81-632 Special Permit for Transfer of Development Rights From Landmarks to the Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea
Within the Vanderbilt Corridor Subarea, as shown on Map 2 (East Midtown Subdistrict and Subareas) in Appendix A of this Chapter, the City Planning Commission may permit the transfer of development rights from a granting lot in the Grand Central Core Area, as shown on Map 2, to a to a receiving lot, and, in conjunction with such transfer, the Commission may permit modifications to bulk regulations, mandatory plan elements, and provisions regarding zoning lots divided by district boundaries, as set forth in paragraph (a) of this Section, provided that the Commission determines that the development or enlargement complies with the conditions of paragraph (b), the findings of paragraph (c) and the additional requirements of paragraph (d) of this Section.
(a) The Commission may permit:
(1) a transfer of development rights from a granting lot to a receiving lot provided that the resultant floor area ratio on the "receiving lot" does not exceed 30.0;
(2) modifications of the provisions of Sections 77-02 (Zoning Lots not Existing Prior to Effective Date or Amendment of Resolution), 77-21 (General Provisions), 77-22 (Floor Area Ratio) and 77-25 (Density Requirements) for any zoning lot, whether or not it existed on December 15, 1961, or any applicable subsequent amendment thereto, floor area or dwelling units permitted by the district regulations which allow a greater floor area ratio may be located within a district that allows a lesser floor area ratio;
(3) in the case of an enlargement to an existing building utilizing the transfer of development rights from a designated landmark, modifications of the provisions of Sections 81-66 (Special Height and Setback Requirements), 81-671 (Special street wall requirements), 81-674 (Ground floor use provisions), 81-675 (Curb cut restrictions and loading berth requirements), 81-676 (Pedestrian circulation space requirements), and Sections 81-25 (General Provisions Relating to Height and Setback of Buildings), 81-26 (Height and Setback Regulations-Daylight Compensation) and 81-27 (Alternate Height and Setback Regulations-Daylight Evaluation) in order to accommodate existing structures and conditions;
(4) for zoning lots of more than 40,000 square feet of lot area that occupy an entire block, modifications of bulk regulations, except floor area ratio regulations; and
(5) modifications, whether singly or in any combination, to:
(i) the street wall regulations of Sections 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets), inclusive, or 81-671, inclusive;
(iii) the mandatory district plan elements of Sections 81-42 (Retail Continuity Along Designated Streets), 81-44 (Curb Cut Restrictions), 81-45 (Pedestrian Circulation Space), 81-46 (Off-street Relocation or Renovation of a Subway Stair), 81-47 (Major Building Entrances), 81-48 (Off-street Improvement of Access to Rail Mass Transit Facility), 81-674 (Ground floor use provisions), 81-675 (Curb cut restrictions and loading berth requirements), 81-676 (Pedestrian circulation space requirements) or 37-50 (REQUIREMENTS FOR PEDESTRIAN CIRCULATION SPACE), inclusive, except that no modifications to the required amount of pedestrian circulation space set forth in Section 37-51 shall be permitted.
As a condition for granting a special permit pursuant to this Section, the design of the development or enlargement shall include a major improvement of the above- or below-grade, pedestrian or mass transit circulation network in the Grand Central Core Area. However, this condition may be waived by the Commission, where appropriate, or may be deemed to have been met by utilization of the provisions of Section 81-633 (Special permit for Grand Central public realm improvements). The improvement shall increase the general accessibility and security of the network, reduce points of pedestrian congestion and improve the general network environment through connections into planned expansions of the network. The improvement may include, but is not limited to, widening, straightening or expansion of the existing pedestrian network, reconfiguration of circulation routes to provide more direct pedestrian connections between the development or enlargement and Grand Central Terminal, and provision for direct daylight access, retail in new and existing passages, and improvements to air quality, lighting, finishes and signage.
