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Chapter 7 Special 125th Street District (125)

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97-00 General Purposes
The "Special 125th Street District" established in this Resolution is designed to promote and protect the public health, safety, general welfare and amenity. The general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:
  1. to preserve, protect and promote the special character of 125th Street as Harlem's "Main Street" and the role of 125th Street as Upper Manhattan's premier mixed use corridor;
  2. to guide development on the 125th Street corridor;
  3. to expand the retail and commercial character of 125th Street;
  4. to provide incentives for the creation of visual and performing arts space and enhance the area's role as a major arts, entertainment and cultural destination in the City;
  5. to support mixed use development throughout the 125th Street corridor, including residential uses, and to provide incentives for the production of affordable housing;
  6. to ensure that the form of new buildings is compatible and relates to the built character of the 125th Street corridor;
  7. to enhance the pedestrian environment through appropriate ground floor uses and regulations;
  8. to ensure, in the Park Avenue Hub Subdistrict, compatibility with the purposes of the Special East Harlem Corridors District; and  
  9. to promote the most desirable use of land and thus conserve and enhance the value of land and buildings, and thereby protect the City's revenue.
97-01 Definitions
For purposes of this Chapter, matter in italics is defined in Section 12-10 (DEFINITIONS).
97-02 General Provisions
In harmony with the general purposes of the Special 125th Street District and in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter, the express requirements of the Special District shall apply within the Special District.
Except as modified by the particular provisions of the Special District, the regulations of the underlying zoning districts shall remain in effect. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of this Chapter and other regulations of this Resolution, the provisions of this Chapter shall control. However, for transit-adjacent sites or qualifying transit improvement sites, as defined in Section 66-11 (Definitions), in the event of a conflict between the provisions of this Chapter and the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 6 (Special Regulations Applying Around Mass Transit Stations), the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 6 shall control.
97-03 District Plan and Maps
The regulations of this Chapter are designed to implement the Special 125th Street District Plan. The District Plan, including Map 1 (Special 125th Street District and Subdistricts) and Map 2 (Permitted Small Sidewalk Cafe Locations), is set forth in Appendix A of this Chapter and is hereby incorporated as part of this Resolution for the purpose of specifying locations where the special regulations and requirements set forth in this Chapter apply.
97-04 Establishment of Subdistricts
In order to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Chapter, three subdistricts are established within the Special 125th Street District: the Core Subdistrict, the Park Avenue Hub Subdistrict and Subdistrict A. Each subdistrict includes specific regulations designed to support an arts and entertainment environment and other relevant planning objectives along 125th Street. The boundaries of the subdistricts are shown on Map 1 in Appendix A of this Chapter.
97-05 Establishment of Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council
A Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council shall be created for the purpose of reviewing and making recommendations concerning the Community Engagement Plans of proposed operators of visual or performing arts uses pursuant to paragraph (c)(7) of Section 97-423 (Certification for floor area bonus for visual or performing arts uses). The Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council shall consist of 11 members: two (2) members appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, one of whom shall be designated by such Commissioner to serve as Chair, and three (3) members appointed by each of the Council Members for the Councilmanic Districts in which the Special District is located, who will rotate depending upon where the proposed visual or performing arts use is located, pursuant to Sections 97-422 and 97-423. Members of the Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council shall be members of the Harlem performing or visual arts, non-profit, or business communities and shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing official. The Department of Cultural Affairs shall provide staff assistance to the Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council and shall establish guidelines and procedures for the performance of its functions.
In making a recommendation concerning a Community Engagement Plan pursuant to paragraph (c)(7) of Section 97-423, the Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council shall consider the prior history and/or proposed scope of outreach and educational activities in Community Boards 9, 10 or 11 by the proposed operator; and the organizational capacity and commitment of the proposed operator to implement local partnerships under the Community Engagement Plan. The Department of Cultural Affairs shall not submit a letter to the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission pursuant to paragraph (c)(7) of Section 97-423 without having first received and considered the written recommendation of the Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council, provided that the Bonused Space Local Arts Advisory Council shall have provided the Department of Cultural Affairs with such written recommendation no later than 45 days following receipt of a request for review from the Department of Cultural Affairs.
97-06 Applicability of District Regulations
97-061 Applicability of Special Transit Land Use District Regulations
Wherever the Special 125th Street District includes an area which also lies within the Special Transit Land Use District, the requirements of the Special Transit Land Use District, as set forth in Article IX, Chapter 5, shall apply, subject to the modifications described in paragraphs (a)(5) and (a)(6) of Section 97-432 (Height and setback regulations in the Core Subdistrict and in areas outside of a subdistrict).
97-062 Applicability of the Quality Housing Program
In the Special 125th Street District, buildings containing residences shall be developed or enlarged in accordance with the Quality Housing Program, and the regulations of Article II, Chapter 8 shall apply. The bulk regulations of this Chapter shall be considered the applicable bulk regulations for Quality Housing buildings.  
97-063 Applicability of Inclusionary Housing Program
For the purposes of applying the Inclusionary Housing Program provisions set forth in Section 23-154 (Inclusionary Housing) and in Section 23-90 (INCLUSIONARY HOUSING), inclusive, Inclusionary Housing designated areas and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing areas within the Special 125th Street District are shown on the maps in APPENDIX F of this Resolution.
97-10 Special Use and Location Regulations
97-11 Special Arts and Entertainment Uses
In order to sustain the arts and entertainment character of the 125th Street corridor, the provisions of this Section shall apply.
  1. The following uses shall be designated as entertainment uses:

