NYC Resources 311 Office of the Mayor
Flickr Flickr
Follow @NYCPlanning on Twitter Twitter
City Planning:


Take me to...
Commission Meetings
Commission Reports
Census FactFinder
LUCATS - Land Use
Application Tracking
ZoLa - Zoning and Land Use Application
Community Portal
Waterfront Access Map
Zoning Map Finder
Map & Bookstore
Job Opportunities
Press Releases
DCP Site Map
Contact DCP


Click Once to Submit Query


Translate this page
Projects & Proposals > Manhattan > Upper West Side Printer Friendly Version
Special Enhanced Commercial District
Upper West Side Neighborhood Retail Streets
- Approved!
Proposed Zoning

Proposed Zoning

Proposed Zoning Map
Proposed Zoning Map
PDF Document View a larger image.

The proposed zoning map amendment would create the Special Enhanced Commercial District 2 along Amsterdam Avenue generally between 73rd and 110th streets, and Columbus Avenue between 72nd and 87th streets, and the Special Enhanced Commercial District 3 along Broadway between 72nd and 110th streets, would provide regulations pertaining to ground floor street frontage and transparency requirements. The proposed area to which the Special Enhanced Commercial Districts text would apply encompasses 77 blockfronts along Amsterdam and Columbus and 73 blockfronts along Broadway and in Manhattan CD7.

The proposed special district would be guided by the following goals:
  • encourage diverse retail and service opportunities;

  • preserve and enhance the multi-store character of Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues; and

  • promote an active streetscape and attractive environment for pedestrians.

Special Use Provisions
  • Ground floor frontage restrictions for new and expanding banks and residential lobbies

  • Ground floor frontage restrictions for other new and expanding commercial uses along Amsterdam and Columbus

  • Transparency/glazing requirements for new developments

  • Minimum number of stores per block requirement on Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues for new development.
Each of the major components to this text amendment seeks to address a specific issue and will result in the strengthening of this established, dynamic commercial neighborhood.

The proposed Special Enhanced Commercial Districts text amendment would be shown on the zoning map by mapping a Special District, denoted "EC" for Enhanced Commercial.

Exceptions to the Special Use Provisions:
Buildings whose commercial depth is less than 30' would be exempt from any frontage limitations. Additionally, schools, houses of worship and pre-existing lots of less than 20' frontage would be exempted from the ground floor use and streetscape design/transparency regulations. Grocery stores would also be exempt.

Additionally, a Chair Certification will allow for existing businesses to apply for expanded frontages up to 60’, and a City Planning Commission Authorization will allow for a discretionary waiver of frontage maximums.

Frontage Regulations:
Amsterdam and Columbus - Typical Block with Proposed Regulations
PDF Document View a larger image.
Along Amsterdam and Columbus (EC-2):
A minimum of two non-residential establishments shall be required for every 50 feet of street frontage for all zoning lots with a lot width of 50 feet or more, as measured along the street line of Amsterdam or Columbus Avenue for new developments.

All new and expanding commercial establishments other than banks or loan offices shall not exceed 40' in width along Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues except for grocery stores and houses of worship.

Each new ground floor establishment required along Amsterdam and Columbus must have a depth equal to at least 30 feet, as measured from the street wall along the designated commercial street.

New and expanding banks and loan offices shall not exceed 25' in width.

All new and expanding lobbies for upper floors shall not exceed 25' in width along Amsterdam and Columbus.

Along Broadway (EC-3)
Broadway Typical Block with Proposed Regulations
PDF Document View a larger image.
New and expanding banks and loan offices shall not exceed 25' in width at street level. All lobbies for upper floor uses shall not exceed 25' in width at street level. There are no restrictions on banks' expansion above or below street level.
Transparency Regulations
Transparency Requirements
PDF Document View a larger image.
Transparency/glazing is required for 50% of the area of new developments between a height of 2' and 12' as measured above the sidewalk level for all uses fronting on Broadway (EC-3), and Amsterdam and Columbus (EC-2) (including lobbies) in new buildings. No portion of a ground floor may have a blank wall with a width exceeding 10'.
Commercial Overlay

The Department of City Planning is proposing mapping a C1-5 commercial overlay along 100' of the west side of Columbus Avenue from 77th and 76th street. This portion of the block is currently zoned R10A with no overlay. There are currently two retail establishments on this portion of the block one restaurant and one clothing retailer. The uses are consistent with the ground floor uses along the rest of the block, and in the general area. The mapping of a commercial overlay recognizes the existing land use on the block and permits the application of the proposed EC-2 special provisions along to Amsterdam and Columbus to this half-block.

Commercial Overlay Map
PDF Document View a larger image.
Proposed Commercial Overlay
Existing commercial uses on corner of Columbus and 77th Street, where C1-5 overlay is proposed.

PDF Document View the adopted text amendment as modified by CPC.

Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.
Copyright 2016 The City of New York Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use