128-61

Special Permit for North Waterfront Sites

In the North Waterfront Subdistrict, for Parcels 1 and 2, and for improvements to the publicly accessible waterfront open space, provided in connection with the development of such parcels, as applicable, the City Planning Commission may approve, by special permit, a development plan for each such parcel and an improvement plan for the publicly accessible waterfront open space. For any application for such special permit, the applicant shall provide plans to the Commission, including but not limited to a site plan, interim parking plan, signage plan, lighting plan and an improvement plan for the publicly accessible waterfront open space (the “Proposed Plans”). Such Proposed Plans shall be subject to the conditions set forth in paragraphs (a) through (e) and the findings set forth in paragraph (f) of this Section.

Pursuant to such Proposed Plans, the Commission may:

(a)        permit the following uses :

(1)        commercial uses as set forth in Section 42-12 (Use Groups 3A, 6A, 6B, 6D, 6F, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E, 8, 9B, 9C, 10A, 10B, 10C, 11, 12A, 12C, 12D, 12E, 13, 14 and 16) with no limitation on floor area per establishment;

(2)        uses specified in Section 32-24 (Use Group 15);

(3)        public parking garages with more than 150 spaces;

(4)        temporary public parking lots or public parking garages with more than 150 spaces, supplied in connection with an interim parking plan, provided that:

(i)        the applicable findings of Section 74-51 (Public Parking Garages or Public Parking Lots Outside High Density Central Areas) are met by each such temporary public parking facility;

(ii)        such temporary public parking lots or public parking garages with more than 150 spaces, may be located off-site or beyond the boundaries of the Special St. George District only as set forth in the interim parking plan. Any change in the location of such temporary public parking facility with more than 150 spaces, or any increase in the number of spaces in a temporary public parking facility to more than 150 spaces, or any addition of a public parking facility with more than 150 spaces provided in connection with such interim parking plan, shall be subject to further approval by the City Planning Commission and referred to the applicable Community Board(s) for review; and

(iii)        the permit to operate such public parking lots or public parking garages shall expire 30 days after the Department of Buildings issues a certificate of occupancy for all permanent public parking facilities on Parcel 2;

(b)        where such development is located partially or entirely within a railroad or transit right-of-way or yard or in railroad or transit air space:

(1)        permit that portion of the railroad or transit right-of-way or yard which will be completely covered over by a permanent platform to be included in the calculations of lot area for such development ; and

(2)        establish, in lieu of base plane, an appropriate level or levels as the reference plane for the entire zoning lot for the applicable regulations pertaining to, but not limited to, height and setback, floor area and yards;

(c)        permit signs pursuant to a signage plan, subject to the following conditions:

(1)        the sign regulations of a C4 District, as set forth in Section 32-60, shall apply, except as specifically modified by the conditions set forth in paragraphs (c)(2) through (c)(7), inclusive, of this Section;

(2)        flashing signs shall not be permitted;

(3)        the height of signs shall be measured from the base plane ;

(4)        flags, banners or pennants, other than those that are advertising signs, shall be permitted without limitation;

(5)        on Parcel 1:

(i)        the total surface area of a sign affixed to a building frontage facing the shoreline or affixed to the base of a structure facing the shoreline shall not exceed 1,120 square feet, provided that for a sign with a surface area larger than 500 square feet, all writing, pictorial representations, emblems, flags, symbols or any other figure or character comprising the design of such sign, shall be separate elements, individually cut and separately affixed to the structure. No perimeter or background surfaces shall be applied or affixed to the structure in addition to such separate elements. No portion of such separate elements shall extend beyond the maximum dimensions allowed for the structure; and

(ii)        signs shall be permitted to be located on the deck of the railroad right-of-way, provided that the surface area of such signs shall be included in the calculations of total surface area of signs ;

(6)        on Parcel 2:

(i)        open pedestrian pathways of at least 20 feet in width shall be considered streets for the purposes of sign regulations;

(ii)        signs shall not extend to a height greater than 60 feet above the base plane ; and

(iii)        the total surface area of signs on the building frontage facing Richmond Terrace, the prolongation of Wall Street, or on the building frontage or other structure facing the access route into the Ferry Terminal for buses, may exceed the limitations for total surface area for signs permitted in a C4 District, pursuant to an approved signage plan; and

(7)        the total surface area of all signs on Parcel 2 facing the shoreline, or that are within 15 degrees of being parallel to the shoreline, shall not exceed:

(i)        500 square feet for signs located above the level of the first story ceiling of buildings ; or

(ii)        250 square feet for signs located below the level of the first story ceiling of buildings ;

(d)        through approval of the Proposed Plans, establish appropriate requirements in lieu of the following Special St. George District regulations:

