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CITY OF NEW YORK

BOARD OF ESTIMATE AND APPORTIONMENT

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BUILDING ZONE RESOLUTION

(Adopted July 25, 1916.)

 

A Resolution regulating and limiting the height and bulk of buildings hereafter erected and regulating and determining the area of yards, courts and other open spaces, and regulating and restricting the location of trades and industries and the location of buildings designed for specified uses and establishing the boundaries of districts for the said purposes.

Be it resolved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of The City of New York:

 

ARTICLE I — DEFINITIONS

      §1. Definitions. Certain words in this resolution are defined for the purposes thereof as follows:

(a) Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular; the word "lot" includes the word “plot"; the word "building" includes the word "structure."

(b) The “street line" is the dividing line between the street and the lot.

(c) The “width of the street” is the mean of the distances between the sides thereof within a block. Where a street borders a public place, public park or navigable body of water the width of the street is the mean width of such street plus the width, measured at right angles to the street line, of such public place, public park or body of water.

(d) The "curb level,” for the purpose of measuring the height of any portion of a building, is the mean level of the curb in front of such portion of the building. But where a building is on a corner lot the curb level is the mean level of the curb on the street of greatest width.  If such greatest width occurs on more than one street the curb level is the mean level of the curb on that street of greatest width which has the highest curb elevation.  The "curb level" for the purpose of regulating and determining the area of yards, courts and open spaces is the mean level of the curb at that front of the building where there is the highest curb elevation.  Where no curb elevation has been established or the building does not adjoin the street the average ground level of the lot shall be considered the curb level.

(e) A "street wall" of a building, at any level, is the wall or part of the building nearest to the street line.

(f) The "height of a building" is the vertical distance measured in the case of flat roofs from the curb level to the level of the highest point of the roof beams adjacent to the street wall, and in the case of pitched roofs from the curb level to the mean height level of the gable.  Where no roof beams exist or there are structures wholly or partly above the roof the height shall be measured from the curb level to the level of the highest point of the building. Where a building is a tenement house as defined in the Tenement House Law the height of the building on the street line shall be measured as prescribed in said law for the measurement of the height of a tenement house and such measurement shall be from the curb level as that term is used in said law.

(g) The "depth of a lot" is the mean distance from the street line of the lot to its rear line measured in the general direction of the side lines of the lot.

(h) A "rear yard" is an open unoccupied space on the same lot with a building between the rear line of the building and the rear line of the lot.

(i) The "depth of a rear yard" is the mean distance between the rear line of the building and the rear line of the lot.

(j) Lots or portions of lots shall be deemed "hack to back" when they are on opposite sides of the same part of a rear line common to both and the opposite street lines on which the lots front are parallel with each other or make an angle with each other of not over 45 degrees.

(k) A "court" is an open unoccupied space, other than a rear yard, on the same lot with a building.  A court not extending to the street or to a rear yard is an "inner court."  A court extending to the street or a rear yard is an "outer court."  A court on the lot line extending through from the street to a rear yard or another street is a " side yard."

(l) The "height of a yard or a court" at any given level shall be measured from the lowest level of such yard or court as actually constructed or from the curb level, if higher, to such level.  The highest level of any given wall bounding a court or yard shall be deemed to be the mean height of such wall. Where a building is a tenement house, as defined in the Tenement House Law, the height of a yard or a court shall be measured as prescribed in such law.

(m) The "least dimension" of a yard or court at any level is the least of the horizontal dimensions of such yard or court at such level.  If two opposite sides of a yard or court are not parallel the horizontal dimension between them shall be deemed to be the mean distance between them.

(n) The "length of an outer court" at any given point shall be measured in the general direction of the side lines of such court from the end opposite the end opening on a street, or a rear yard, to such point.

 

ARTICLE II - USE DISTRICTS

      §2. Use Districts. For the purpose of regulating and restricting the location of trades and industries and the location of buildings designed for specified uses, the City of New York is hereby divided into three classes of districts: (1) residence districts, (2) business districts, and (3) unrestricted districts; as shown on the use district map which accompanies this resolution and is hereby declared to be part hereof.  The use districts designated on said map are hereby established.  The use district map designations and map designation rules which accompany said use district map are hereby declared to be part thereof.  No building or premises shall be erected or used for any purpose other than a purpose permitted in the use district in which such building or premises is located.

      §3. Residence Districts. In a residence district no building shall be erected other than a building, with its usual accessories, arranged, intended or designed exclusively for one or more of the following specified uses:

      (1) Dwellings, which shall include dwellings for one or more families and boarding houses and also hotels which have thirty or more sleeping rooms.

(2) Clubs, excepting clubs the chief activity of which is a service customarily carried on as a business.

