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Projects & Proposals > Manhattan > West Harlem Printer Friendly Version
West Harlem Rezoning - Approved!
Proposed Zoning

Overview | Existing Context and Zoning | Proposed Zoning | DEIS | Public Review

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

The proposed actions would affect approximately 1,900 lots on 90 blocks. 95% of the proposed zoning replaces the existing R7-2 and R8 with fine-tuned contextual zoning districts (R6A, R7A, R8A) to ensure that future residential development is predictable and consistent with the surrounding neighborhood’s built context of low-scaled rowhouses, brownstones and mid-rise apartment buildings. The proposed zoning would map C6-3X and R8A zoning districts along a limited portion of the West 145th Street corridor for modest increases in density in order to support transit oriented development (immediately accessible to transit) and promote mixed income residential development. The proposal would designate the proposed C6-3X and R8A districts along West 145th between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue with the Inclusionary Housing Program. Additionally, the proposal would establish a Special Mixed Use District 15 (MX 15) in West Harlem to activate the existing manufacturing area with greater opportunities for mixed-use and job-creating uses. Lastly, the proposal maps new commercial overlays along portions of West 155th Street, West 145th Street and Hamilton Place to promote and better support local retail development. PDF Document View the zoning reference chart.


R6A (From R8 and R7-2)

North side of West 142nd Street by Riverside Drive within proposed R6A district
North side of West 142nd Street by Riverside Drive within proposed R6A district
The R6A zoning district would replace R8 and R7-2 districts currently mapped on all or portions of 36 blocks generally bounded by West 138th Street between Riverside Drive and Broadway; the north side of West 142nd Street between Riverside Drive and Broadway; West 145th Street to West 148th streets between Riverside Drive and Broadway; West 142nd to West 143rd streets between Broadway and Hamilton Place; West 147th to West 150th streets between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue; West 145th to West 150th streets between Amsterdam and St. Nicholas avenues; West 151st to West 154th streets between Amsterdam, Convent and St. Nicholas avenues; West 140th to West 145th streets between Amsterdam Avenue and Hamilton Terrace; and along the north side of West 152nd Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. R6A districts allow residential and community facility uses up to 3.0 FAR. The maximum contextual building envelope consists of a base height of 40 to 60 feet, after which a minimum setback is required (10 feet for wide streets and 15 feet for narrow streets) and maximum height limit of 70 feet. Parking is required for 50 percent of residential units, but may be waived if few spaces are required. The proposed R6A district, with lower bulk, height and street wall requirements would provide consistency between the existing built context of low-scale areas and its underlying zoning.

R7A (From R7-2 and C8-3)

South side of West 130th Street and Convent within proposed R7A district
South side of West 130th Street and Convent within proposed R7A district
This district would replace existing R7-2 districts currently mapped on all of portions of 57 blocks generally located along of St. Nicholas Place, Amsterdam, Convent and St. Nicholas avenues and on select mid-blocks between Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue. R7A districts allow residential and community facility uses up to 4.0 FAR. The maximum contextual building envelope would be similar to the R7 Quality Housing form and would consist of a base height of 40 to 65 feet, after which a minimum setback is required (10 feet for wide streets and 15 feet for narrow streets) and maximum height limit of 80 feet. Parking is required for 50 percent of residential units, but may be waived or reduced depending on zoning lot size. The mid-blocks proposed for R7A are characterized by mid-rise multi-family buildings interspersed with low-rise residential buildings. The building form encouraged by R7A regulations would result in residential buildings that are consistent with the scale, streetwall and density of the existing mid-block buildings.

R8A (From R7-2)

  • North side of West 145th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway within proposed R8A – Inclusionary Housing designated area
    North side of West 145th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway within proposed R8A – Inclusionary Housing designated area
    West 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue
    This district would replace the existing R7-2 district along portions of three blocks along West 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. R8A districts typically allow a maximum residential FAR of 6.02, but the maximum residential FAR would be increased in order to provide a useful incentive to develop affordable housing and enhance future development opportunities. A Inclusionary Housing Program Area would be designated in connection with the proposed R8A district through zoning text amendments (described below). In doing so, a base residential density of 5.4 FAR would be allowed; however, the allowable FAR may be increased up to 7.2 FAR, achievable through the Inclusionary Housing bonus subject to a maximum contextual building envelope. The maximum permitted building form would consist of a base height between 60 to 85 feet, after which a minimum setback of 10 feet is required and a maximum height limit of 120 feet. Parking is required for 50 percent of residential units but may be waived or reduced depending on zoning lot size. Community facilities would be allowed up to 6.5 FAR, as currently allowed under the existing R7-2 district regulations. The proposed R8A district combined with the Inclusionary Housing Program would support transit-oriented development while providing zoning incentives to encourage the development of affordable housing