    Auditoriums

    Bookstores

    Clubs, including music, dance or comedy clubs

    Eating or drinking establishments, with table service only

    Music stores

    Studios, art, music, dancing or theatrical

    Studios, radio, television or motion picture.
  2. The following uses shall be designated as visual or performing arts uses:

Art galleries

Historical exhibits

Literary arts spaces

Museums

Performance spaces

Primary rehearsal spaces

Theaters

Visual/Media arts spaces.
97-12 Arts and Entertainment Use Requirement
Within the Core Subdistrict, as shown on Map 1 in Appendix A of this Chapter, or for that portion of a zoning lot located within the Core Subdistrict, for buildings or portions of buildings developed or enlarged after April 30, 2008, that contain at least 60,000 square feet of floor area and are located on zoning lots with frontage on 125th Street, an amount of space equivalent to a minimum of five percent of the floor area of the development or enlargement shall be occupied by one or more of the uses designated in Section 97-11 (Special Arts and Entertainment Uses).
97-13 Permitted Small Sidewalk Cafe Locations
Small sidewalk cafes shall be permitted in the Special 125th Street District as indicated on Map 2 (Permitted Small Sidewalk Cafe Locations) in Appendix A of this Chapter, subject to all applicable regulations of Article I, Chapter 4 (Sidewalk Cafe Regulations).
97-20 Location and Access Regulations
Within the Core Subdistrict, as shown on Map 1 in Appendix A of this Chapter, and areas outside of a subdistrict, the provisions of Section 97-21 (Supplemental Use and Streetscape Regulations Along 125th Street), inclusive, shall apply.
Within the Park Avenue Hub Subdistrict, as shown on Map 1 in Appendix A of this Chapter, the provisions of Section 97-21, inclusive, shall apply to any zoning lot, or portion thereof, specified in Section 97-21, and the provisions of Section 97-22 (Supplemental Use and Streetscape Regulations Within the Park Avenue Hub Subdistrict), inclusive, shall apply to all other zoning lots, or portions thereof.
For the purposes of applying the provisions of this Section, defined terms shall include those set forth in Sections 12-10 (DEFINITIONS) and 37-311 (Definitions).
97-21 Supplemental Use and Streetscape Regulations Along 125th Street
Within the Special 125th Street District, for any zoning lot that fronts upon 125th Street, the use regulations of the underlying districts shall be modified by the requirements of this Section, inclusive. However, on through lots or corner lots with frontage along 125th Street, such requirements shall apply within the first 100 feet of the 125th Street street line.
97-211 Location of and Access to Arts and Entertainment Uses
Any arts and entertainment uses listed in Section 97-11 that are provided in order to comply with the requirements of Section 97-12 (Arts and Entertainment Use Requirement) or Section 97-422 (Floor area bonus for visual or performing arts uses) shall be subject to the following location and access requirements:
The designated uses listed in Section 97-11 may be located anywhere throughout a building that fronts on 125th Street, subject to the following conditions:
  1. any such designated uses within the Core Subdistrict required pursuant to Section 97-12 shall be accessed from 125th Street; and
  2. any residential use shall be located on a floor wholly above any commercial use; or
  3. any commercial use may be permitted on the same story as a residential use, provided that:  
    1. no access exists between commercial uses and residential uses at any level; and
    2. commercial uses are not located directly over any residential uses.
Such commercial use, however, may be located over a residential use by authorization of the City Planning Commission upon a finding that sufficient separation of residential uses from commercial uses exists within the building.
97-212 Uses Not Permitted on the Ground Floor of Buildings
The following uses are not permitted within stories that have a floor level within five feet of curb level in buildings developed after April 30, 2008, or within stories that have a floor level within five feet of curb level within portions of buildings enlarged after April 30, 2008, where such building or portion of a building fronts upon 125th Street, or is within 100 feet from 125th Street. Entranceways and lobby space for access to such uses shall be permitted at the ground floor level, pursuant to the provisions of Section 97-213 (Access to non-ground floor uses).
From Use Group 2:

