Chapter 1 - Special Midtown District (Mid)
The "Special Midtown District" established in this Resolution is designed to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:
(a) to strengthen the business core of Midtown Manhattan by improving the working and living environments;
(b) to stabilize development in Midtown Manhattan and provide direction and incentives for further growth where appropriate;
(c) to control the impact of buildings on the access of light and air to the streets and avenues of Midtown;
(d) to link future Midtown growth and development to improved pedestrian circulation, improved pedestrian access to rapid transit facilities, and avoidance of conflicts with vehicular traffic;
(e) to preserve the historic architectural character of development along certain streets and avenues and the pedestrian orientation of ground floor uses, and thus safeguard the quality that makes Midtown vital;
(f) to continue the historic pattern of relatively low building bulk in midblock locations compared to avenue frontages;
(g) to improve the quality of new development in Midtown by fostering the provision of specified public amenities in appropriate locations;
(h) to preserve, protect and enhance the character of the Theater Subdistrict as the location of the world's foremost concentration of legitimate theaters and an area of diverse uses of a primarily entertainment and entertainment-related nature;
(i) to strengthen and enhance the character of the Eighth Avenue Corridor and its relationship with the rest of the Theater Subdistrict and with the Special Clinton District;
(j) to create and provide a transition between the Theater Subdistrict and the lower-scale Clinton community to the west;
(k) to preserve, protect and enhance the scale and character of Times Square, the heart of New York City's entertainment district, and the Core of the Theater Subdistrict, which are characterized by a unique combination of building scale, large illuminated signs and entertainment and entertainment-related uses;
(l) to preserve, protect and enhance the character of Fifth Avenue as the showcase of New York and national retail shopping;
(m) to preserve the midblock area north of the Museum of Modern Art for its special contribution to the historic continuity, function and ambience of Midtown;
(n) to protect and strengthen the economic vitality and competitiveness of the East Midtown Subdistrict by facilitating the development of its exceptional and sustainable buildings and enabling improvements to the pedestrian and mass transit circulation network;
(o) to ensure that development within the East Midtown Subdistrict occurs on sites that meet sound site planning criteria and therefore can accommodate additional density as appropriate;
(p) to protect and strengthen the role of landmark buildings as important features of the East Midtown Subdistrict;
(q) to protect and enhance the role of Grand Central Terminal as a major transportation hub within the City, to expand and enhance the pedestrian and mass transit circulation network connecting Grand Central Terminal to surrounding development, to minimize pedestrian congestion and to protect the surrounding area's special character;
(r) to expand the retail, entertainment and commercial character of the area around Pennsylvania Station and to enhance its role as a major transportation hub in the city;
(s) to provide freedom of architectural design within limits established to assure adequate access of light and air to the street, and thus to encourage more attractive and economic building forms without the need for special development permissions or "negotiated zoning"; and
(t) to promote the most desirable use of land and building development in accordance with the District Plan for Midtown and thus conserve the value of land and buildings and thereby protect the City's tax revenues.
Except as modified by the express provisions of this Chapter, the regulations of the underlying districts remain in effect.
The regulations of the districts set forth below are applicable in the following Midtown districts unless modified by this Chapter:
Districts Whose Regulations Apply
Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this Section, wherever the Special Transit Land Use District includes an area which also lies within the Special Midtown District, as designated on the zoning map by the letters "MiD-TA", the requirements of the Special Transit Land Use District, as set forth in Article IX, Chapter 5, shall apply.
(a) However, the requirements of Article IX, Chapter 5, shall be waived where the City Planning Commission certifies, in the case of a specific development otherwise subject to those requirements, that:
(1) the developer has agreed in a writing recorded against the property to implement a plan approved by the Commission and New York City Transit for off-street relocation of a subway stair entrance, in accordance with the requirements of Section 81-46 (Off-street Relocation or Renovation of a Subway Stair); or
(2) the developer has agreed in a writing recorded against the property to implement a plan approved by the Commission and New York City Transit for the provision of a subway station improvement in accordance with the provisions of Section 74-634 (Subway station improvements in Downtown Brooklyn and in Commercial Districts of 10 FAR and above in Manhattan).
(b) Where the requirements of Article IX, Chapter 5, are not waived, modifications of the underlying district bulk regulations as set forth in this Chapter shall prevail over any inconsistent bulk regulations in Article IX, Chapter 5.
(c) In the East Midtown Subdistrict, the provisions of paragraph (c) of Section 81-673 (Mass transit access) shall supersede the provisions of Sections 95-031 (Selection of transit easement) and 95-052 (Special access facilities for persons with disabilities).
Wherever the Special Midtown District includes an area which also lies within the Special Clinton District, the regulations of the Special Clinton District as set forth in Article IX, Chapter 6, shall also apply. In the event of any conflict or discrepancy between the regulations, the more restrictive regulations shall apply in accordance with Section 11-22 (Application of Overlapping Regulations).
The portion of the Special Clinton District within the Special Midtown District includes the area bounded by a line 150 feet west of Eighth Avenue, West 45th Street, Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street. The area is designated on the zoning maps by the letters CL-MiD.
(a) The underlying zoning districts shall be deemed to be integral parts of the Special Midtown District. If the underlying zoning district of any zoning lot shall be amended or shall be nullified by any court of competent jurisdiction, such amendment or adjudication shall be construed to amend the Special Midtown District to remove such zoning lot from the Special Midtown District whereupon the regulations of the prior underlying district shall apply.
