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Chapter 3 Special Permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals

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73-00 Special Permit Uses and Modifications
73-01 General Provisions
In harmony with the general purpose and intent of this Resolution and in accordance with the provisions set forth in this Chapter, the Board of Standards and Appeals may, in an appropriate case:
  1. grant special permits for specified uses in specific districts (referred to hereinafter as special permit uses);
  2. permit specified modifications of the use or bulk regulations of this Resolution;
  3. permit the renewal of revoked building permits as provided in Sections 11-31 to 11-33, inclusive, relating to Building Permits Issued before Effective Date of Amendment; or
  4. permit the renewal of a variance, exception, or permit issued by the Board prior to December 15, 1961, in accordance with the provisions of Section 11-41 relating to Exceptions, Variances, or Permits Previously Authorized;
provided that, in each specific case, the requirement for findings as set forth in this Chapter (or in the Sections referred to in paragraph (c) or (d) of this Section) shall constitute a condition precedent to the grant of such special permit, modification, or renewal.
In addition to meeting the requirements, conditions, and safeguards prescribed by the Board as set forth in this Chapter, each such special permit use shall conform to and comply with all of the applicable district regulations on use, bulk, supplementary use regulations, regulations applying along district boundaries, accessory signs, accessory off-street parking and off-street loading, and all other applicable provisions of this Resolution, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Chapter or as they may be modified in accordance with paragraph (b) of this Section. In the case of required accessory off-street parking, such use shall satisfy the requirements specified for such uses in Sections 25-31, 36-21 or 44-21 (General Provisions) except that, where no parking requirement is specified therein, such use shall satisfy the requirements set forth in this Chapter.
In the waterfront area, the powers of the Board to grant special permits are made inapplicable or modified in accordance with the provisions of Section 62-131 (Applicability of Article VII, Chapter 3).
73-02 Further Requirements
It shall be a further requirement that the decision or determination of the Board of Standards and Appeals shall set forth each required finding in each specific grant of a special permit use, modification or renewal and, in each denial thereof, which of the required findings have not been satisfied. In any such case, each finding shall be supported by substantial evidence or other data considered by the Board in reaching its decision, including the personal knowledge of or inspection by the members of the Board.
73-03 General Findings Required for All Special Permit Uses and Modifications
The Board of Standards and Appeals shall have the power, as authorized by Section 73-01, paragraph (a) or (b), and subject to such appropriate conditions and safeguards as the Board shall prescribe, to grant special permit uses or modifications of use, parking, or bulk regulations as specifically provided in this Chapter, provided in each case:
  1. The Board shall make all of the findings required in the applicable sections of this Chapter with respect to each such special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations and shall find that, under the conditions and safeguards imposed, the hazards or disadvantages to the community at large of such special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations at the particular site are outweighed by the advantages to be derived by the community by the grant of such special permit. In each case the Board shall determine that the adverse effect, if any, on the privacy, quiet, light and air in the neighborhood of such special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations will be minimized by appropriate conditions governing location of the site, design and method of operation.
  2. In all cases the Board shall deny a special permit whenever such proposed special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations will interfere with any public improvement project (including housing, highways, public buildings or facilities, redevelopment or renewal projects, or right-of-way for sewers, transit or other public facilities) which is approved by or pending before the Board of Estimate, Site Selection Board or the City Planning Commission as determined from the calendars of each such agency issued prior to the date of the public hearings before the Board of Standards and Appeals.
  3. When under the applicable findings the Board is required to determine whether the special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations is appropriately located in relation to the street system, the Board shall in its discretion make such determination on the basis of the Master Plan of Arterial Highways and Major Streets on the official City Map. Whenever the Board is required to make a finding on the location of a proposed special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations in relation to secondary or local streets and such classification of streets is not shown on the Master Plan, the Board in its discretion shall request the City Planning Commission to establish a report on the appropriate classification of such street.
  4. For applications relating to Sections 73-243, 73-48 and 73-49, the Board in its discretion shall request from the Department of Transportation a report with respect to the anticipated traffic congestion resulting from such special permit use or modification of use, parking or bulk regulations in the proposed location. If such a report is requested, the Board shall in its decision or determination give due consideration to such report and further shall have the power to substantiate the appropriate finding solely on the basis of the report of the Department of Transportation with respect to the issue referred.
  5. If a term of years is specified in the applicable section, the Board shall establish a term of years not to exceed such maximum. For those special permit uses or modification of use parking or bulk regulations for which a maximum term has not been specified, the Board may fix an appropriate term for any such special permit use or modification of use parking or bulk regulations.
  6. On application for renewal of any such special permit authorized in this Chapter, the Board shall determine whether the circumstances warranting the original grant still obtain. In addition, the Board shall ascertain whether the applicant has complied with the conditions and safeguards theretofore described by the Board during the prior term. In the event that the Board shall find the applicant has been in substantial violation thereof, it shall deny the application for renewal.
  7. The Board may permit the enlargement or extension of any existing use, which, if new, would be permitted by special permit in the specified districts under the provisions of Section 73-01 and other applicable provisions of this Chapter, provided that before granting any such permit for enlargement or extension within the permitted districts, the Board shall make all of the required findings applicable to the special permit use, except that:
    1. in the case of colleges or universities in R1 or R2 Districts, the Board may waive all such required findings set forth in Section 73-121 (Colleges or universities); and
    2. in the case of public utility uses, the Board may waive all such required findings set forth in Sections 73-14 (Public Service Establishments) or 73-16 (Public Transit, Railroad or Electric Utility Substations).
No such enlargement or extension shall create a new non-compliance or increase the existing degree of non-compliance with the applicable bulk regulations, except as may be permitted in accordance with the provisions of Sections 73-62 to 73-68, inclusive, relating to Modification of Bulk Regulations.
73-04 Conditions and Safeguards
The Board of Standards and Appeals may prescribe such conditions and safeguards to the grant of special permit (uses) as it may deem necessary in the specific case, in order to minimize the adverse effects of such special permit upon other property and the community at large. Such conditions and safeguards shall be incorporated in the building permit and certificate of occupancy. Failure to comply with such conditions or restrictions shall constitute a violation of this Resolution, and may constitute the basis for denial or revocation of a building permit or certificate of occupancy and for all other applicable remedies.
73-10 Special Permit Uses
73-11 General Provisions
Subject to the general findings required by Section 73-03 and in accordance with the provisions contained in Sections 73-12 to 73-35, inclusive, the Board of Standards and Appeals shall have the power to permit special permit uses, and shall have the power to impose appropriate conditions and safeguards thereon.
In the Special Midtown District, the powers of the Board to permit special permit uses are modified by the provisions of Sections 81-13 (Special Permit Use Modifications) and 81-061 (Applicability of Chapter 3 of Article VII).
Except as permitted pursuant to this Chapter, in R3, R4 or R5 Districts, the following uses shall be subject to the height and setback requirements of an R2 District:
Camps

