Press Releases

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2019

Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – (212) 720-3471

History Button: DCP’s Digital Zoning Resolution Now Includes a Full Legislative History

Allows users to see the current text and compare it to earlier versions

NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced that DCP’s free and online Zoning Resolution has been updated to include the code’s legislative history. The new feature makes all substantive changes to the Zoning Resolution more directly available to the public in an easy-to-read and easy-to-search digital format, going back to 1961.

“History helps us understand both the past and the present – and prepare for the future. By making the historical record of New York City’s Zoning Resolution so easily available, we advance our commitment to making land use decisions transparent and easily accessible, and to working with our many communities and elected officials to shape a more equitable New York,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.

By clicking on “history” in the top right of any section of the Zoning Resolution, users get a pop-up window that displays all substantive and adopted amendments for the section. The amendments are listed chronologically, allowing users to see the current text and compare it to past text or texts.

While the first zoning laws were enacted in 1916, the current iteration of the Zoning Resolution was adopted on December 15, 1960 and came into effect on December 15, 1961. It was crafted as a living document, requiring all updates to be approved through a formal public review, which in 1975 became the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process.

About 10,000 amendments have been made to the resolution since 1961. Examples of how zoning has been amended over the years to respond to changing times:

  • In 1979, an amendment created regulations that allowed sidewalk cafes in specific areas.
  • In 1987, Quality Housing encouraged multi-family housing by allowing additional apartments in new height-capped buildings that lined up with their neighbors and included resident amenities.
  • In 1993, special regulations established waterfront public access, visual corridors, and appropriate use and bulk regulations to activate the city’s shorelines.
  • In 2009, an amendment added indoor bike parking requirements for new or enlarged buildings.
  • In 2016, the approval of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing ensured permanently affordable housing when new residential capacity is approved through land use actions.

Launched in February of this year, the digital Zoning Resolution serves as a green replacement to the previous paper edition. It offers keyword searches, easy navigation, the ability print or download, one-click sharing and emailing, the option to subscribe for updates as new land use actions are approved, and much more. The former online version of the Zoning Resolution, which had been available as static PDFs, will be discontinued in favor of the digital, interactive Zoning Resolution.

Since the launch of the online Zoning Resolution, it has received more than 150,000 page views from more than 10,000 users around the world.

The digital tool complements a series of online platforms DCP has produced over the past few years to increase transparency and public engagement. They include: ZAP Search, ZoLa, Population Fact Finder, Community District Profiles, Metro Region Explorer, Waterfront Access Map and NYC Street Map.