Publicly Accessible Area
Where a tower rises sheer in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c)(2) of Section 127-233 (Base heights and setback regulations), no building permit shall be issued by the Department of Buildings until the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies a site plan demonstrating that a publicly accessible area, in compliance with the following requirements, will be provided.
(a) Minimum size and location
A publicly accessible area shall contain a minimum area of at least 2,000 square feet. Such publicly accessible area shall be located at the intersection of two streets, and shall have a minimum width of 20 feet along each street line. A publicly accessible area shall in no event include area within a publicly accessible private street.
In addition, the major portion of a publicly accessible area shall occupy no less than 75 percent of the total publicly accessible area. The major portion is the largest area of the publicly accessible area and is the area of primary use. Major portions shall be generally regular in shape, easily and directly accessible from adjoining buildings and public spaces, and continuously visible from all portions of the publicly accessible area and from adjoining public spaces.
(b) Design requirements
All publicly accessible areas shall comply with the following provisions:
(1) a minimum of 20 percent of the open area shall be planted with any combination of perennials, annuals, decorative grasses, shrubs or trees in planting beds, raised planting beds or planter boxes. Such planting bed shall extend to a depth of at least two feet, inclusive of any structure containing the planted material, and any individual planted area shall have a width of at least five feet;
(2) one linear foot of seating shall be provided for each 60 square feet of publicly accessible area. For the purposes of such calculation, moveable seating or chairs may be credited as 24 inches of linear seating per chair;
(3) permitted obstructions within such area shall be subject to the provisions of Section 37-726 (Permitted obstructions), and any kiosk or open air cafe provided shall meet the operational and service requirements listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 37-73 (Kiosks and Open Air Cafes);
(4) the provisions of Section 37-722 (Level of plaza) and 37-728 (Standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities) shall apply to such area, and any steps provided shall be subject to the provisions of Section 37-725 (Steps);
(5) entry plaques and information plaques shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of Section 37-751 (Public space signage systems); and
(6) all ground floor level building walls located within a distance of 150 feet from and facing a publicly accessible area provided on the same zoning lot shall either comply with the provisions of paragraph (a) of Section 127-411 (Special provisions for frontages along streets and the shoreline), or the provisions of paragraph (e) of Section 127-412 (Special provisions for blank walls).
(c) Design changes
Any modification to a publicly accessible area certified pursuant to the provisions that, in the aggregate, results in design changes impacting more than 20 percent of the area of such publicly accessible area as compared to the certified plans, shall require a new certification pursuant to the provisions of this Section. Where a design change does not exceed 20 percent, the modifications made to the publicly accessible area shall not reduce the amount of amenities provided or otherwise creates a non-compliance with the provisions of this Section.
(d) Hours of public access
Such publicly accessible area shall be accessible to the public between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. seven days of the week.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission determines that the publicly accessible area is substantially completed in compliance with the certified plan and that such space has been made available for use by the public in compliance with the requirements of this Section.