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78-01 General Purposes
The regulations set forth in this Chapter are designed to deal with certain types of problems which arise only in connection with large-scale residential developments and to promote and facilitate better site planning and community planning through modified application of the district regulations in such developments.
For large-scale residential developments involving several zoning lots but planned as a unit, the district regulations may impose unnecessary rigidities and thereby prevent achievement of the best possible site plan within the overall density and bulk controls. For such developments, the regulations of this Chapter are designed to allow greater flexibility for the purpose of securing better site planning for development of vacant land and to provide incentives toward that end while safeguarding the present or future use and development of surrounding areas and, specifically, to achieve more efficient use of increasingly scarce land within the framework of the overall bulk controls, to enable open space in large-scale residential developments to be arranged in such a way as best to serve active and passive recreation needs of the residents, to protect and preserve scenic assets and natural features such as trees, streams and topographic features, to foster a more stable community by providing for a population of balanced family sizes, to encourage harmonious designs incorporating a variety of building types and variations in the siting of buildings, and thus to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare.
78-02 Definitions
Words in italics are defined in Section 12-10 or, if applicable exclusively to this Chapter, in this Section.
Floor area
For the purposes of this Chapter, in R3, R4 or R5 Districts, floor area shall be as defined in Section 12-10, except that:
  1. floor area shall not include up to 200 square feet of floor space located in any story used for required accessory off-street parking spaces within individual garages; and
  2. within the definition of floor area in Section 12-10, listed under "floor area includes," paragraph (i)(3) shall not apply, and listed under "floor area of a building shall not include," paragraph (6)(ii), shall not apply.
78-03 Applicability of This Chapter
Large-scale residential developments are governed by all the use, bulk, off-street parking and loading, and other applicable regulations of this Resolution, except for such special provisions as are specifically set forth in this Chapter and apply only to such large-scale residential developments.
Any large-scale residential development having a total of at least 500 dwelling units shall be subject to the provisions of Section 78-11 (General Provisions), relating to Provision of Public Facilities in Connection with Large-Scale Residential Developments.
Large-scale residential developments within the waterfront area shall be subject to the provisions of Section 62-132 (Applicability of Article VII, Chapters 4, 8 and 9).
78-04 Powers of the City Planning Commission
78-041 Authorization by Commission
For any large-scale residential development for which proposed modifications of the applicable district regulations are limited to those which may be granted in accordance with the provisions of Sections 78-21 to 78-23, inclusive, relating to Use Regulations, Sections 78-311 and 78-313 relating to Bulk Regulations, Section 78-41 (Location of Accessory Parking Spaces), or Sections 78-51 to 78-53, inclusive, relating to Subdivision of Large-Scale Residential Developments, the City Planning Commission may grant such modifications in accordance with the provisions of such specified Sections and may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards thereon.
78-042 Special Permits
For large-scale residential developments for which proposed modifications of the applicable district regulations include those which may be granted only in accordance with the provisions of Sections 78-312 to 78-33, inclusive, relating to Bulk Regulations, or Section 78-42 (Parking Regulations for Commercial and Community Facility Uses), the City Planning Commission may grant special permits for such modifications in accordance with the applicable provisions of such specified Sections and other sections of this Chapter and may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards thereon.
78-043 Requirements for Findings
The requirements for findings as set forth in this Chapter shall constitute a condition precedent to the grant of any such modification by special permit or otherwise. The decision or determination of the City Planning Commission shall set forth each required finding in each grant of modifications for a large-scale residential development. Each finding shall be supported by substantial evidence or data considered by the Commission in reaching its final decision.
78-044 Contractual Agreements
The City of New York may enter into contractual agreements with the applicant as may be required to assure compliance with the terms and conditions of the modifications granted under the provisions of this Chapter.
78-05 Requirements for Applications
An application to the City Planning Commission for an authorization or special permit respecting any large-scale residential development shall include a site plan and related schedules showing the location and proposed use of all buildings or other structures on the site, the location of existing natural features such as important trees or clusters of trees, streams or rock formations, and all information necessary to indicate the authorizations requested and their justification.
The Commission shall require, where relevant, a time schedule for carrying out the proposed large-scale residential development, a financial plan, a subdivision plan and, in the case of a site plan providing for common open space or common parking areas, a maintenance plan for such space or areas and surety for continued availability of such space or areas to the people they are intended to serve.
78-06 Ownership
  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Section, any large-scale residential development for which application is made for an authorization or special permit or modification thereto, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, shall be on a tract of land that at the time of application is all under the control of the applicant(s) as the owner(s) or holder(s) of a written option to purchase. Except as otherwise provided in this Section, no authorization or special permit or modification thereto, shall be granted for such large-scale residential development unless the applicant(s) acquired actual ownership (single fee ownership or alternate ownership arrangements according to the zoning lot definition in Section 12-10 for all zoning lots comprising the large-scale residential development) of, or executed a binding sales contract for, all of the property comprising such tract.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this Section, the following actions shall be permitted:
    1. When a large-scale residential development is part or all of a designated urban renewal project, the City's urban renewal agency, or a person authorized by such agency, may make application for and may be granted authorizations or special permits under the provisions of this Chapter, even though such large-scale residential development does not meet the ownership requirements set forth in paragraph (a) of this Section. All parcels comprising such large-scale residential development shall be within the designated urban renewal area and subject to the urban renewal controls set forth in the approved urban renewal plan.
    2. In the event that the urban renewal plan has expired, the owner(s) of a vacant parcel(s) within such large-scale residential development, if located in a former urban renewal area listed in this paragraph, (b)(2), may make application for and may be granted modifications of authorizations or special permits previously granted under the provisions of this Chapter with respect to such parcel(s), subject to the conditions of paragraph (b)(5) of this Section.

