Chapter 2 - Special Regulations Applying in the Waterfront Area
The provisions of this Chapter establish special regulations which are designed to guide development along the City's waterfront and in so doing to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare. These general goals include, among others, the following purposes:
(a) to maintain and reestablish physical and visual public access to and along the waterfront;
(b) to promote a greater mix of uses in waterfront developments in order to attract the public and enliven the waterfront;
(c) to encourage water-dependent (WD) uses along the City's waterfront;
(d) to create a desirable relationship between waterfront development and the water's edge, public access areas and adjoining upland communities;
(e) to preserve historic resources along the City's waterfront; and
(f) to protect natural resources in environmentally sensitive areas along the shore.
Definitions specially applicable to this Chapter are set forth in this Section. The definitions of other defined terms are set forth in Section 12-10 (DEFINITIONS).
For the purposes of this Chapter, a "development" shall also include:
(a) an enlargement;
(b) any alteration that increases the height or coverage of an existing building or other structure;
(c) an extension; or
(d) a change of use from one Use Group to another, or from one use to another in the same Use Group, or from oneuselisted in Section 62-21 (Classification of Uses in the Waterfront Area) to another such use.
A "floating structure" is any vessel, barge or other water-supported structure, other than a floating dock accessory to a WD use, which is bounded by either open water, a dock or the lot lines of a zoning lot, and that is permanently moored or otherwise attached to a pier, wharf, dock, platform, bulkhead or flotation system for a period of more than 180 consecutive days. Support by means of a cradle or as a result of natural siltation shall not exempt a normally water-supported structure from this definition.
Any water-supported structure, other than a navigational vessel, docked for not more than 180 consecutive days for a purpose other than navigation or accessory to a WD use, shall be deemed to be a "temporary floating structure." Such temporary floating structures shall only be permitted subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Buildings or Business Services, as applicable.
A "pier" is a structure at the water's edge, not otherwise defined as a platform, that is:
(a) a pile-supported overwater structure, or a portion thereof, that projects from a shoreline, bulkhead or platform; or
(b) a solid-core structure, or a portion thereof, constructed for the docking of water-borne vessels, that projects from the land or from a platform.
Projections from platforms shall be considered piers if their length, measured from the portion of the platform from which they project, exceeds 50 percent of their width at such portion. Any further extensions from such projections shall be considered piers regardless of their configuration.
(62 - 11.1)
An "existing pier" is a pier where at least 75 percent of its surface is visible in the April 1988 Lockwood, Kessler and Bartlett aerial photographs of New York City.
A "new pier" is any pier other than an existing pier.
A "platform" is a pile-supported or solid-core structure at the water's edge, or a portion thereof, that:
(a) is permanently connected to the land; and
(b) has a seaward dimension that does not exceed 50 percent of its dimension along the land to which it is connected.
(62 - 11.2)
(62 - 11.3)
An "existing platform" is a platform where at least 75 percent of its surface is visible in the April 1988 Lockwood, Kessler and Bartlett aerial photographs of New York City.
A "new platform" is any platform other than an existing platform.
Predominant or predominantly
"Predominant" or "predominantly" shall mean that a use or a group of uses comprises at least 75 percent of the total floor area of the building or on the zoning lot or, in the case of open uses, the lot area or pier water coverage, as applicable.
A "seaward lot" is the portion of a waterfront zoning lot located seaward of the bulkhead line, except for any land above water included as part of the upland lot.
(62 - 11.4)
Shore public walkway
A "shore public walkway" is a linear public access area running alongside the shore or water edges of a platform on a waterfront zoning lot.
Supplemental public access area
A "supplemental public access area" is a public access area provided on a waterfront zoning lot, in addition to other required public access areas, in order to fulfill the required waterfront public access area requirements.A supplemental public access area shall not include a shore public walkway or an upland connection.
An "upland connection" is a pedestrian way which provides a public access route from a shore public walkway to a public sidewalk within an open and accessible street, public park or other accessible public place.