(3) Churches.

(4) Schools, libraries or public museums.

(5) Philanthropic or eleemosynary uses or institutions, other than correctional institutions.

(6) Hospitals and sanitariums.

(7) Railroad passenger stations.

(8) Farming, truck gardening, nurseries or green houses.

In a residence district no building or premises shall be used for any use other than a use above specified for which buildings may be erected and for the accessory uses customarily incident thereto.  The term accessory use shall not include a business nor shall it include any building or use not located on the same lot with the building or use to which it is accessory.  A private garage for more than five motor vehicles shall not be deemed an accessory use.

      §4. Business Districts. (a) In a business district building or premises shall be used, and no building shall be erected which is arranged, intended or designed to be used, for any of the following specified trades, industries or uses:

(1) Ammonia, chlorine or bleaching powder manufacture.

(2) Asphalt manufacture or refining.

(3) Assaying (other than gold or silver).

(4) Blacksmithing or horseshoeing.

(5) Boiler making.

(6) Brewing or distilling of liquors.

(7) Carpet cleaning.

(8) Celluloid manufacture.

(9) Crematory.

(10) Distillation of coal, wood or bones.

(11) Dyeing or dry cleaning.

(12) Electric central station power plant.

(13) Fat rendering.

(14) Fertilizer manufacture.

(15) Garage for more than five motor vehicles, not including a warehouse where motor vehicles arc received for dead storage only, and not including a salesroom where motor vehicles are kept for sale or for demonstration purposes only.

(16) Gas (illuminating or heating) manufacture or storage.

(17) Glue, size and gelatine manufacture.

(18) Incineration or reduction of garbage, offal, dead animals or refuse.

(19) Iron, steel, brass or copper works.

(20) Junk, scrap paper or rag storage or baling.

(21) Lamp black manufacture.

(22) Lime, cement or plaster of paris manufacture.

(23) Milk bottling and distributing station.

(24) Oil cloth or linoleum manufacture.

(25) Paint, oil, varnish or turpentine manufacture.

(26) Petroleum refining or storage.

(27) Printing ink manufacture.

(28) Raw hides or skins - storage, curing or tanning.

(29) Repair shop for motor vehicles.

(30) Rubber manufacture from the crude material.

(31) Saw or planing mill.

(32) Shoddy manufacture or wool scouring.

(33) Slaughtering of animals.

(34) Smelting.

(35) Soap manufacture.

(36) Stable for more than five horses.

(37) Starch, glucose or dextrine manufacture.

(38) Stock yards.

(39) Stone or monumental works.

(40) Sugar refining.

(41) Sulphurous, sulphuric, nitric or hydrochloric acid manufacture.

(42) Tallow, grease or lard manufacturing or refining.

(43) Tar distillation or manufacture.

(44) Tar roofing or tar waterproofing manufacture.

(As Amended December 21, 1917.)

 

      (b) In a business district no building or premises shall be used, and no building shall be erected, which is arranged, intended or designed to be used for any trade, industry or use that is noxious or offensive by reason of the emission of odor, dust, smoke, gas or noise; but car barns or places of amusement shall not be excluded.

      (c) In a business district no building or premises shall be used, and no building shall be erected, which is arranged, intended or designed to be used, for any kind of manufacturing, except that any kind of manufacturing not included within the prohibitions of paragraphs a and b of this section may be carried on provided not more than 25 per cent. of the total floor space of the building is so used, but space equal to the area of the lot may be so used in any case, although in excess of said 25 per cent.  The printing of a newspaper shall not be deemed manufacturing.  No use permitted in a residence district by section 3 shall be excluded from a business district.

 

      §5. Unrestricted Districts. The term "unrestricted district" is used to designate the districts for which no regulations or restrictions are provided by this article.

      §6. Existing Buildings and Premises. (a) Any use existing in any building or premises at the time of the passage of this resolution and not conforming to the regulations of the use district in which it is maintained, may be continued therein.  No existing building designed, arranged, intended or devoted to a use not permitted by this article in the district in which such use is located shall be enlarged, extended, reconstructed or structurally altered unless such use is changed to a use permitted in the district in which such building is located. Such building may, however, be reconstructed or structurally altered to an extent not greater than 50 per cent. of the value of the building, exclusive of foundations, provided that no use in such building is changed or extended, except as authorized in paragraph b of this section, and provided, further, that no use included in any one of the enumerated subdivisions of paragraph a of section 4 is changed into a use included in any other enumerated subdivisions of paragraph a of section 4 or into a use prohibited by paragraph b of section 4, and also provided that no use prohibited by paragraph b of section 4 is changed into another use prohibited by paragraph b of section 4 or into a use included in an enumerated subdivision of paragraph a of section 4.

