74-681 Development Within or Over a Railroad or Transit Right-Of-Way or Yard
(a) In all districts, when a development or enlargement, including large-scale developments pursuant to Section 74-74, 78-00 et seq. or 79-00 et seq. is located partially or entirely within a railroad or transit right-of-way or yard and/or in railroad or transit air space, the City Planning Commission may permit:
(1) that portion of the railroad or transit right-of-way or yard which will be completely covered over by a permanent platform to be included in the lot area for such development or enlargement;
(2) any portion of the right-of-way or yard where railroad or transit use has been permanently discontinued or terminated to be included in the lot area for such development or enlargement;
(3) notwithstanding the applicable district regulations, certain uses may be located beneath a portion of a permanent platform, including a platform street as follows:
(i) any use accessory to a primary use located on the zoning lot;
(ii) a public parking garage or public parking lot provided the findings set forth in Section 74-52 and hereby made applicable, are met for such garage or lot;
(iii) a railroad passenger station (pursuant to Section 74-62) or a railroad including right-of-way, freight terminal, yard or appurtenance, or a facility or service used or required in railroad operations;
(iv) a public transit yard, vehicle storage, warehouse, trucking terminal or motor freight station (without limitation on lot area per establishment).
(b) As a condition for granting a special permit, the Commission shall find that:
(1) the streets providing access to all uses pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Section are adequate to handle traffic resulting therefrom;
(2) the distribution of floor area and the number of dwelling units or rooming units does not adversely affect the character of the surrounding area by being unduly concentrated in any portion of such development or enlargement, including any portion of the development or enlargement located beyond the boundaries of such railroad or transit right-of-way or yard;
(3) all uses, developments or enlargements located on the zoning lot or below a platform do not adversely affect one another;
(4) if such railroad or transit right-of-way or yard is deemed appropriate for future transportation use, the site plan and structural design of the development do not preclude future use of, or improvements to, the right-of-way for such transportation use.
(c) For any development or enlargement located within or over railroad or transit right-of-way or yard:
(1) the application to be filed with the Commission for special permit approval pursuant to this Section shall include a site plan showing:
(i) the total lot area of that portion of a railroad or transit right-of-way or yard to be covered by a platform; and/or
(ii) the total lot area of such right-of-way or yard that has been permanently discontinued or terminated;
(2) ownership of rights to develop in railroad or transit air space or within a railroad or transit right-of-way or yard where such use has been permanently discontinued or terminated, shall meet the requirements of the zoning lot definition in Section 12-10 (DEFINITIONS);
(3) where the railroad or transit right-of-way or yard is to be covered over by a permanent platform, such platform shall be unperforated except for such suitably protected openings as may be required for utilities, ventilation, drainage or other necessary purposes;
(4) the Commission may establish an appropriate level or levels instead of curb level as the reference plane for the applicable regulations pertaining to, but not limited to, height and setback, floor area, lot coverage, open space, yards, and minimum distance between buildings;
(5) the Commission may permit buildings to be connected by a bridge or tunnel, within a portion of a street, provided that the street volume occupied by such bridge or tunnel is not mapped and owned by the City, and provided that such structure is used exclusively for pedestrian or vehicular circulation; however, in no event shall such a bridge or tunnel be considered as lot area or generate any floor area; and in the case of a bridge, the Commission shall find that such bridge will:
(i) provide adequate vertical clearance at all points measured from curb level to the soffit;
(ii) not rest upon columns or other supports that intrude upon the street;
(iii) provide illumination of at least five foot candles at the curb level for the street area beneath the bridge;
(iv) not unduly obstruct any significant scenic view; and
(v) provide adequate light and air to the street or surrounding public spaces or streets.
In the case of a tunnel, the Commission may permit buildings to be connected by a tunnel under a street, provided the Commission finds that the tunnel is used exclusively for vehicular circulation and is necessary to achieve improved vehicle circulation within the development and on adjoining streets.
(d) The Commission shall require the provision of adequate accessory off-street parking spaces and loading berths necessary to prevent the creation of traffic congestion caused by the curb parking of vehicles generated by any use permitted on the zoning lot, and shall determine the required number of parking spaces and loading berths in accordance with the purposes established in this Resolution with respect to other major traffic-generating facilities.
The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area, and may require where the development or enlargement includes an active railroad or transit use, that the structural design of such development or enlargement make due allowance for changes within the layout of tracks or other structures within such railroad or transit air space or railroad or transit right-of-way or yard which may be deemed necessary in connection with future development or improvement of the transportation system.
Prior to granting a special permit, the Commission shall request the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Departments of Transportation of the State of New York and the City of New York to indicate within 30 days whether said agencies have any plan to use that portion of the railroad or transit air space or railroad or transit right-of-way or yard where the railroad or transit use has been permanently discontinued or terminated.