(b) The bulk regulations contained in Sections 81-20 through 81-29, inclusive, shall be deemed to be an integral unit and no modification thereof shall be permitted, except in accordance with the provisions of Section 200 of the New York City Charter. If any sentence, clause, paragraph or part of Sections 81-20 through 81-29, inclusive, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not be confined in its operation to the sentence, clause, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered, but shall also be construed to invalidate and prohibit the application of the remainder of Sections 81-20 through 81-29, inclusive. However, any such judgment shall not act to invalidate any other sentence, paragraph, clause, section or chapter of the Zoning Resolution.
The regulations of this Chapter are designed to implement the Special Midtown District Plan.
The District Plan includes the following maps:
Map 1 Special Midtown District and Subdistricts
Map 2 East Midtown Subdistrict and Subareas
Map 3 Retail and Street Wall Continuity
Map 4 Subway Station and Rail Mass Transit Facility Improvement Areas
The maps are located in Appendix A of this Chapter and are hereby incorporated and made a part of this Resolution. They are incorporated for the purpose of specifying locations where special regulations and requirements set forth in the text of this Chapter apply.
In order to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Chapter, five special Subdistricts are established within the Special Midtown District. In each of these Subdistricts certain special regulations apply which do not apply in the remainder of the Special Midtown District. The Subdistricts are outlined on Map 1 (Special Midtown District and Subdistricts) in Appendix A of this Chapter.
The Subdistricts, together with the Sections of this Chapter specially applying to each, are as follows:
Penn Center Subdistrict
East Midtown Subdistrict
Fifth Avenue Subdistrict
The Subdistricts are also subject to all other regulations of the Special Midtown District and, where applicable pursuant to Section 81-023, the Special Clinton District and the underlying districts, except as otherwise specifically provided in the Subdistrict regulations themselves.
Within the East Midtown Subdistrict, certain special regulations apply to Subareas that do not apply within the remainder of the Subdistrict. These Subareas are established, as follows:
Grand Central Transit Improvement Zone Subarea
Other Transit Improvement Zone Subarea
Park Avenue Subarea
Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea
The entirety of the Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea and the Grand Central Transit Improvement Zone Subarea as well as the portions of the Other Transit Improvement Zone Subarea south of East 47th Street, are hereinafter referred to as the Grand Central Core Area.
These Subareas, as well as the boundary of the Grand Central Core Area, are shown on Map 2 (East Midtown Subdistrict and Subareas) in Appendix A of this Chapter.
For developments, enlargements or other alterations within the Special Midtown District, any building permits issued by the Department of Buildings prior to April 28, 1988, shall continue in effect through May 12, 1988. Thereafter any non-conformance or non-compliance with the Zoning Resolution as so amended shall be subject to the provisions of Section 11-33 (Building Permits for Minor or Major Development or Other Construction Issued before Effective Date of Amendment).
Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals for non-complying buildings shall not be applicable:
Section 73-621 (Enlargement, change of use, or extension within buildings containing residential uses)
Section 73-63 (Enlargement of Non-residential Buildings)
Section 73-64 (Modifications for Community Facility Uses)
Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals shall only be applicable as modified below:
Section 73-16 (Public Transit, Railroad or Electrical Utility Substations) shall be applicable subject to the provisions of the Special Midtown District.
Section 73-28 (Newspaper Publishing) shall be applicable subject to the provisions of the Special Midtown District.
Section 73-36 (Physical Culture or Health Establishments) shall be applicable subject to the locational restrictions of the Special Midtown District.
Section 73-51 (Modification of Supplementary Use Regulations) shall be applicable subject to the height and setback or alternate height and setback regulations of the Special Midtown District.
Section 73-52 (Modifications for Zoning Lots Divided by District Boundaries) shall be applicable subject to the height and setback or alternate height and setback regulations of the Special Midtown District.
Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the City Planning Commission shall not be applicable:
Section 74-72 (Bulk Modification)
Section 74-74 (General Large-scale Development)
Section 74-75 (Educational Construction Fund Projects)
Section 74-82 (Through Block Arcades)
Section 74-83 (Court Houses)
Section 74-841 (Developments in certain Commercial Districts)
Section 74-852 (Height and setback regulations for zoning lots divided by district boundaries)
Section 74-87 (Covered Pedestrian Space)
Section 74-91 (Modification of Public Plazas)
Section 74-95 (Modifications of Housing Quality Special Permits)
Within the Special Midtown District, the following provisions regarding special permits by the City Planning Commission shall only be applicable as modified below:
Section 74-79 (Transfer of Development Rights From Landmark Sites) shall be applicable subject to modifications of the conditions and limitations on transfer of floor area (see Sections 81-212 and 81-747), the meaning of the term "adjacent lot" (see Section 81-747) and the provisions relating to height and setback variations (see Sections 81-254, 81-266 and 81-277).
81-063 Regulations for Developments or Enlargements on Lots Divided by District Boundaries, Within or Partially Within the Theater Subdistrict
Within the Theater Subdistrict of the Special Midtown District, the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 7 (Special Provisions for Zoning Lots Divided by District Boundaries), are modified in part by the provisions of Section 81-746 (Additional provisions for zoning lots divided by district or subdistrict core boundaries).
81-064 Inapplicability of Provisions for Height and Setback Modifications in Large-Scale Residential Developments
Within the Special Midtown District, the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 8 (Special Regulations Applying to Large-scale Residential Developments), permitting the City Planning Commission to authorize the location of buildings without regard for height and setback regulations shall be inapplicable.
81-065 Inapplicability of Provisions for Height and Setback Modifications in Large-Scale Community Facility Developments
Within the Special Midtown District, the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 9 (Special Regulations Applying to Large-scale Community Facility Developments), permitting the City Planning Commission to authorize the location of buildings without regard for height and setback regulations shall be inapplicable.