      (b) Any use existing in any building or premises at the time of the passage of this resolution and not conforming to the regulations of the use district in which it is maintained may be changed, and such use may be extended throughout the building, provided that in either case:

      (1) No structural alterations shall be made in the building, except as authorized by paragraph a of this section, and

      (2) In a residence district no portion of a building devoted to a use included in subdivision 1 of section 3 shall be changed to any use prohibited in a residence district, and

      (3) In a residence district no building or premises, unless devoted to one of the uses that is by section 4 prohibited in a business district, shall be changed to any of such uses, and

      (4) In a residence or business district no building or part thereof and no premises unless devoted to one of the uses that is by paragraph a or b of section 4 prohibited in a business district, shall be changed to any of such uses.

      If a use is changed as authorized in this section, the new use may thereafter be changed, subject to the limitations imposed by subdivisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this paragraph.*

 

      §7. Use District Exceptions. The Board of Appeals, created by chapter 503 of the laws of 1916, may, in appropriate cases, after public notice and hearing, and subject to appropriate conditions and safeguards, determine and vary the application of the use district regulations herein established in harmony with their general purpose and intent as follows:

      (a) Permit the extension of an existing building and the existing use thereof upon the lot occupied by such building at the time of the passage of this resolution or permit the erection of an additional building upon a lot occupied at the time of the passage of this resolution by a commercial or industrial establishment and which additional building is a part of such establishment;

      (b) Where a use district boundary line divides a lot in a single ownership at the time of the passage of this resolution, permit a use authorized on either portion of such lot to extend to the entire lot, but not more than 25 feet beyond the boundary line of the district in which such use is authorized;

      (c) Permit the extension of an existing or proposed building into a more restricted district under such conditions as will safeguard the character of the more restricted district;**

      (d) Permit in a residence district a central telephone exchange or any building or use in keeping with the uses expressly enumerated in section 3 as the purposes for which buildings or premises may be erected or used in a residence district;

      (e) Permit in a business district the erection or extension of a garage or stable in any portion of a street between two intersecting streets in which portion there exists a garage for more than five motor vehicles or a stable for more than five horses at the time of the passage of this resolution;

      (f) Grant in undeveloped sections of the city temporary and conditional permits for not more than two years for structures and uses in contravention of the requirements of this article.

      (g) Permit in a business or residence district the erection of a garage provided the petitioner files the consents duly acknowledged of the owners of 80 per cent. of the frontage deemed by the Board to be immediately affected by the proposed garage.  Such permit shall specify the maximum size or capacity of the garage and shall impose appropriate conditions and safeguards upon the construction and use of the garage.

 

 

ARTICLE III - HEIGHT DISTRICTS

 

      §8. Height Districts.  For the purpose of regulating and limiting the height and bulk of buildings hereafter erected, the City of New York is hereby divided into five classes of districts: (a) one times districts, (b) one and one-quarter times districts, (c) one and one-half times districts, (d) two times districts, (e) two and one-half times districts; as shown on the height district map which accompanies this resolution and is hereby declared to be part hereof. The height districts designated on said map are hereby established.  The height district map designations and map designation rules which accompany said height district map are hereby declared to be part thereof.  No building or part of a building shall be erected except in conformity with the regulations herein prescribed for the height district in which such building is located.

      (a) In a one times district no building shall be erected to a height in excess of the width of the street, but for each one foot that the building or a portion of it sets back from the street line two feet shall be added to the height limit of such building or such portion thereof.

      (b) In a one and one-quarter times district no building shall be erected to a height in excess of one and one-quarter times the width of the street, but for each one foot that the building or a portion of it sets back from the street line two and one-half feet shall be added to the height limit of such building or such portion thereof.

      (c) In a one and one-half times district no building shall be erected to a height in excess of one and one-half times the width of the street, but for each one foot that the building or a portion of it sets back from the street line three feet shall be added to the height limit of such building or such portion thereof.

      (d) In a two times district no building shall be erected to a height in excess of twice the width of the street, but for each one foot that the building or a portion of it sets back from the street line four feet shall be added to the height limit of such building or such portion thereof.

      (e) In a two and one-half times district no building shall be erected to a height in excess of two and one-half times the width of the street, but for each one foot that the building or a portion of it sets back from the street line five feet shall he added to the height limit of such building or such portion thereof.

 

      §9. Height District Exceptions. (a) On streets less than 50 feet in width the same height regulations shall be applied as on streets 50 feet in width and, except for the purposes of paragraph d of this section, on streets more than 100 feet in width the same height regulations shall be applied as on streets 100 feet in width.

