Chapter 3 - Special Planned Community Preservation District (PC)

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

The "Special Planned Community Preservation District" (hereinafter referred to as the "Special District"), established in this Resolution, is designed to promote and protect the public interest, general welfare and amenity. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:

(a)        to preserve and protect the Special Districts as superior examples of town planning or large-scale development;

(b)        to preserve and protect the character and integrity of these unique communities which, by their existing site plan, pedestrian and vehicular circulation system, balance between buildings and open space, harmonious scale of the development, related commercial uses, open space arrangement and landscaping add to the quality of urban life;

(c)        to preserve and protect the variety of neighborhoods and communities that presently exist which contribute greatly to the livability of New York City;

(d)        to maintain and protect the environmental quality that the Special District offers to its residents and the City-at-large; and

(e)        to guide development within each of the Special Districts that is consistent with the existing character, quality and amenity of the Special Planned Community Preservation District.

The City Planning Commission has established the Special Planned Community Preservation District in areas that:

(a)        have a land area of at least 1.5 acres;

(b)        contain a minimum of three buildings;

(c)        were designed and substantially developed as a unit under the regulations of the Zoning Resolution prior to December 15, 1961; and

(d)        include considerable clustered open space and related commercial uses available to all residents of the District.

The Commission has found that existing site plans resulted in superior functional relationships of buildings, open spaces, pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, including parking facilities, and other amenities all together creating an outstanding planned residential community.

The Special Planned Community Preservation District areas are as follows, and are each indicated by the letters "PC" on the zoning maps:

Fresh Meadows in the Borough of Queens

The Harlem River Houses in the Borough of Manhattan

Parkchester in the Borough of the Bronx

Sunnyside Gardens in the Borough of Queens.

In harmony with the general purpose and intent of this Resolution and the general purposes of the Special Planned Community Preservation District, no development, enlargement, or substantial alteration of landscaping or topography, shall be permitted within the Fresh Meadows, Harlem River Houses and Parkchester areas, except by special permit of the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Sections 103-11 (Special Permit for Bulk and Parking Modifications) and 103-12 (Special Permit for Landscaping and Topography Modifications).

No demolition of buildings shall be permitted within the Fresh Meadows, Harlem River Houses and Parkchester areas, unless it is an unsafe building and demolition is required pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 26, Title C, Part I, Article 8, of the New York City Administrative Code, or its successor, except that such demolition may be permitted pursuant to a development plan for which a special permit has been granted under the provisions of Sections 103-11 and 103-12.

In a C8-4 District, however, a demolition permit may be issued for any building that is less than 10,000 square feet and was constructed after December 31, 1955, but prior to July 18, 1974.

Special regulations for the Sunnyside Gardens area are set forth in Section 103-20, inclusive.

(a)        For any development or enlargement, either of which may include demolition, within a Special Planned Community Preservation District, the City Planning Commission, by special permit, may allow:

(1)        the unused total floor area, dwelling units or rooming units permitted by the applicable district regulations for all zoning lots within the development to be distributed without regard for zoning lot lines;

(2)        the total open space or lot coverage required by the applicable district regulations for any zoning lots within the development to be distributed without regard for zoning lot lines;

(3)        minor variations in the yard regulations required by the applicable district regulations;

(4)        minor variations in the height and setback regulations required by the applicable district regulations;

(5)        modifications of the minimum spacing requirements consistent with the intent of the provisions of Section 23-71 (Minimum Distance Between Buildings on a Single Lot); or

(6)        permitted or required accessory off-street parking spaces, driveways or curb cuts to be located anywhere within the development, without regard to zoning lot lines or the provisions of Sections 25-621 (Location of parking spaces in certain districts) and 25-631 (Location and width of curb cuts in certain districts), subject to the findings of Section 78-41 (Location of Accessory Parking Spaces).