  • South east corner of West 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue intersection within proposed R8A district
    South east corner of West 145th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue intersection within proposed R8A district
    Edgecombe Avenue, West 155th Street and West 145th Street between St. Nicholas and Bradhurst avenues
    This district would replace the existing R7-2 zoning districts along Edgecombe Avenue, West 155th Street and West 145th Street between St. Nicholas and Bradhurst avenues with the R8A zoning district in order to maintain the scale and street wall with the existing dense, mid-rise multi-family buildings within the area. R8A districts permit residential uses up to 6.02 FAR, community facility uses up to 6.5 FAR. The required building form would consist of a base height between 60 to 85 feet, after which a minimum setback of 10 feet is required and maximum height limit of 120 feet. Parking is required for 50 percent of residential units, but may be waived or reduced depending on zoning lot size.

C6-3X (From R8)

South east corner of West 145th Street and Broadway within proposed C6-3X Inclusionary Housing designated area
South east corner of West 145th Street and Broadway within proposed C6-3X Inclusionary Housing designated area
The C6-3X zoning district (R9X residential district equivalent) would be mapped at the intersection of West 145th Street and Broadway on the four corners to a depth of 100 feet an area currently zoned R8/C1-4. C6 districts permit a wide range commercial uses requiring a central location well-served by mass transit, such as office, hotels and entertainment facilities. C6 districts also allow residential and community facility uses. Commercial uses would be allowed up to 6.0 FAR and could be located above the ground floor in mixed residential/commercial buildings. Community facility uses would be allowed up to 9.0 FAR. The proposed district would allow residential uses up to 7.3 FAR, bonusable to 9.7 FAR through the Inclusionary Housing bonus made applicable by a proposed text amendment (described below). The required building form would consist of a base height between 105 to 120 feet, after which a minimum setback of 10 feet is required and maximum height limit of 170 feet. Parking is typically required for 40 percent of residential units, but may be waived or reduced depending on zoning lot size. The proposed C6-3X zoning district expands future development opportunity at the West 145th Street/Broadway intersection, which is well-served by mass transit. Additionally, the associated Inclusionary Housing Program designation would provide a useful incentive to encourage the development of affordable housing.

Special Mixed Use District – MX 15(From M1-1)

West 127th Street between West 126th Street and Convent Ave within proposed Special Mixed Use District (MX 15)
West 127th Street between West 126th Street and Convent Ave within proposed Special Mixed Use District (MX 15)
The proposal would rezone the existing manufacturing area located on portions of four blocks generally bounded by West 126th and West 129th streets, and Amsterdam and Convent avenues, zoned M1-1, to MX 15, denoting the Special Mixed Use District 15 (established through a proposed zoning text amendment). The Special Mixed Use District is a special zoning district that is mapped in several locations throughout the city and allow for new residential uses and non-residential uses to be permitted as-of-right. Designated on zoning maps as ‘MX’ with a numerical suffix, the special zoning district contains a M1 manufacturing district that is paired with an R3 to R9 residential district. The proposed MX district would pair a M1-5 manufacturing district (allows commercial, light manufacturing uses) with a R7-2 residential district (allows community facility and residential uses) thereby expanding opportunity for mixed-use development.

The proposed MX 15 would allow retail, commercial and light manufacturing uses up to 5.0 FAR and community facility uses up to 6.5 FAR. The applicable R7-2 residential density of 3.44 FAR is proposed in order to retain the predominately non-residential character of the area (3.44 is the lowest of the permitted densities within the proposed district). Retail and commercial may be placed above the ground floor.  Commercial uses such as supermarkets are limited to 10,000 square feet of floor area per establishment. Residential development may be permitted up to 4.0 FAR under the Quality Housing option, which is available on wide streets outside the Manhattan Core.

The permitted maximum building form would consist of a base height between 60 to 85 feet, after which a minimum setback is required (10 feet on wide streets and 15 feet on narrow streets) and maximum height limit of 135 feet. Buildings may exceed the maximum building height up to a height of 175 feet through the use of a provision that requires any stories constructed above a height of 135 feet to contain 20% less area than the story below it (‘penthouse rule’). The proposed street wall provisions would be applicable through a proposed text amendment (as described below).

Since the proposed rezoning area is strongly built-out, the existing M1-1 district is one of few places that could provide an opportunity for additional commercial and light manufacturing development, especially supporting activities that complement arts production and exhibition. Ultimately, while the market determines whether development would occur, the MX district provides the increased flexibility intended to incentivize the development of new businesses and better support the expansion of existing businesses. Additionally, the proposed MX district would complement and support the City’s renewed efforts to redevelop the former Taystee Bakery complex.

