Chapter 5 - Special United Nations Development District (U)

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

The "Special United Nations Development District" established in this Resolution is designed to promote and protect public health, safety, general welfare and amenity. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:

(a)        to preserve, protect and promote the character of the Special United Nations Development District adjacent to the headquarters of the United Nations, an attraction which helps the City of New York to maintain its preeminent status as a center for international organizations, as an office headquarters center and a cosmopolitan residential community;

(b)        to facilitate the continued growth of the programs and activities of the United Nations and to help assure the retention of the United Nations headquarters in the City of New York;

(c)        to encourage the provision of suitable office facilities for the United Nations, missions of member nations of the United Nations, and for non-governmental organizations related to the United Nations, in an attractive environment within a reasonable distance of the United Nations;

(d)        to encourage the provision of housing suitable for personnel of delegations and members of the United Nations staff within a reasonable distance of the United Nations;

(e)        to encourage the provision of hotel accommodations in the immediate vicinity of the United Nations suitable for visiting heads of state and other dignitaries attending the United Nations;

(f)        to encourage the provision of community facilities, meeting rooms, and other facilities suitable for United Nations-related uses and purposes;

(g)        to alleviate vehicular and pedestrian traffic congestion in the vicinity of the United Nations;

(h)        to promote coordinated redevelopment of the area contiguous to the United Nations in a manner consistent with the foregoing objectives which are an integral element of the comprehensive plan of the City of New York;

(i)        to provide freedom of architectural design in accommodating facilities for the United Nations and supporting activities within multi-use structures which produce more attractive and economic development; and

(j)        to promote the most desirable use of land in this area in accordance with a well-considered plan to promote the special character of the district and its peculiar suitability for uses related to the United Nations and thus to conserve the value of land and buildings, and thereby protect the City's tax revenues.

In harmony with the general purpose and intent of this Resolution and the general purposes of the Special United Nations Development District and in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, the existing district regulations are superseded and replaced by the regulations applying to a C5-3 District, except as modified by the provisions of this Chapter, for construction of any development in the Special United Nations Development District, provided that the development is undertaken in accordance with a development plan approved by the City Planning Commission and the Board of Estimate, which plan comprises zoning lots having a total area of at least 1.5 acres to be developed at one time or in stages, and that such development is undertaken by or with the consent of the party proposing such plan, and further provided that the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies:

(a)        for development commencing before January 1, 1980, that the final plans generally comply with the design concept dated January 6, 1970, on file with the Commission; or

(b)        for development commencing after January 1, 1980, that the final plans generally comply with the amended design concept dated April 30, 1980, on file with the Commission.

In addition to the uses permitted in a C5-3 District, the uses and accessory uses set forth in this Section are hereby permitted in any development to be constructed in accordance with the general purposes and provisions of this Chapter, notwithstanding any other provision of this Resolution. All such commercial uses may be located in any mixed building and anywhere within such building without regard to Section 32-42 (Location Within Buildings).

(a)        Auditoriums, with unlimited capacity;

(b)        Automobile rental establishments;

(c)        Eating or drinking establishments, with entertainment and a capacity of more than 200 persons or establishments of any capacity with dancing; or

Eating or drinking establishments, with musical entertainment but not dancing, with a capacity of 200 persons or less;

(d)        Parking facilities, accessory, group, with a capacity of 380 parking spaces for automobiles solely for residences, hotels, foreign missions and United Nations related uses ;

(e)        Photographic developing or printing, without limitation on floor area per establishment;

(f)        Printing or publishing, without limitation on floor area per establishment;

(g)        Public parking lots, temporary, of no more than five years' duration or until such time as the development is completed, whichever is sooner;

(h)        Recreational uses, other;

(i)        Skating rinks, indoor;

(j)        Swimming pools, commercial;

(k)        Tennis courts, indoor;

(l)        Theaters, with unlimited capacity.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Resolution the following modifications of bulk regulations are hereby granted for any development which the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies will generally comply with the concept on file with the City Planning Commission dated January 6, 1970, for development commencing before January 1, 1980, or the amended design concept on file with the Commission dated April 30, 1980, for development commencing after January 1, 1980.

In no event shall the maximum floor area ratio for the Special United Nations Development District, taken as a whole, exceed 15.0. The floor area ratio of a residential building or the residential portion of a mixed building shall not exceed the maximum floor area ratio set forth in Sections 34-112, 23-152 and 35-31.

The development may include land in more than one block and the total permitted floor area of all zoning lots within such development may be distributed without regard for zoning lot lines or any streets separating the zoning lots and the buildings comprising such development may be located without regard for the applicable height and setback regulations.

In no event shall any development on the south side of 44th Street within the Special United Nations Development District contain more than 200,000 square feet of floor area, and no more than 61,000 square feet of floor area may be transferred for any such development.

At the time of any transfer of floor area in the Special United Nations Development District, there shall be recorded in the land records, and indexed against each tax lot from which floor area is removed, an instrument removing such floor area and stating the maximum permissible floor area remaining on the tax lot after deducting the floor area transferred; and there shall be recorded in the land records, and indexed against each tax lot to which floor area is added, an instrument evidencing the transfer of the floor area to the tax lot benefitted and identifying by tax block and lot number and description the tax lot from which the floor area has been transferred. A certified copy of such instruments shall be filed with the Commission upon recordation thereof.

For the purpose of any transfer of floor area in the Special United Nations Development District, the total permitted floor area of any tax lot from which floor area is transferred shall be the maximum floor area permitted under this Chapter for a commercial building, less the total floor area of any building on the tax lot.

The minimum front setback of a building on any portion of 45th Street within the Special United Nations Development District, more than 100 feet from First Avenue, shall be not less than 10 feet from the street line, and required yards within the Special United Nations Development District shall not be less than 20 feet in depth.

For a residential building or the residential portions of any mixed-use building located on the north side of 44th Street within the Special United Nations Development District, the provisions of Sections 23-532 (Required rear yard equivalents) and 23-711 (Standard minimum distance between buildings) shall not apply. Notwithstanding anything in this Resolution to the contrary, the minimum distance between a residential portion of a building and any other building on the same zoning lot within the Special United Nations Development District shall be not less than 28 feet.

For any building containing residences within the Special United Nations Development District, the applicable density requirements may be modified, but in no event shall there be less than 395 square feet of residential floor area per dwelling unit.

As a condition for granting such authorizations, in each case the Commission shall make the following findings:

(a)        that the land use intensity and distribution of bulk of the total development permit better site planning and significantly achieve the specific purposes for which the Special United Nations Development District is established; and

(b)        that all new buildings or other structures erected within the Special United Nations Development District are in compliance with the special height requirements set forth in Section 85-05 of this Chapter.

The maximum height of a building or other structure, including elevator or stair bulkheads, accessory water tanks or cooling towers, chimneys, parapets, arbors or trellises and flagpoles, located within the Special United Nations Development District, shall not exceed 550 feet above the established grade of the easterly side of Second Avenue midway between East 43rd and East 45th Streets. No portion of any building within the Special United Nations Development District may be built to a height greater than the present height of the United Nations Secretariat Building within 200 feet west of the westerly boundary of First Avenue. No portion of any development on the south side of 44th Street within the Special United Nations Development District may be built to a height greater than 183 feet above curb level or 15 stories, whichever is less.

 

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