      (b) Along a narrower street near its intersection with a wider street, any building or any part of any building fronting on the narrower street within 100 feet, measured at right angles to the side of the wider street, shall be governed by the height regulations provided for the wider street.  A corner building on such intersecting streets shall be governed by the height regulations provided for the wider street for 150 feet from the side of such wider street, measured along such narrower street.

      (c) Above the height limit at any level for any part of a building a dormer, elevator bulkhead or other structure may be erected provided its frontage length on any given street be not greater than 60 per cent. of the length of such street frontage of such part of the building.  Such frontage length of such structure at any given level shall be decreased by an amount equal to one per cent. of such street frontage of such part of the building for every foot such level is above such height limit.  If there are more than one such structures, their aggregate frontage shall not exceed the frontage length above permitted at any given level.

      (d) If the area of the building is reduced so that above a given level it covers in the aggregate not more than 25 per cent. of the area of the lot, the building above such level shall be excepted from the foregoing provisions of this article.  Such portion of the building may be erected to any height, provided that the distance which it sets back from the street line on each street on which it faces, plus half of the width of the street, equals at least 75 feet. But for each one per cent. of the width of the lot on the street line that such street wall is less in length than such width of the lot, such wall may be erected four inches nearer to the street line.

      (e) When at the time plans are filed for the erection of a building there arc buildings in excess of the height hunts herein provided within 50 feet of either end of the street frontage of the proposed building or directly opposite such building across the street, the height to which the street wall of the proposed building may rise shall be increased by an amount not greater than the average excess height of the walls on the street line within 50 feet of either end of the street frontage of the proposed building and at right angles to the street frontage of the proposed building on the opposite side of the street.  The average amount of such excess height shall be computed by adding together the excess heights above the prescribed height limit for the street frontage in question of all of the walls on the street line of the buildings and parts of buildings within the above defined frontage and dividing the sum by the total number of buildings and vacant plots within such frontage.

      (f) Nothing in this article shall prevent the projection of a cornice beyond the street wall to an extent not exceeding five per cent. of the width of the street nor more than five feet in any case.  Nothing in this article shall prevent the erection above the height limit of a parapet wall or cornice solely for ornament and without windows extending above such height limit not more than five per cent. of such height limit, but such parapet wall or cornice may in any case be at least five and one-half feet high above such height limit.

      (g) The provisions of this article shall not apply to the erection of church spires, belfries, chimneys, flues or gas holders.

      (h) Where not more than 50 feet of a street frontage would otherwise be subjected to a height limit lower than that allowed immediately beyond both ends of such frontage, the height limit on such frontage shall be equal to the lesser of such greater height limits.

      (i) If an additional story or stories are added to a building existing at the time of the passage of this resolution, the existing walls of which are in excess of the height limits prescribed in this article, the height limits for such additional story or stories shall be computed from the top of the existing walls as though the latter were not in excess of the prescribed height limits and the carrying up of existing elevator and stair enclosures shall be exempted from the provisions of this article.

     

 

ARTICLE IV - AREA DISTRICTS

 

      §10. Area Districts. For the purpose of regulating and determining the area of yards, courts and other open spaces for buildings hereafter erected, the City of New York is hereby divided into five classes of area districts: A, B, C, D and E; as shown on the area district map which accompanies this resolution and is hereby declared to be part hereof.  The area districts designated on said map are hereby established. The area district map designations and map designation rules which accompany said area district map are hereby declared to be a part thereof.  No building or part of a building shall be erected except in conformity with the regulations herein prescribed for the area district in which such building is located.  Unless otherwise expressly provided the term rear yard, side yard, outer court or inner court when used in this article shall be deemed to refer only to a rear yard, side yard, outer court or inner court required by this article. No lot area shall be so reduced or diminished that the yards, courts or open spaces shall be smaller than prescribed in this article.

 

      §11. A Districts.  In an A district a court at any given height shall be at least one inch in least dimension for each one foot of such height.

 

      §12. B Districts.  In a B district a rear yard at any given height shall be at least two inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  The depth of a rear yard at its lowest level shall be at least 10 per cent. of the depth of the lot, but need not exceed 10 feet at such level.  An outer court or a side yard at any given height shall be at least one inch in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  An outer court at any given point shall be at least one and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of length. But for each one foot that an outer court at any given height would, under the above rules, be wider in its least dimension for such height than the minimum required by its length, one inch shall be deducted front the required least dimension for such height for each 24 feet of such height.  A side yard for its length within 50 feet of the street may for the purposes of the above rule be considered an outer court.

