81-685 Special Permit to Modify Qualifying Site Provisions
In conjunction with any application that would allow additional floor area permitted beyond the basic maximum floor area for a qualifying site set forth in Section 81-64 (Special Floor Area Provisions for Qualifying Sites), the City Planning Commission may permit modifications to certain qualifying site criteria, as well as height and setback regulations and mandatory plan elements, as set forth in paragraph (a) of this Section, provided that the Commission determines that the application requirements set forth in paragraph (b) and the findings set forth in paragraph (c) of this Section are met.
(a) The Commission may modify the following, whether singly or in any combination:
(1) the following qualifying site criteria:
(i) the requirement for minimum wide street frontage, including the requirement that no existing buildings will remain on such wide street frontage, set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of the definition of a qualifying site in Section 81-613 (Definitions);
(ii) the building performance and publicly accessible space requirements in paragraph (f) of the definition of a qualifying site and Section 81-681 (Mandatory requirements for qualifying sites); or
(iii) the requirement that the additional floor area permitted through the provisions of Section 81-64 be achieved exclusively through a development;
(2) the provisions for zoning lots divided by district boundaries set forth in Sections 77-02 (Zoning Lots Not Existing Prior to Effective Date or Amendment of Resolution), 77-21 (General Provisions) or 77-22 (Floor Area Ratio), and the provisions of Section 81-612 (Applicability along district boundaries) requiring that zoning lots divided by Subarea boundaries utilize the provisions of Article VII, Chapter 7;
(3) the street wall regulations of Sections 81-43 (Street Wall Continuity Along Designated Streets) or 81-671 (Special street wall requirements), inclusive;
(4) the height and setback regulations of Sections 81-26 (Height and Setback Regulations — Daylight Compensation), inclusive, 81-27 (Alternate Height and Setback Regulations —Daylight Evaluation), inclusive, or 81-66 (Special Height and Setback Requirements); or
(5) 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.
(b) Application requirements
Applications for a special permit for modifications pursuant to this Section shall contain materials, of sufficient scope and detail, to enable the Commission to determine the extent of the proposed modifications. In addition, where modifications to street wall or height and setback regulations are proposed, any application shall contain the following materials, at a minimum:
(1) drawings, including but not limited to, plan views and axonometric views, that illustrate how the proposed building will not comply with the street wall regulations of Section 81-43, or as such provisions are modified pursuant to Section 81-671, as applicable, and that illustrate how the proposed building will not comply with the height and setback regulations of Sections 81-26 or 81-27, or as such provisions are modified pursuant to Section 81-66, as applicable;
(2) where applicable, formulas showing the degree to which such proposed building will not comply with the length and height rules of Section 81-26, or as such provisions are modified pursuant to Section 81-66; and
(3) where applicable, daylight evaluation charts and the resulting daylight evaluation score showing the degree to which such proposed building will not comply with the provisions of Section 81-27 or as such provisions are modified pursuant to Section 81-66.
The Commission shall find that such proposed modifications:
(1) to the definition of qualifying site are the minimum extent necessary, and are harmonious with the Subdistrict objective to protect and strengthen the economic vitality and competitiveness of East Midtown by facilitating the development of exceptional modern and sustainable office towers;
(2) to the requirement for wide street frontage in the definition of qualifying sites will not unduly concentrate bulk towards the middle of the block to the detriment of the surrounding area;
(3) to the building performance requirements in the definition of qualifying sites and paragraph (a) of Section 81-681:
(i) are necessary due to the presence of existing buildings on the site; and
(ii) will not detract from the incorporation of innovative sustainable design measures;
(4) to the publicly accessible space requirements in the definition of qualifying sites and paragraph (b) of Section 81-681:
(i) are the minimum necessary to accommodate the proposed building; and
(ii) that any reduction or waiver will result in a better site plan and will not detract from a lively streetscape and pedestrian experience;
(5) to regulations pertaining to zoning lots divided by district boundaries will result in better site planning;
(6) to the mandatory district plan elements:
(i) will result in a better site plan for the proposed development or enlargement that is harmonious with the mandatory district plan element strategy of the Special Midtown District, as set forth in Section 81-41 (General Provisions);
(ii) any adverse impact on retail continuity is minimized by a site plan that requires pedestrian-oriented uses along the boundaries of any open or enclosed public areas within the zoning lot; and
(7) to the street wall or height and setback regulations:
(i) are necessary due to constraints or conditions of the development or enlargement and conditions imposed by the configuration of the site;
(ii) will not unduly obstruct the access of light and air to surrounding properties;
(iii) will result in an improved distribution of bulk on the zoning lot that is harmonious with the height and setback goals of the Special Midtown District set forth in Section 81-251 (Purpose of height and setback regulations); and
(iv) the overall design of the building demonstrates an integrated and well-considered facade, taking into account factors such as street wall articulation, and fenestration, that creates a prominent and distinctive building which complements the character of the surrounding area and constitutes a distinctive addition to the Midtown Manhattan skyline.
The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.