All uses.

From Use Groups 3A and 3B:

All uses, except for libraries, museums or non-commercial art galleries.

From Use Groups 4A and 4B:

All uses, except for houses of worship or playgrounds.

From Use Group 5A:

All uses.

From Use Groups 6A, 6B, 6C and 6E:

Banks (except for automated teller machines, provided the width of street frontage allocated for automated teller machines shall be no more than 25 feet or 40 percent of the frontage of the zoning lot, whichever is less, measured to a depth of 30 feet from 125th Street, except that such frontage need not be less than 20 feet), electrolysis studios, frozen food lockers, laundry establishments, loan offices, offices or veterinary medicine offices.
From Use Group 6D:

All uses.

From Use Group 7:

All uses, except for bicycle rental or repair shops.

From Use Groups 8A and 8B:

Automobile driving schools, ice vending machines, lumber stores or pawn shops.

From Use Groups 8C, 8D and 8E:

All uses.

From Use Groups 9A, 9B and 9C:

All uses, except for health and fitness establishments, public auction rooms, photographic developing or printing establishments for the consumer, or art, music, dancing or theatrical studios.

From Use Groups 10A, 10B and 10C:

Depositories for storage, and wholesale offices or showrooms.

Use Group 11:

All uses.

Use Groups 12A and 12B:

Trade expositions.

Use Groups 12C and 12D:

All uses.

Use Group 14A and 14B:

All uses, except for bicycle sales, rental or repair shops.

Within the Special District, for such developments and enlargements that are no more than one story, a use permitted by the regulations of the underlying district shall be allowed.         
97-213 Access to Non-Ground Floor Uses
The maximum ground floor street frontage on 125th Street allocated to entranceways or lobby space for non-ground floor uses listed in Section 97-22 shall be as set forth for Type 1 lobbies in Section 37-33 (Maximum Width of Certain Uses), except that for developments or enlargements with at least 200 linear feet fronting on 125th Street, the Type 2 lobby regulations shall apply.
Additionally, within the Core Subdistrict the residential portion of a development or enlargement may be accessed from an entrance on 125th Street only if such development or enlargement does not front upon a street other than 125th Street.


97-214 Transparency Requirements Along 125th Street
For all uses, other than houses of worship, libraries and primary rehearsal spaces, located on the ground floor of developments and enlargements that front upon that portion of 125th Street located within the Special 125th Street District, the ground floor street wall shall be glazed in accordance with the provisions set forth in Section 37-34 (Minimum Transparency Requirements).


97-22 Supplemental Use and Streetscape Regulations Within the Park Avenue Hub Subdistrict
Within the Park Avenue Hub Subdistrict, as shown on Map 1 in Appendix A of this Chapter, for zoning lots, or portions thereof, that are not subject to the provisions of Section 97-21 (Supplemental Use and Streetscape Regulations Along 125th Street), inclusive, the provisions of this Section, inclusive, shall apply.
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