      §13. C Districts.  (a) In a C district a rear yard at any given height shall be at least three inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  The depth of a rear yard at its lowest level shall be at least 10 per cent. of the depth of the lot but need not exceed 10 feet at such level.  An outer court or a side yard at any given height shall be at least one and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  An outer court at any given point shall be at least one and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of length.  On a lot not more than 30 feet in mean width an outer court or a side yard at any given height shall be not less than one inch in least dimension for each one foot of such height, and an inner court at any given height shall be either (1) not less than two inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height or (2) it shall be of an equivalent area as hereinafter specified in paragraph c of section 17.

      (b) If the owner or owners of any part of a C district set aside perpetually for the joint recreational use of the residents of such part designated by them, an area at least equal to 10 per cent. of the area of such part in addition to all yard and court requirements for a B district, such part shall be subject to the regulations herein prescribed for a B district.  Such joint recreational space shall be composed of one or more tracts, each of which shall be at least 40 feet in least dimension and 5,000 square feet in area and shall be approved by the Board of Appeals as suitable for the joint recreational use of such residents.

 

      §14. D Districts. (a) In a D district a rear yard at any given height shall be at least four inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  The depth of a rear yard at its lowest level shall be at least 10 per cent. of the depth of the lot, but need not exceed 10 feet at such level.  If a building in a D district is located in a residence district as designated on the use district map, the depth of a rear yard at its lowest level shall be at least 20 per cent. of the depth of the lot, but need not exceed 20 feet at such level. However, for each one foot in excess of 10 feet of the depth of such rear yard at its lowest level, there may be substituted one foot of depth of unoccupied space across the whole width of the front of the lot at the curb level between the street line and the street wall of the building.

      (b) In a D district an outer court or a side yard at any given height shall be at least two inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  An outer court at any given point shall be at least two inches in least dimension for each one foot of length.  On a lot not more than 30 feet in mean width an outer court or a side yard at any given height shall be not less than one and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  On such lot an outer court at any given point shall be not less than one and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of length.  On such lot an inner court at any given height shall be either (1) not less than three inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height or (2) it shall be of an equivalent area as specified in paragraph c of section 17.

      (c) In a D district no building located within a residence district as designated on the use district map shall occupy at the curb level more than 60 per cent. of the area of the lot, if an interior lot, or 80 per cent. if a corner lot.  In computing such percentage any part of the area of any corner lot in excess of 8,000 square feet shall be considered an interior lot.

      (d) If the owner or owners of any part of a D district set aside perpetually for the joint recreational use of the residents of such part designated by them, an area at least equal to 10 per cent. of the area of such part in addition to all yard and court requirements for a C district, such part shall be subject to the regulations herein prescribed for a C district.  Such joint recreational space shall be composed of one or more tracts, each of which shall be at least 40 feet in least dimension and 5,000 square feet in area and shall be approved by the Board of Appeals as suitable for the joint recreational use of such residents.

 

      §15. E Districts. (a) In an E district a rear yard at any given height shall be at least five inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  The depth of a rear yard at its lowest level shall be at least 15 per cent. of the depth of the lot, but need not exceed 15 feet at such level.  If a building in an E district is located in a residence district as designated on the use district trap, the depth of a rear yard at its lowest level shall be at least 25 per cent. of the depth of the lot, but need not exceed 25 feet at such level. However, for each one foot in excess of 10 feet of the depth of such rear yard at its lowest level there may be substituted one foot of depth of unoccupied space across the whole width of the front of the lot at the curb level between the street line and the street wall of the building.  In an E district on at least one side of every building located within a residence district there shall be a side yard along the side lot line for the full depth of the lot or back to the rear yard.

      (b) In an E district an outer court or side yard at any given height shall be at least two and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  On a lot not more than 50 feet in mean width an outer court or a side yard at any given height shall be at least two inches in least dimension for each one foot of such height.  An outer court at any given point shall be at least two and one-half inches in least dimension for each one foot of length.

      (c) In an E district no building located within a residence district as designated on the use district map shall occupy at the curb level more than 50 per cent. of the area of the lot, if an interior lot, or 70 per cent. if a corner lot, and above a level 18 feet above the curb no building shall occupy more than 30 per cent. of the area of the lot, if an interior lot, or 40 per cent. if a corner lot.  In computing such percentage any part of the area of any corner lot in excess of 8,000 square feet shall be considered an interior lot.

 

      §16. Rear Yards. (a) Except in A districts, for lots or portions of lots that are back to back there shall be rear yards extending along the rear lot lines of such lots or portions of lots wherever they are more than 55 feet back from the nearest street.  Such rear yard shall be at least of the area and dimensions herein prescribed for the area district in which it is located at every point along such rear lot line.  Within 55 feet of the nearest street no rear yards shall be required.  No rear yard shall be required on any corner lot nor on the portion of any lot that is back to back with a corner lot.

