107-20 District Plan Elements
All land in the open space network as shown on the District Plan (Map 3 in Appendix A), except public parks, is subject to the provisions of this Section.
The City Planning Commission may adjust the boundaries of a designated open space on a zoning lot provided that such adjustment will not place the new boundary closer than 60 feet to a watercourse. As a condition for such adjustment in the boundaries, the Commission shall find that:
(a) such adjustment shall:
(1) result in a substantial improvement in the quality and usefulness of the designated open space; and
(2) permit development which better satisfies the purpose of this Chapter and include new features in the designated open space which will be at least equal in quality to those which are displaced from it; and
(3) provide an equivalent area replacement for the area removed from the designated open space; or
(b) such adjustment shall:
(1) be permitted to exclude:
(i) a zoning lot which is contiguous to exempted zoning lots along at least two lot lines; or
(ii) a zoning lot which would otherwise be contiguous to exempted zoning lots along at least two lot lines but for the separation by a street; or
(iii) streets abutting exempted zoning lots; and
(2) not substantially alter the utility and quality of the designated open space; or
(c) such adjustment shall:
(1) be in conjunction with a public improvement project approved by the City prior to September 11, 1975, for funding to exclude in whole or in part the bed of a mapped street and/or adjacent zoning lots or portions thereof; and
(2) not substantially alter the utility and quality of the open space network; or
(d) such adjustment shall:
(1) exclude, in whole or in part, private property contiguous with a public park which has been mapped since September 11, 1975; and
(2) not preclude the continuity to the designated open space or the public pedestrian way or the waterfront esplanade; and
(3) not substantially alter the utility and quality of the designated open space.
Any development or site alteration on a zoning lot which contains designated open space as shown on the District Plan (Map 3 in Appendix A), shall require certification by the City Planning Commission that:
(a) such designated open space shall be preserved in its natural state by the owner of the zoning lot; and
(b) where required by the Commission, the applicant has complied with the provisions of Section 107-222 (Public pedestrian ways); and
(c) where required by the Commission, as indicated on the District Plan, that the applicant has complied with Section 107-23 (Waterfront Esplanade).
Within any designated open space, removal of trees, alteration of topography, development of active recreational facilities or utility easements may be undertaken only in accordance with the provisions of this Section and Section 107-30 (TOPOGRAPHIC AND TREE REGULATIONS).
Planting, landscaping or provision of footpaths or sitting areas are permitted in any part of designated open space, provided that such improvements do not involve removal of trees or alteration of existing topography, and do not obstruct pedestrian movement within the public pedestrian ways.
Designated open space may be used for active recreational facilities provided that the City Planning Commission certifies that such uses are compatible with the purposes of the network open space and have minimal impact on tree removal, topographic alterations or drainage conditions.
Active recreational facilities may include swimming pools, tennis courts or facilities and equipment normally found in playgrounds, and shall comply with the use regulations of the underlying district.
In the development of active recreational facilities, no individual trees of six-inch caliper or more shall be removed except by special authorization of the Commission in accordance with the provisions of Sections 107-64 (Removal of Trees) or 107-65 (Modification of Existing Topography). Active recreational facilities shall not be allowed within 60 feet of any watercourse in designated open space unless the Commission certifies that a location closer to such watercourse will not adversely affect the natural character of the watercourse or its drainage function. The Commission, where appropriate, shall be guided by the reports from other City agencies involved in land contour work, storm water drainage systems or similar operations.
If the City of New York acquires an easement for public access to any designated open space on which a building has been, is being or could be in the future, constructed in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, the City's acquisition of an easement shall not affect the qualifications of the designated open space for satisfying lot area requirements, yard requirements, floor area or lot coverage restrictions or open space requirements as provided in Section 107-224 (Qualification of designated open space as lot area for bulk computations) and shall not be deemed to create a non-compliance.
For any site alteration or development on a zoning lot which contains designated open space, the City Planning Commission shall certify whether or not the applicant shall be required to provide a public pedestrian way through a portion of the designated open space.
When a public pedestrian way is required, it shall be built and maintained by the owner of the zoning lot and shall be accessible to the public at all times. The public pedestrian way shall be improved at the time the site alteration or development takes place, except that for site alterations or developments on a tract of land less than 1.5 acres, the Commission may allow the applicant to delay the construction of the public pedestrian way if the applicant complies with Section 107-24 (Performance Bond).
The location and dimension of such pedestrian way shall be determined by the Commission. The owner of the zoning lot may request the City to take an easement on the property. If the City of New York acquires an easement for public access to any designated open space on which a building has been, is being or could be in the future, constructed in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, the City's acquisition of an easement shall not affect the qualifications of the designated open space requirements as provided in Section 107-224 (Qualification of designated open space as lot area for bulk computations) and shall not be deemed to create a non-compliance.
