Design Requirements for Ground Level Setbacks

Wherever a building base below a tower is set back from the street line, and the building walls bounding such setback area are occupied by non-residential uses, such setback area shall comply with the provisions of this Section. Where two such setback areas adjoin one another at the intersection of two streets, the combined area of such spaces shall determine the applicability of such provisions.

  1. Minimum and maximum areas

    No such setback area shall be less than 240 square feet nor greater than 1,000 square feet. 
  2. Pavement

    The setback area shall be paved with materials distinctive from the adjoining public sidewalk.
  3. Wall treatments

    All ground floor level building walls bounding such setback area not otherwise subject to the transparency requirements of Section 131-15, shall comply with the provisions of either paragraphs (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this Section.
    1. If such building wall is a street wall wider than 10 feet, such street wall shall comply with the provisions of Section 131-15
    2. All other building walls shall comply with one of the following provisions:
      1. such building walls shall be glazed with transparent materials in accordance with the transparency provisions of Section 37-34 (Minimum Transparency Requirements); or 
      2. such building walls shall be articulated with artwork or landscaping to a height of at least 10 feet.
  4. Building entrances

    A public entrance to a building shall front upon such setback area. No ramps shall be permitted within the setback area.
  5. Landscaping

    A minimum of 20 percent of such setback area shall be planted with, at a minimum, evergreen ground cover or shrubs in planting beds, with a minimum of six inches in height and a maximum height of four feet. Such planting beds may not occupy more than 50 percent of the width of the setback area, as measured along the street line.
  6. Additional amenities

    For setback areas of 500 square feet or more, there shall be the following additional amenities:
    1. an additional public entrance to the building that fronts upon such setback area; and
    2. a minimum of one linear feet of seating for every 20 square feet of setback area shall be provided. At least 40 percent of such seating shall be fixed, of which at least half shall have backs with a minimum height of 14 inches. All fixed seating shall have a minimum depth of 18 inches and a maximum depth of 24 inches, and a minimum seat height of 16 inches and a maximum seat height of 20 inches. At least 50 percent of required seating shall be moveable chairs.