Section 128-12        (Transparency Requirements);

Section 128-42        (Planting Areas);

Section 128-54        (Location of Accessory Off-street Parking Spaces) to the extent necessary to accommodate demand for parking within the North Waterfront Subdistrict;

Section 128-55        (Special Requirements for Roofs of Parking Facilities); and

(e)        through approval of the Proposed Plans:

(1)        establish appropriate requirements for the height and setback of buildings or other structures, permitted obstructions in yards, off-street parking and loading; and

(2)        permit floor area to be distributed within the North Waterfront Subdistrict without regard for zoning lot lines, provided that if distribution is made to a zoning lot, subject to a special permit granted under this Section, from a zoning lot not subject to such special permit, Notices of Restriction in a form acceptable to the Department of City Planning shall be filed against such zoning lots setting forth the increase and decrease in the floor area on such zoning lots, respectively.

(f)        The Commission shall find that the Proposed Plans:

(1)        include uses that are appropriate, considering the unique location of the site in relation to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, the Staten Island Rail Road, and the land uses in and around the Special St. George District ;

(2)        provide a distribution of floor area, locations and heights of buildings or other structures, primary business entrances and open areas, that will result in a superior site plan, providing a well-designed relationship between buildings and other structures and open areas on the zoning lot; and shall also provide a well-designed relationship between the site and adjacent streets, surrounding buildings, adjacent off-site open areas and shorelines and will thus benefit the users of the site, the neighborhood and the City as a whole;

(3)        provide a distribution of floor area and locations and heights of buildings or other structures that will not unduly increase the bulk of buildings or other structures in the North Waterfront Subdistrict or unduly obstruct access of light and air to the detriment of the users of the site or nearby blocks or of people using the public streets, and that will provide waterfront vistas from nearby streets and properties on nearby blocks ;

(4)        provide useful and attractive publicly accessible open space, with sufficient public amenities, including but not limited to seating, landscaping and lighting, that results in a superior relationship with surrounding neighborhood destinations, streets, buildings, open areas, public facilities and the waterfront;

(5)        improve public access to the waterfront;

(6)        improve, as applicable, the publicly accessible waterfront open space sufficiently to ensure that emergency vehicles will have adequate access to the waterfront and adjacent developments ;

(7)        in connection with the improvement of the applicable portions of the publicly accessible waterfront open space, restore planted areas, trees and lighting in a way that is attractive and compatible with the design of the Waterfront Esplanade existing on October 30, 2013;

(8)        provide adequate parking and loading to meet the demand for all users during peak utilization;

(9)        provide adequate parking for commuters at locations convenient and accessible to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at all times and during all phases of construction;

(10)        provide signage and lighting that are compatible with the scenic and historic character of the harbor and that will not adversely affect the character of the surrounding neighborhood;

(11)        for a public parking garage with more than 150 parking spaces, will ensure that:

(i)        entrances are proposed in locations and with design features that minimize traffic congestion and conflicts with pedestrians;

(ii)        adequate reservoir space has been provided at the vehicular entrances; and

(iii)        the streets providing access to such use will be adequate to handle the traffic generated thereby; and

(12)        for a development located partially or entirely within a railroad or transit right-of-way or yard and/or in railroad or transit air space, that:

(i)        the distribution of floor area does not adversely affect the character of the surrounding area by being unduly concentrated in any portion of such development, including any portion of the development located beyond the boundaries of such railroad or transit right-of-way or yard; and

(ii)        if such railroad or transit right-of-way or yard is deemed appropriate for future transportation use, the site plan and structural design of the development do not preclude future use of, or improvements to, the right-of-way for such transportation use.

The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area. In addition, for a development located partially or entirely within a railroad or transit right-of-way or yard, or in railroad or transit air space, the Commission may require that the structural design of such development makes due allowance for changes within the layout of tracks or other structures within any railroad or transit air space or railroad or transit right-of-way or yard which may be deemed necessary in connection with future development or improvement of the transportation system.

Prior to granting a special permit, the Commission shall request the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to indicate whether said agency has any plan to use that portion of any railroad or transit air space or railroad or transit right-of-way or yard where the railroad or transit use has been discontinued.

The execution and recordation of a restrictive declaration acceptable to the Commission, binding the owners, successors and assigns to maintain such developments, enlargements, alterations, changes of use, and any temporary parking facilities, in accordance with the approved Proposed Plans, and in a manner consistent with any additional conditions and safeguards prescribed by the Commission, shall be a condition to exercise of the special permit. Such restrictive declaration shall be recorded in the Office of the County Clerk. A copy of such declaration shall be provided to the Department of Buildings upon application for any building permit related to a development, enlargement or change of use.

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