The following shall not be considered as obstructions when located in designated open space:
(a) Awnings and other sun control devices, pursuant to Section 23-44 (Permitted Obstructions);
(b) Balconies, unenclosed, subject to the provisions of Section 23-13;
(c) Eaves, gutters or downspouts projecting into such designated open space not more than 16 inches;
(d) Fences or walls, conditioned upon certification by the City Planning Commission that:
(1) such fences or walls will not obstruct or preclude public access or circulation of pedestrians, cyclists or horseback riders through the public easement within designated open space; and
(2) the location, size, design and materials of such fences or walls are appropriate to the character of the designated open space;
(e) Exterior wall thickness, pursuant to Section 23-44;
(f) Solar energy systems on walls existing on April 30, 2012, projecting no more than 10 inches and occupying no more than 20 percent of the surface area of the building wall (as viewed in elevation) from which it projects.
No accessory off-street parking facilities shall be permitted in designated open space. No building or other structure shall be erected in designated open space except as permitted by the provisions of Section 107-221 (Active recreational facilities). Any existing building or other structure located within the designated open space on September 11, 1975, and not complying with the provisions of this Section or the other Sections specified in the preceding paragraph, shall not be enlarged but may be continued as a non-conforming use or non-complying building subject to the applicable provisions of Article V (Non-conforming Uses and Non-complying Buildings) in accordance with the underlying district regulations.
Designated open space on a zoning lot may count as lot area for the purposes of the applicable regulations on yards, floor area ratio, open space ratio, open space, lot coverage, lot area or density, provided that the area of the designated open space claimed as lot area does not exceed the area of the zoning lot located outside the designated space. For a single-family residence, any portion of a zoning lot occupied by designated open space shall count as lot area for the purposes of satisfying minimum density requirements only pursuant to this Section.
Where the area of the designated open space claimed as lot area exceeds the above permitted amount, the provisions of Section 107-72 (Qualification of Designated Open Space as Lot Area) shall apply.
Any designated open space, or portion thereof, claimed as required open space or used to satisfy the lot coverage restrictions for a development containing residences shall be accessible to and usable by all residents of the zoning lot.
In the case of a large-scale residential development, any designated open space, or portion thereof, that qualifies as lot area may be used as common space.
This section shall apply to any tract of land containing designated open space that is developed as a unit in single ownership and where the area of the designated open space claimed as lot area for zoning computation does not exceed the area of that portion of the tract of land not located within designated open space. Such a tract of land may contain a single zoning lot or two or more zoning lots which are contiguous or would be contiguous except for their separation by a street.
In all Residence Districts, except R1-1 Districts, for all permitted residential uses on such tract of land, the total floor area or dwelling units generated by that portion of the designated open space claimed as lot area by the applicable district regulations may be distributed without regard for zoning lot lines, for all zoning lots wholly within such tract of land. The total open space required or lot coverage permitted for such tract of land may be located anywhere within the tract of land without regard for zoning lot lines.
No transfer of floor area or dwelling units shall be permitted from a zoning lot not containing any designated open space.
The site plan and bulk distribution for the entire tract of land shall be recorded in the land records and indexed against all zoning lots in such tract of land.
Furthermore, the minimum lot area and lot width regulations, yards and spacing between buildings regulations shall not apply along portions of streets or lot lines wholly within such tract of land, provided that:
(a) the maximum lot coverage on any zoning lot shall not exceed 50 percent of the lot area;
(b) the minimum distance between buildings on the same or adjacent zoning lots across a common side lot line is not less than 10 feet; and
(c) the minimum distance between buildings on adjacent zoning lots across a common rear lot line shall not be less than 40 feet.
When a zoning lot owned separately or individually from all adjoining zoning lots prior to January 2, 1975, is located entirely or substantially within designated open space and no reasonable development is possible on the zoning lot, the owner may request the City to provide, in exchange, a City-owned zoning lot.
The zoning lots may be exchanged only after an appraisal made by a body consisting of the following:
(a) one independent fee appraiser appointed by the City;
(b) one independent fee appraiser appointed by the private property owner, which appraiser may be the same as in paragraph (a) of this Section; and
(c) if needed to resolve a disagreement between the two appraisers appointed in paragraphs (a) and (b), one independent fee appraiser chosen by mutual agreement between the two individually appointed appraisers.
Such requests for exchange shall be filed by the owner of the zoning lot with the City Planning Commission.
If such exchange of zoning lots is not feasible under this Section or Section 384-7.0 of the New York City Administrative Code, the City may either acquire such zoning lot or permit development to proceed thereon with the minimal modification of the designated open space necessary to permit development containing residences.