      Borough
      Community District
      Former
      Urban Renewal Area (URA)
      Manhattan
      7
      West Side URA
    3. The owner(s) of a developed parcel(s) within a large-scale residential development located in a former urban renewal area listed in paragraph (b)(2), where at least 50 percent of such parcel(s) is located within a C1-9 or C2-8 District, may make application for, and may be granted, modifications of authorizations or special permits previously granted under the provisions of this Chapter, in order to utilize available floor area for commercial or community facility uses, subject to the conditions of paragraph (b)(5) of this Section and provided further that:
      1. no residential use existing prior to July 23, 2008, located above the level of the ground floor may be changed to a non-residential use;
      2. the enlarged portion of the building shall be restricted to community facility uses and commercial uses listed in Use Groups 6A, 6C and 6F, provided that any ground floor community facility use, and any bank or loan office shall occupy not more than 25 feet of the wide street frontage, measured to a depth of 30 feet from the wide street line, and no community facility use shall be permitted above the level of the second story ceiling;
      3. any enlargement fronting upon Columbus or Amsterdam Avenue shall contain a number of establishments, such that the entire block front on Columbus or Amsterdam Avenue shall contain no fewer than three establishments, each with a separate entrance on Columbus or Amsterdam Avenue. The Columbus or Amsterdam Avenue frontage of any one such establishment shall not exceed 100 feet;
      4. the ground floor street wall of an enlargement located within C1-9 or C2-8 Districts shall be glazed with transparent materials which may include show windows, glazed transoms or glazed portions of doors. Such glazed area shall occupy at least 70 percent of the area of each such ground floor street wall, measured to a height of 12 feet above the level of the adjoining sidewalk or public access area;
      5. required open space with appropriate circulation, seating, lighting and plantings shall be accessible and usable by all residents of the large-scale residential development;
      6. a plan, including elevations, shall be submitted showing the proposed building(s) and modification, and open space; and
      7. the enlargement enhances the streetscape and the design promotes a harmonious relationship with the existing buildings and contiguous blocks within the large-scale residential development.
        In addition, any significant adverse impacts resulting from a development or enlargement pursuant to such modifications, considered in combination with developments or enlargements within the former urban renewal area listed in paragraph (b)(2), previously the subject of modifications under this paragraph, (b)(3), shall have been avoided or minimized to the maximum extent practicable by incorporating as conditions to the modification those mitigative measures that have been identified as practicable.

        The provisions of paragraphs (b)(3)(ii) and (b)(3)(iii) shall not apply to enlargements of community facility uses and bank or loan offices existing prior to July 23, 2008, provided that such enlargement does not increase existing street frontage on Columbus or Amsterdam Avenues by more than 10 feet.

        An application filed pursuant to this paragraph, (b)(3), shall be referred to the affected Community Board, and the City Planning Commission shall not grant any modification of an authorization or special permit pursuant thereto prior to 45 days after such referral.
    4. For any large-scale residential development located in the Community District(s) listed in this paragraph, (b)(4), the owner(s) of a vacant parcel(s) may make application for and may be granted modifications of authorizations or special permits previously granted under the provisions of this Chapter with respect to such parcel(s), subject to the conditions of paragraph (b)(5).

      Borough
      Community District
      Queens

       7
    5. Modifications of authorizations or special permits previously granted under the provisions of this Chapter, as permitted in paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this Section, shall not:
      1. result in the distribution of floor area from any zoning lot not coextensive with or included within such parcel(s); or
      2. increase the total allowable floor area on any zoning lot included within such parcel(s) beyond that amount permitted by the applicable district regulations.
        Such modifications may include the withdrawal of such parcel(s) from the boundaries of the large-scale residential development, provided that such modification would not create a non-compliance within the large-scale residential development.
    6. When a large-scale residential development is to be developed or enlarged through assemblage by any other governmental agency, other than the City's urban renewal agency, or its agent, having the power of condemnation, authorizations or special permits may be applied for and may be granted under the provisions of this Chapter, even though such large-scale residential development does not meet the ownership requirements set forth elsewhere in this Section.
    7. In the event that the urban renewal plan has expired, the owner(s) of a parcel(s) of land previously used as open space for a term of years that has expired within such large scale residential development, if located in a former urban renewal area listed in this paragraph, (b)(7), may make application for and be granted modifications of authorizations or special permits previously granted under the provisions of  this Chapter, where such modifications do not seek the distribution of floor area from any zoning lot not included within such parcel(s), for a development that includes a building and public open space permitted by the applicable district regulations. Such modifications shall result in a site plan that includes a building and public open space that are appropriately located and oriented with respect to other uses in the surrounding area.

Borough
Community District
Former
Urban Renewal Area (URA)
Manhattan
8
Ruppert Brewery URA
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