142-09 Off-Street Relocation of Subway Station Entrances
For all developments or enlargements involving ground floor level construction on a zoning lot that is wholly or partially located within a Transit Easement Zone, as shown on Map 3 (Special Inwood District — Transit Easement Zones) in the Appendix to this Chapter, a transit easement volume may be required on such zoning lot for public access between the street and the adjacent above- or below-grade subway station.
(a) Transit Easement
Prior to filing any application with the Department of Buildings for an excavation permit, foundation permit, new building permit or alteration permit for a development or enlargement, the owner of the zoning lot shall file an application with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission requesting a certification as to whether or not a transit easement volume is required on the zoning lot.
Within 60 days of receipt of such application, the MTA and the Chairperson shall jointly certify whether or not a transit easement volume is required on the zoning lot. Failure to certify within the 60-day period will release the owner from any obligation to provide a transit easement volume on such zoning lot.
When the MTA and the Chairperson indicate that a transit easement volume is required, the MTA shall, in consultation with the owner of the zoning lot and the Chairperson, determine the appropriate type of transit easement and reasonable dimensions for such transit easement volume.
The owner shall submit a site plan showing a proposed location of such transit easement volume that would provide access between the street and the adjacent subway station and be compatible with the proposed development or enlargement on the zoning lot for joint approval and final certification by the MTA and the Chairperson. The MTA and the Chairperson shall comment on such site plan within 45 days of its receipt and may, within such 45-day period or following its expiration, permit the granting of an excavation permit while the location and size of the transit easement volume is being finalized. Upon joint approval of a site plan by the MTA and the Chairperson, copies of such certification shall be forwarded by the Chairperson to the Department of Buildings.
Legally enforceable instruments, running with the land, creating a transit easement volume, and setting forth the obligations of either the MTA or the owner and developer, their successors and assigns, to design and construct the improvement, shall be executed and recorded in a form acceptable to the MTA and the Chairperson. The execution and recording of such instruments shall be a precondition to the issuance of any foundation permit, new building permit, or alteration permit by the Department of Buildings allowing such development or enlargement.
(b) Construction and Maintenance
Where a transit easement volume is required pursuant to this Section, transit access improvements within such volume shall be constructed and maintained either by the MTA or the owner of the zoning lot with the development or enlargement.
(1) Where such mass transit improvement is constructed and maintained by the owner of the development or enlargement:
(i) a transit access improvement shall be provided in accordance with standards set forth by the MTA;
(ii) such improvement shall be accessible to the public at all times, except as otherwise approved by the MTA;
(iii) such improvement shall include signs to announce accessibility to the public. Such signs shall be exempt from the maximum surface area of non-illuminated signs permitted by Section 32-642 (Non-illuminated signs); and
(iv) no temporary certificate of occupancy shall be granted by the Department of Buildings for the building until the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission, acting in consultation with the MTA, has certified that the improvement is substantially complete and usable by the public.
(2) Where such mass transit improvement is constructed and maintained by the MTA:
(i) Where the construction of the improvement is not contemporaneous with the construction of the development or enlargement, any underground walls constructed along the front lot line adjacent to a below-grade subway station shall include a knockout panel, not less than 12 feet wide, below curb level down to the bottom of the easement. The actual location and size of such knockout panel shall be determined through consultation with the MTA.
(ii) Temporary construction access shall be granted to the MTA on portions of the zoning lot outside of the transit easement volume, as necessary, to enable construction within and connection to the transit easement volume.
(iii) In the event that the MTA has approved of obstructions associated with the development or enlargement within the transit easement volume, such as building columns or footings, such construction and maintenance shall exclude any such obstructions within the transit easement volume.
(c) Additional modifications
Where a transit easement volume is required pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Section, the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission shall certify the following modifications in conjunction with such transit easement volume certification:
(1) the edge of the transit easement volume facing the street shall be considered a street wall for the purposes of applying the street wall location provisions set forth in Section 142-40 (SPECIAL HEIGHT AND SETBACK REGULATIONS), inclusive, irrespective of whether such volume is incorporated into a building;
(2) for zoning lots adjacent to a below-grade subway station, the maximum height for the building set forth in Section 142-40, inclusive, shall be increased by 10 feet, and the maximum number of stories, if applicable, shall be increased by one, except where the provisions of Section 142-48 (Special Regulations for Certain Sites in Subdistricts C and F) are being utilized;
(3) the floor space contained within any transit easement volume required pursuant to this Section shall be excluded from the definition of floor area; and
(4) the street frontage of such transit easement volume shall be excluded for the purpose of applying the provisions of Section 142-14 (Ground Floor Level Requirements).
(d) Temporary Use
Any easement volume required on a zoning lot pursuant to paragraph (a) of this Section may be temporarily used for any permitted commercial or community facility uses until such time as required by the MTA for transit access improvements. The floor space allocated to such temporary uses within the transit easement volume shall continue to be exempt from the definition of floor area and shall not be included for the purpose of calculating accessory off-street parking, bicycle parking, or loading berths.
Improvements or construction of a temporary nature within the easement volume for such temporary uses shall be removed by the owner of the building or portion of the zoning lot within which the easement volume is located prior to the time at which public use of the easement area is required, except as otherwise specified by the MTA. A minimum notice of six months shall be given, in writing, by the MTA to the owner of the building or portion of the zoning lot to vacate the easement volume.
(e) Termination of an easement volume
In the event that the MTA and the City Planning Commission jointly notify the Department of Buildings and the owner in writing that a transit easement volume is not required on a zoning lot in its final construction plans, the restrictions imposed on such zoning lot by the provisions of this Section shall lapse, following receipt of notification thereof by the owner, and the owner shall have the right to record an instrument reciting the consent of the MTA to the extinguishment of the easement volume.
On any zoning lot which has been developed or enlarged in accordance with the provisions of this Section and on which termination of transit easement has been certified, pursuant to this paragraph, any floor space in a previously required transit easement volume shall continue to be exempt from the definition of floor area and shall not be included for the purpose of calculating requirements for accessory off-street parking, bicycle parking or loading berths. However, where such previously required volume is located within a building, the ground floor space shall be subject to the provisions of Section 142-14.