      (b) Where a building is not within a residence district as designated on the use district map, the lowest level of a rear yard shall not be above the sill level of the second story windows, nor in any case more than 23 feet above the curb level.  Where a building is within a residence district the lowest level of a rear yard shall not be above the curb level, except that not more than 40 per cent. of the area of the yard may be occupied by the building up to a level 18 feet above the curb level.  In the case of a church, whether within or without a residence district, such 40 per cent. may be occupied up to a level of 30 feet above the curb level.

(c) Chimneys or flues may he erected within a rear yard provided they do not exceed five square feet in area in the aggregate and do not obstruct ventilation.

(d) Except in A districts, where a building on an interior lot between lots for which rear yards are required runs through the block from street to street or to within 55 feet of another street, there shall be on each side lot line above the sill level of the second story windows and in any case above a level 23 feet above the curb level a court of at least equivalent area at any given height to that required for an inner court at such height and having a least dimension not less than that required for an outer court at the same height.

(e) When a proposed building is on a lot which is back to back with a lot or lots on which there is a building or buildings having rear yards less in depth than would be required under this article, the depth of the rear yard of the proposed building shall not be required to be greater at any given level than the average depth of the rear yards directly back to back with it at such level, but in no case shall the depth of such rear yard be less at any height than the least dimension prescribed for an outer court at such height.

 

§17. Courts. (a) If a room in which persons live, sleep, work or congregate receives its light and air in whole or in part directly from an open space on the same lot with the building, there shall be at least one inner court, outer court, side yard or rear yard upon which a window or ventilating skylight opens from such room. Such inner court, outer court or side yard shall be at least of the area and dimensions herein prescribed for the area district in which it is located.  Such rear yard shall be at least of the area and dimensions herein prescribed for an inner court in the area district in which it is located.  In an A district, such inner court, outer court, side yard or rear yard shall be at least of the area and dimensions herein prescribed for a court in such district. The unoccupied space within the lot in front of every part of such window shall be not less than three feet, measured at right angles thereto.  Courts, yards and other open spaces, if provided in addition to those required by this section, need not be of the area and dimensions herein prescribed.  The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to apply to courts or shafts for bathrooms, toilet compartments, hallways or stairways.

(b) The least dimension of an outer court, inner court or side yard at its lowest level shall be not less than four feet, except that where the walls bounding a side yard within the lot are not more than 25 feet in mean height and not more than 40 feet in length, such least dimension, except in an E district, may be not less than three feet.  Where any outer court opens on a street such street may be considered as part of such court.

(c) The least dimension of an inner court at any given height shall be not less than that which would be required in inches for each one foot of height for a rear yard of the same height, except that an inner court of equivalent area may be substituted for said court, provided that for such area its least dimension be not less than one-half of its greatest dimension.  If an inner court is connected with a street by a side yard for each one foot that such side yard is less than 65 feet in depth from the street, one square foot may be deducted from the required area of the inner court for each 15 feet of height of such court.  If the lot is not required under this resolution to have a rear yard, an outer court, not opening on a street, shall open at any level on an inner court on the rear line of the lot and such inner court shall be deemed a rear yard in such case.

 

§18. Area District Exceptions. (a) The area required in a court or yard at any given level shall be open from such level to the sky unobstructed, except for the ordinary projections of skylights and parapets above the bottom of such court or yard, and except for the ordinary projections of window sills, belt courses, cornices and other ornamental features to the extent of not more than four inches.  However, where a side yard or an outer court opens on a street a cornice may project not over five feet into such side yard or outer court within five feet of the street wall of the building.  And provided that in an E district a one-family residence, detached on all sides and having on one side a side yard of a clear and unobstructed width of not less than five feet, may have a cornice or eave projecting not more than two feet six inches into a side yard on the opposite side.*

(b) An open or lattice enclosed iron fire escape, fireproof outside stairway or solid-floored balcony to a fire tower may project not more than four feet into a rear yard or an inner court, except that an open or lattice enclosed iron fire escape may project not more than eight feet into a rear yard or into an inner court when it does not occupy more than 20 per cent. of the area of such inner court.

(c) A corner of a court or yard may be cut off between walls of the same building provided that the length of the wall of such cut-off does not exceed seven feet.

(d) An offset to a court or yard may be considered as a part of such court or yard provided that it is no deeper in any part than it is wide on the open side and that such open side be in no case less than six feet wide.

(e) If a building is erected on the same lot with another building the several buildings shall, for the purposes of this article, be considered as a single building.  Any structure, whether independent of or attached to a building, shall for the purposes of this article be deemed a building or a part of a building.