The special permit application to the Commission shall include information and justification sufficient to provide the Commission with a basis for evaluating the benefits to the general public from the proposed improvement. As part of the special permit application, the applicant shall submit schematic or concept plans of the proposed improvement to the Department of City Planning, as well as evidence of such submission to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and any other entities that retain control and responsibility for the area of the proposed improvement. Prior to ULURP certification of the special permit application, the MTA and any other entities that retain control and responsibility for the area of the proposed improvement shall each provide a letter to the Commission containing a conceptual approval of the improvement including a statement of any considerations regarding the construction and operation of the improvement.
In order to grant a special permit for the transfer of development rights to a receiving lot, the Commission shall find that:
(1) a program for the continuing maintenance of the landmark has been established;
(2) for any proposed improvement required pursuant to this Section:
(i) the improvement to the above- or below-grade pedestrian or mass transit circulation network provided by the development or enlargement increases public accessibility to and from Grand Central Terminal;
(ii) the streetscape, the site design and the location of building entrances contribute to the overall improvement of pedestrian circulation within the surrounding area and minimize congestion on surrounding streets; and
(iii) a program is established to identify solutions to problems relating to vehicular and pedestrian circulation problems and the pedestrian environment within the surrounding area;
(3) where appropriate, the design of the development or enlargement includes provisions for public amenities including, but not limited to, publicly accessible open spaces, and subsurface pedestrian passageways leading to subway or rail mass transit facilities;
(4) for developments or enlargements with a proposed floor area ratio in excess of 21.6, the building has met the ground floor level, building design, sustainable design measures and, for zoning lots not located on two wide streets, the site characteristic considerations set forth in the applicable conditions and findings of Section 81-633 (Special permit for Grand Central public realm improvements);
(5) where the modification of bulk regulations is proposed:
(i) any proposed modification of regulations governing zoning lots divided by district boundaries or the permitted transfer of floor area will not unduly increase the bulk of any development or enlargement on the receiving lot, density of population or intensity of use on any block to the detriment of the occupants of buildings on the block or the surrounding area;
(ii) for enlargements to existing buildings, any proposed modifications of height and setback requirements and the requirements of Section 81-66 are necessary because of the inherent constraints or conditions of the existing building, that the modifications are limited to the minimum needed, and that the proposal for modifications of height and setback requirements demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commission that an integrated design is not feasible for the proposed enlargement which accommodates the transfer of development rights due to the conditions imposed by the existing building or configuration of the site; and
(iii) for developments or enlargements on zoning lots of more than 40,000 square feet of lot area that occupy an entire block, any proposed modifications of bulk regulations are necessary because of inherent site constraints and that the modifications are limited to the minimum needed; or
(6) any proposed modifications to street walls, height and setback regulations and mandatory plan elements meet the applicable application requirements and findings set forth in Section 81-634 (Permitted modifications in conjunction with additional floor area).
(d) Additional requirements
Prior to the grant of a special permit, the applicant shall obtain approvals of plans from the MTA and any other entities that retain control and responsibility for the area of the proposed improvement, and, if appropriate, the applicant shall sign a legally enforceable instrument running with the land, setting forth the obligations of the owner and developer, their successors and assigns, to construct and maintain the improvement and shall establish a construction schedule, a program for maintenance and a schedule of hours of public operation and shall provide a performance bond for completion of the improvement.
The written declaration of restrictions and any instrument creating an easement on privately owned property shall be recorded against such private property in the Office of the Register of the City of New York (County of New York) and a certified copy of the instrument shall be submitted to the Commission.
No temporary certificate of occupancy for any floor area of the development or enlargement on a receiving lot shall be granted by the Department of Buildings until all required improvements have been substantially completed as determined by the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission and the area is usable by the public. Prior to the issuance of a permanent certificate of occupancy for the development or enlargement, all improvements shall be 100 percent complete in accordance with the approved plans and such completion shall have been certified by letter from the MTA.
The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.