(b)        In order to grant such special permits, the City Planning Commission shall make the following findings:

(1)        that the development or enlargement relates to the existing buildings or other structures in scale and design, and that the development will not seriously alter the scenic amenity and the environmental quality of the community;

(2)        that the development or enlargement be sited in such a manner as to preserve the greatest amount of open space and landscaping that currently exists, consistent with the scale and design of the existing development, the landscaping surrounding the new landscaping arrangement, and conditions of the community;

(3)        that the development or enlargement be sited in such a manner that it will not require at that time, or in the foreseeable future, new access roads or exits, off-street parking or public parking facilities that will disrupt or eliminate major portions of open space and landscaping or will generate large volumes of traffic that will diminish the environmental quality of the community; and

(4)        that minimal landscaping be removed during construction and such areas will be fully restored upon completion of construction.

(c)        Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a)(6) of this Section, where the requirement for accessory off-street parking spaces, driveways or curb cuts can only be accommodated in such a manner that the functioning of the existing planned community is substantially injured, the Commission shall authorize waiver of all or part of the required parking.

The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards, including covenants running with the land which shall permit public or private enforcement reflecting terms, conditions and limitations of any special permit in order to minimize adverse effects on the character and quality of the community. The Commission may advise and recommend special conditions or modifications in the plans submitted by applicants in order to conform to the intentions of the Special Planned Community Preservation District.

An application to the City Planning Commission for the grant of a special permit respecting any development or enlargement or substantial modification of landscaping or topography to be made within the Special District, shall include the existing and proposed site plan showing the location and the scale of the existing and proposed buildings or other structures, the location of all vehicular entrances and exits and off-street parking facilities, the changes that will be made in the location and size of the open space, and such other information as may be required by the Commission. The submission shall include a landscaping plan, building sections and elevation and an appropriate model of the planned community.

103-14

Recordation

At the time of any transfer of development rights which has been authorized by special permit under Section 103-11, the owners of zoning lots to which and from which development rights are transferred shall submit to the City Planning Commission a copy of the transfer instrument legally sufficient in both form and content to effect such a transfer.

Notice of the restrictions upon further development of the lots to which development rights and from which development rights are transferred shall be filed by the owners of the respective lots in the place and county designated by law for the filing of deeds and restrictions on real property, a certified copy of which shall be submitted to the Commission.

Both the instrument of transfer and the notice of restrictions shall specify the total amount of floor area to be transferred, and shall specify, by lot and block numbers, the lots from which and the lots to which such transfer is made.

In order to further protect and enhance the character of the Sunnyside Gardens area within the Special Planned Community Preservation District, the regulations of this Section, inclusive, shall supersede the regulations of the Special Planned Community Preservation District and the underlying zoning districts, as applicable.

The special permit provisions of Sections 103-11 (Special Permit for Bulk and Parking Modifications) and 103-12 (Special Permit for Landscaping and Topography Modifications) shall not apply within the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Resolution, bulk regulations applicable to the underlying Residence and Commercial Districts, or modified within the Special District, are hereby further modified to the extent set forth in this Section, inclusive.

In the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District, the floor area regulations of the underlying Residence and Commercial Districts shall not apply. In lieu thereof, the maximum floor area ratio permitted for residential, commercial and community facility uses, separately or in combination, shall be 0.75, which may be increased by up to 20 percent to a maximum floor area ratio of 0.9, provided that any such increase in floor area is located under a sloping roof which rises at least three and one half inches in vertical distance for each foot of horizontal distance, and the structural headroom of such floor area is between five and eight feet.

In the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District, the density regulations of the underlying Residence and Commercial Districts shall not apply. In lieu thereof, the density factor for dwelling units shall be 900.

In the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District, the height and setback regulations for R4 Districts as set forth in Article II, Chapter 3, shall apply in Residence and Commercial Districts.

In the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District, the yard regulations for R4 Districts as set forth in Article II, Chapter 3, shall apply in Residential and Commercial Districts

In the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District, the off-street parking regulations of Article II, Chapter 5, pertaining to R4 Districts, shall be applicable for all residential and community facility uses, subject to the provisions of Section 103-23 pertaining to curb cuts.

103-23

Curb Cuts

Curb cuts shall not be permitted within the Sunnyside Gardens area of the Special District, except on the east side of 50th Street, within 100 feet of its intersection with 39th Avenue.

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