(f) If an additional story or stories are added to a building existing at the time of the passage of this resolution, the courts and yards of which do not conform to the requirements of this article, the least dimensions of yards and courts shall be increased from the top of the existing yard or court walls, as though they were of the prescribed dimensions at such heights and the carrying up of existing elevator and stair enclosures shall be exempted from the provisions of this article.

 

 

ARTICLE V-GENERAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE

 

      §19. Interpretation; Purpose.  In interpreting and applying the provisions of this resolution, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the public health, safety, comfort, convenience and general welfare.  It is not intended by this resolution to repeal, abrogate, annul or in any way to impair or interfere with any existing provision of law or ordinance or any rules, regulations or permits previously adopted or issued or which shall be adopted or issued pursuant to law relating to the use of buildings or premises; nor is it intended by this resolution to interfere with or abrogate or annul any easements, covenants or other agreements between parties; provided, however, that where this resolution imposes a greater restriction upon the use of buildings or premises or upon height of buildings or requires larger yards, courts or other open spaces than are imposed or required by such existing provision of law or ordinance or by such rules, regulations or permits or by such easements, covenants or agreements, the provisions of this resolution shall control.

 

      §20. Rules and Regulations; Modifications of Provisions.  The Board of Standards and Appeals, created by chapter 503 of the laws of 1916, shall adopt from time to time such rules and regulations as they may deem necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this resolution.  Where there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in the way of carrying out the strict letter of the provisions of this resolution the Board of Appeals shall have power in a specific case to vary any such provision in harmony with its general purpose and intent, so that the public health, safety and general welfare may be secured and substantial justice done.  Where the street layout actually on the ground varies from the street layout as shown on the use, height or area district map, the designation shown on the mapped street shall be applied by the Board of Appeals to the unmapped streets in such a way as to carry out the intent and purpose of the plan for the particular section in question.  Before taking any action authorized in this section the Board of Appeals shall give public notice and hearing.

 

      No garage for more than five cars may be erected or extended and no building not now used as a garage for more than five cars may have its use changed to a garage for more than five cars on any portion of a street between two intersecting streets in which portion exists an exit from or an entrance to a public school; or in which portion there exists any hospital maintained as a charitable institution; and in no case within a distance of 200 feet from the nearest exit from or entrance to a public school; nor within two hundred feet of any hospital maintained as a charitable institution.  This protection shall also apply to duly organized schools for children under 16 years of age, giving regular instruction at least five days a week for eight months or more each year, owned and operated by any established religious body or educational corporation.  This limitation on the location of garages shall apply to unrestricted as well as business and residence districts; but in no case shall it apply to cases where applications for the erection or extension of garages or the conversion of existing buildings into garages may be pending before the Board of Appeals at the time of the adoption of this resolution.*

 

      §21. Unlawful Use; Certificate of Occupancy.  It shall be unlawful to use or permit the use of any building or premises or part thereof hereafter created, erected, changed or converted wholly or partly in its use or structure until a certificate of occupancy to the effect that the building or premises or the part thereof so created, erected, changed or converted and the proposed use thereof conform to the provisions of this resolution shall have been issued by the superintendent of buildings of the borough in which such building or premises is located, or, in the case of a tenement house as defined in the Tenement House Law, by the tenement house commissioner.  In the case of such buildings or premises it shall be the duty of the superintendent of buildings or the tenement house commissioner, as the case may be, to issue a certificate of occupancy within ten days after a request for the same shall be filed in his office by any owner of a building or premises affected by this resolution, provided said building or premises, or the part thereof so created, erected, changed or converted, and the proposed use thereof, conforms with all the requirements herein set forth.  Under rules and regulations of the Board of Standards and Appeals a temporary certificate of occupancy for a part of a building may be issued by the superintendent of buildings or the tenement house commissioner as the case may be.  Upon written request from the owner, the superintendent of buildings or the tenement house commissioner, as the case may be, shall issue a certificate of occupancy for any building or premises existing at the time of the passage of this resolution certifying after inspection the use of the building or premises and whether such use conforms to the provisions of this resolution.

