, within 50 feet of the Seventh Avenue or Broadway street line. Interior lots between 43rd and 50th Streets with a street frontage only on Seventh Avenue or Broadway shall not contain loading berths.

Within the Special Midtown District, all developments or enlargements constructed after May 13, 1982, on zoning lots of 5,000 square feet or larger with more than 70,000 square feet of new floor area, shall provide pedestrian circulation space on such zoning lot in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-50, as modified by the provisions of this Section.

The requirements for pedestrian circulation space may be met by providing one or more of the following types of spaces: arcade, building entrance recess area, corner arcade, corner circulation space, relocation or renovation of a subway stair, sidewalk widening, subway station improvement, through block connection or public plaza.

In addition to the types of pedestrian circulation spaces listed in Section 37-50, the following may be counted toward meeting the minimum pedestrian circulation space requirement:

(a)        up to a maximum of 3,000 square feet of an access improvement to rail mass transit provided pursuant to Section 81-48 (Off-Street Improvement of Access to Rail Mass Transit Facility);

(b)        within the Theater Subdistrict, theater waiting space provided pursuant to Section 81-451 (Theater waiting space).

However, pedestrian circulation space shall not be required if any of the following conditions exist:

(1)        the zoning lot is entirely occupied by a building of no more than one story in height;

(2)        the zoning lot is an interior lot fronting on a wide street with less than 80 feet of street frontage;

(3)        the zoning lot is an interior or through lot fronting only on a street or streets where arcades, sidewalk widenings or public plazas are prohibited;

(4)        the zoning lot is an interior lot fronting on either 34th Street, 42nd Street, 57th Street or Fifth Avenue, with another interior frontage of lesser length on any other street; or

(5)        the zoning lot is a through lot with both street frontages less than 25 feet in length.

Developments or enlargements on a zoning lot having a full block frontage on a wide street other than Fifth Avenue, 34th Street, 42nd Street or 57th Street shall provide a minimum of 50 percent of their required pedestrian circulation space on that street. In the case of a zoning lot having two full block frontages on wide streets, this minimum amount may be allocated on either one or both wide streets; where each street bounding a zoning lot with at least one full block frontage is a wide street, the minimum amount may be allowed on one or more of those wide streets.

Where pedestrian circulation space is provided along Seventh Avenue or Broadway between 43rd and 50th Streets, signs and marquees shall be permitted as exceptions to the requirements relating to permitted obstructions in Section 37-50.

Special dimensional requirements for arcades and sidewalk widenings along designated streets are set forth in Section 37-53 (Design Standards for Pedestrian Circulation Spaces). Where a new building or enlarged portion of an existing building provides an arcade, no obstructions, including columns, shall be permitted within such arcade, and the maximum height of such arcade shall be 20 feet and the maximum width shall be 10 feet. Arcades or sidewalk widenings shall not be permitted on 34th Street, 42nd Street, 57th Street or Fifth Avenue frontages or on any street frontage within the Preservation Subdistrict. Between 43rd and 50th Streets, no arcades shall be permitted parallel to and along Seventh Avenue or Broadway.

Theater waiting space shall be an unobstructed area providing outdoor waiting space for a theater audience, located immediately adjacent to the sidewalk and to a theater listed in Section 81-742 (Listed theaters) or a new theater designed and intended to show live theatrical performances. Theater waiting space may be located on the same zoning lot occupied by a theater or a zoning lot immediately adjacent to a theater, and shall meet the following requirements:

(a)        such space shall adjoin and open onto a sidewalk or sidewalk widening for its entire length and shall have a minimum length of 30 feet measured parallel to the street line and a minimum clear depth of 10 feet measured perpendicular to the street line exclusive of any columns. Its level shall be entirely the same as that of the adjoining sidewalk. When located under an overhanging portion of a building or other structure, it shall have a minimum clear height of 15 feet and be free of any obstructions except for building columns;

(b)        such space shall provide direct access to a building's entrance or the theater's lobby. Where the theater and the theater waiting space are on separate zoning lots, a plaque shall be provided within the theater waiting space adjacent to the theater stating that the space is available as a waiting area for the theater audience. Such plaque shall be placed between four feet and six feet above curb level, and shall be visible from the sidewalk;

(c)        such space shall not adjoin a driveway or an off-street loading berth; and

(d)        the entire theater waiting space shall be illuminated with a minimum level of not less than eight horizontal foot-candles (lumens per foot).

The theater waiting space may overlap with an arcade, a building entrance recess area, a corner arcade, a corner circulation space or a sidewalk widening. However, the area of overlap may only be counted once toward the fulfillment of the required minimum area of pedestrian circulation space.

Where a development or enlargement is constructed on a zoning lot that contains at least 5,000 square feet of lot area and fronts on a sidewalk containing a stairway entrance or entrances into a subway station, the existing entrance or entrances shall be relocated from the street onto the zoning lot. The new entrance or entrances shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-40 (OFF-STREET RELOCATION OR RENOVATION OF A SUBWAY STAIR). A relocated or renovated subway stair may be counted as pedestrian circulation space in accordance with the provisions of Section 37-50.

The subway stations where such improvements are required are listed in the following table and shown on Map 3 (Subway Station and Rail Mass Transit Facility Improvement Areas) in Appendix A.

Station

Line

34th Street-Penn Station

Broadway-7th Avenue

34th Street-Penn Station

8th Avenue