C1-4 and C2-4 Commercial Overlays

South side of West 145th Street between Convent and Amsterdam avenues within proposed R6A/C1-4 district
South side of West 145th Street between Convent and Amsterdam avenues within proposed R6A/C1-4 district
C1-4 and C2-4 overlays are proposed to be mapped along portions of the south side of West 155th Street adjacent to St. Nicholas Place (C2-4); on both sides of the West 145th Street mid-block between Riverside Drive and Broadway; both sides of the West 145th Street mid-block between Amsterdam and St. Nicholas avenues (C2-4), and portions of Hamilton Place between West 138th and West 140th streets and West 141st and West 142nd streets (C1-4). C1 and C2 commercial overlays are mapped on streets within residential districts that serve the local retail needs of the surrounding residential neighborhood. Typical retail uses include grocery stores, restaurants and beauty parlors. C2 districts permit a slightly wider range of uses than C1 districts, such as funeral homes and repair services. The proposed commercial overlays would be mapped within R6A, R7A and R8A districts and would bring existing ground floor commercial uses into conformance. They would also support future ground floor commercial uses to serve the neighborhood.

Within the proposed R6A, R7A and R8A districts, ground floor retail uses would be allowed up to 1.0 FAR in mixed residential/commercial buildings. Buildings without residential uses would also be allowed 2.0 FAR of commercial uses. New developments would be subject to the density and bulk requirements of the proposed underlying R6A, R7A and R8A districts.

Proposed Zoning Text Amendments
In addition to the above zoning map amendments, the proposal includes the zoning text amendments described below.

Inclusionary Housing Program

As part of the City’s ongoing effort to provide new housing opportunities in West Harlem, the proposal identifies areas that are appropriate for the Inclusionary Housing designation. The Inclusionary Housing designation, which can be applied in areas being rezoned to allow medium- and high-density residential development, combines a zoning floor area bonus with a variety of housing subsidy programs to create powerful incentives for the development and preservation of affordable housing.

The proposed zoning text amendment would make the Inclusionary Housing Program (IHP) zoning regulations applicable in the C6-3X zoning district (R9X residential zoning district equivalent) and the R8A district along West 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. In the areas where the IHP would be applicable, new residential developments that provide on- or off- site housing that will remain permanently affordable for low- and moderate-income families would receive increased floor area. The IHP provides 33% bonus in exchange for 20% of floor area set aside as affordable units. The additional floor area must be accommodated within the bulk regulations of the underlying zoning districts. Affordable units could be financed through city, state, and federal affordable housing subsidy programs. Within the proposed rezoning area, portions of approximately five blocks would be subject to the IHP.

The affordable housing requirement of the Inclusionary Housing zoning bonus could be met through the development of affordable units, on-site, or off-site either through new construction or preservation of existing affordable units. Off-site affordable units must be located within the same community district, within a half-mile of the bonused development or anywhere within Community District 9. The availability of on-site and off-site options provides maximum flexibility to ensure the broadest possible utilization of the program under various market conditions.

Special Mixed Use District – MX 15 

The proposal would establish Special Mixed Use District - MX 15 in West Harlem, thereby making the existing Special Mixed Use District’s general provisions applicable. The proposed street wall provisions will ensure that new development retains the existing strong street wall character in the area. The proposal would amend the existing base height requirements by adding a new minimum base height provision and street wall location provision, since none exist today for R7-2-paired MX districts. The proposed text would require a minimum base height of 60 feet and street wall provision to require that 70% of the aggregate building walls of new developments be located on the street line, with the remaining 30% to be located within 8 feet of the street line. As stated earlier, the proposed MX district is intended to support and enhance existing commercial and light industrial uses while encouraging the redevelopment and underutilized land.

Mandatory Quality Housing for R8 Districts within West Harlem

The proposal would make mandatory the current provisions of the Quality Housing Program for R8 districts in the West Harlem Rezoning area. The proposed text amendment would encourage building forms that are consistent with the existing scale and character of the 6- to 8-story apartment buildings generally found within existing R8 districts located from West 135th Street to West 153rd Street between Riverside Drive and Broadway and along the west side of St. Nicholas Avenue and the east side of St. Nicholas Terrace between West 126th Street to West 128th Street. The Quality Housing Program for R8 districts (applicable to Manhattan Community Districts 9-12) allows a maximum residential density of 6.02 FAR on narrow streets and a maximum of 7.2 FAR for wide streets. Community facility FAR may be developed up to 6.5 FAR. For sites on narrow streets, the required building envelope would provide for a street wall of 60 to 85 feet in height, with a maximum building height of 105 feet. For sites on wide streets, the street wall must rise between 60 to 85 feet in height with a maximum allowable building height of 120 feet.



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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.
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