 

      §22. Enforcement, Legal Procedure, Penalties.  This resolution shall be enforced by the tenement house commissioner, the fire commissioner and by the superintendent of buildings in each borough under the rules and regulations of the Board of Standards and Appeals.  The tenement house commissioner shall enforce the provisions herein contained in so far as they affect or relate to tenement houses as defined by the Tenement House Law.  The superintendent of buildings shall in each borough enforce the provisions herein contained in so far as they relate to buildings or premises other than tenement houses.  The fire commissioner shall enforce the provisions herein contained in so far as they relate to the use of completed buildings or premises, or part thereof, other than tenement houses.  For any and every violation of the provisions of this resolution or of the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, the owner, general agent or contractor of a building or premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist, and the lessee or tenant of an entire building or entire premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist, and the owner, general agent, contractor, lessee or tenant of any part of a building or premises in which part such violation has been committed or shall exist, and the general agent, architect, builder, contractor or any other person who commits, takes part or assists in such violation or who maintains any building or premises in which any such violation shall exist, shall be liable to the same legal procedure and the same penalties as are prescribed in any law, statute or ordinance for violations of the Building Code, and for such violations the same legal remedies shall be had and they shall be prosecuted in the same manner as prescribed in any law or ordinance in the case of violations of said Building Code.

 

      §23. Amendments, Alterations and Changes in District Lines.  The Board of Estimate and Apportionment may from time to time on its own motion or on petition, after public notice and hearing, amend, supplement or change the regulations and districts herein established.  Whenever the owners of 50 per cent. or more of the frontage in any district or part thereof shall present a petition duly signed and acknowledged to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment requesting an amendment, supplement, change or repeal of the regulations prescribed for such district or part thereof, it shall be the duty of the Board to vote upon said petition within 90 days after the filing of the same by the petitioners with the secretary of the Board.  If, however, a protest against such amendment, supplement or change be presented, duly signed and acknowledged by the owners of 20 per cent. or more of any frontage proposed to be altered, or by the owners of 20 per cent. of the frontage immediately in the rear thereof, or by the owners of 20 per cent. of the frontage directly opposite the frontage proposed to be altered, such amendment shall not be passed except by the unanimous vote of the Board.  If any area is hereafter transferred to another district by a change in district boundaries by an amendment, as above provided, the provisions of this resolution in regard to buildings or premises existing at the time of the passage of this resolution shall apply to buildings or premises existing at the time of passage of such amendment in such transferred area.

 

      §24. Completion and Restoration of Existing Buildings.  (a) Nothing herein contained shall require any change in the plans, construction or designated use of a building for which a building permit has been heretofore issued, or plans for which are on file with the building superintendent or with the tenement house department at the time of the passage of this resolution, and a permit for the erection of which is issued within three months of the passage of this resolution and the construction of which, in either case, shall have been diligently prosecuted within a year of the date of such permit, and the ground story framework of which, including the second tier of beams, shall have been completed within such year, and which entire building shall be completed according to such plans as filed within five years from the date of passage of this resolution.  Provided, however, that any plan, other then a plan for a garage for more than five motor vehicles, filed with the building superintendent or with the tenement house department on July 26, or July 27, 1916, and a permit for the erection of which is issued prior to December 25, 1916, shall be deemed to have been filed at the time of the passage of this resolution.  Provided, also, that the Board of Appeals may, after public notice and hearing, extend for not to exceed one year, or, in cases where one such extension may have been granted, may further extend for one year the time within which such ground-story framework, including the second tier of beams, shall be completed in any case, where, in the judgment of said Board, actual construction or fabrication was begun early enough to allow under the then existing conditions adequate time for completion as above specified, and where such construction or fabrication was diligently prosecuted and where such completion has been prevented by conditions impossible to foresee and beyond the control of the owner and builder.*

 

      (b) Nothing in this resolution shall prevent the restoration of a building wholly or partly destroyed by fire, explosion, act of God or act of the public enemy or prevent the continuance of the use of such building or part thereof as such use existed at the time of such destruction of such building or part thereof or prevent a change of such existing use under the limitations provided in section 6.  Nothing in this resolution shall prevent the restoration of a wall declared unsafe by the superintendent of buildings or by a board of survey.

 

      §25. When Effective.  This resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

Note.--The Height, Area and Use District maps, which are a part of the above resolution, are on sale in the office of the Secretary of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, Room 1356, Municipal Building.  There are 111 sections in the complete set of the Height, Area and Use maps.  These sections are sold for five cents each.  The Height, Area and Use maps in bound form are $1 each; or $3 for the three complete maps.

 

 

(end)

 

 

 

 

Scanned and corrected March 2004



* Section 6, amended as above December 21, 1917.

** Paragraph c of section 7, amended as above March 23, 1917.

Paragraph e of section 7, amended as above, December 21, 1917.

Paragraph g of section 7, amended as above, September 21, 1917.

* Paragraph a of section 18, amended as above, September 21, 1917.

* Final paragraph added to Section 20, June 6, 1919, and amended June 20, 1919.

* Paragraph a of section 24, amended as above, December 15, 1916, October 19, 1917 and April 25, 1919.

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