Public utility or public service facilities

Radio and television towers, non-accessory

Riding academies or stables.
73-12 Community Facility Uses in R1, R2, R3-1, R3A, R3X, R4-1, R4A or R4B Districts
In R1, R2, R3-1, R3A, R3X, R4-1, R4A or R4B Districts, the Board of Standards and Appeals may permit specified community facility uses in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
73-121 Colleges or Universities
The Board of Standards and Appeals may permit colleges or universities including professional schools but excluding business colleges or trade schools in R1 or R2 Districts, provided that the following findings are made:
  1. that such use is so located as not to impair the character of the surrounding area or its future development as a neighborhood of single-family residences; and
  2. that such use is so located as to draw a minimum of vehicular traffic to and through local streets.
The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.
73-122 College or School Student Dormitories or Fraternity or Sorority Student Houses
The Board of Standards and Appeals may permit college or school student dormitories or fraternity or sorority student houses in R1 or R2 Districts, provided that the following findings are made:
  1. that such use does not exceed the maximum floor area ratio for residential use as set forth in Section 23-14 (Open Space and Floor Area Regulations in R1 Through R5 Districts);
  2. that the amount of open space and its distribution on the zoning lot conform to standards appropriate to the character of the neighborhood;
  3. that, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 25-33 (Waiver of Requirements for Spaces Below Minimum Number), at least one accessory off-street parking space is provided for each six beds; and
  4. that such use conforms to all the other applicable Off-street Parking Regulations as set forth in Article II, Chapter 5.
The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.
73-123 Non-Commercial Clubs
The Board of Standards and Appeals may permit non-commercial clubs, except swimming pool clubs or clubs with swimming pools located less than 500 feet from any lot line, in R1 or R2 Districts, provided that the following findings are made:
  1. that such use is so located as not to impair the character of the surrounding area or its future development as a neighborhood of single-family residences;
  2. that such use is so located as to draw a minimum of vehicular traffic to and through local streets;
  3. that such use complies with the minimum required open space ratio and maximum floor area ratio for residential use as set forth in Section 23-14 (Open Space and Floor Area Regulations in R1 Through R5 Districts);
  4. that not more than half the open space provided is occupied by driveways, private streets, open accessory off-street parking spaces or active outdoor recreation facilities; and
  5. that the amount of open space provided and its distribution on the zoning lot conform to standards appropriate to the character of the neighborhood.
The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area, including requirements for shielding of floodlights, screening or landscaping.
73-124 Welfare Centers
The Board of Standards and Appeals may permit welfare centers in R1 or R2 Districts, provided that the following findings are made:
  1. that such use is so located as not to impair the character of the surrounding area or its future development as a neighborhood of single-family residences; and
  2. that such use is conveniently accessible to the people it serves.
The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.
73-125 Ambulatory Diagnostic or Treatment Health Care Facilities
In R3A, R3X, R3-1, R4A, R4B or R4-1 Districts, excluding lower density growth management areas, the Board of Standards and Appeals may permit ambulatory diagnostic or treatment health care facilities listed in Use Group 4, limited in each case to a maximum of 10,000 square feet of floor area, provided that the Board finds that the amount of open area and its distribution on the zoning lot conform to standards appropriate to the character of the neighborhood.
The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.
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