An "upland lot" is the portion of a waterfront zoning lot located landward of the bulkhead line. Where a portion of the shoreline projects seaward of the bulkhead line, such land above water shall be included as part of the upland lot (see illustration of Seaward/Upland Lots).
A "visual corridor" is a public street or open area within one or more zoning lots that provides a direct and unobstructed view to the water from a vantage point within a public street, public park or other public place.
"Water coverage" is the portion of a zoning lot seaward of the shoreline that, when viewed directly from above, would be covered by a pier, platform or floating structure, including portions of buildings or other structures projecting over the water from such structures. Water coverage shall not include docking or navigational appurtenances which may project from the aforementioned structures.
Waterfront block or waterfront zoning lot
A "waterfront block" or "waterfront zoning lot" is a block or zoning lot in the waterfront area having a boundary at grade coincident with or seaward of the shoreline. For the purposes of this Chapter:
(a) a block within the waterfront area shall include the land within a street that is not improved or open to the public, and such street shall not form the boundary of a block;
(b) a block within the waterfront area that abuts a public park along the waterfront shall be deemed to be part of a waterfront block; and
(c) a zoning lot shall include the land within any street that is not improved or open to the public and which is in the same ownership as that of any contiguous land.
However, any block or zoning lot in the waterfront area having a boundary within or coincident with the boundaries of the Gowanus Canal, as shown on the City Map, shall be a waterfront block or waterfront zoning lot, respectively.
Any zoning lot, the boundaries of which were established prior to November 1, 1993, and which is not closer than 1,200 feet from the shoreline at any point and which does not abut a public park along the waterfront, shall be deemed outside of the waterfront block.
Waterfront public access area
A "waterfront public access area" is the portion of a zoning lot improved for public access. It may include any of the following: a shore public walkway, upland connection, supplemental public access area or public access area on a pier or floating structure.
A "waterfront yard" is that portion of a waterfront zoning lot extending open and unobstructed from the lowest level to the sky along the entire length of the shoreline, stabilized natural shore, bulkhead or water edge of a platform, as applicable, for a depth or width as set forth in this Chapter.
Within the waterfront area, all developments on zoning lots within waterfront blocks shall be subject to all provisions of this Chapter, unless stated otherwise. Developments on other zoning lots within the waterfront area shall be subject to the regulations of this Chapter only when part of a large-scale development, any portion of which is within a waterfront block, or when on zoning lots located in an area designated as part of a Waterfront Access Plan in accordance with Section 62-90 (WATERFRONT ACCESS PLANS). The provisions of this Chapter shall not be deemed to supersede or modify the regulations of any State or Federal agency having jurisdiction on affected properties.
(a) Any development approved by special permit or authorization of the City Planning Commission or any zoning lot subject to a restrictive declaration in conjunction with a land use action by the Commission and City Council, or former Board of Estimate, as applicable, prior to October 25, 1993, may be started or continued pursuant to such special permit, authorization or the terms of such restrictive declaration.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter except as set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(6) of this Section, the Commission may authorize modifications of such special permit or authorization, or the terms of a restrictive declaration may be modified by the Commission and, if applicable, the City Council, provided such modifications do not:
(1) increase the height or lot coverage of any building in a waterfront block beyond the maximum set forth in Section 62-30 (SPECIAL BULK REGULATIONS);
(2) extend the location of the exterior walls of any building within a waterfront block above the maximum base height for the district as set forth in Section 62-34 (Height and Setback Regulations on Waterfront Blocks);
(3) increase the total floor area on any zoning lot within a waterfront block beyond the amount approved prior to October 25, 1993;
(4) result in the obstruction of a required visual corridor or increase any existing obstruction of such visual corridor;
(5) increase the size of a pier or platform or the size of any building or other structure on a pier or platform approved prior to October 25, 1993; or
(6) involve a change that would create a requirement for public access or visual corridors without providing such public access or visual corridors in accordance with the provisions of Section 62-50 (GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR VISUAL CORRIDORS AND WATERFRONT PUBLIC ACCESS AREAS).
(b) Developments for which an application for certification pursuant to this Chapter was filed prior to April 22, 2009 may be continued pursuant to the regulations of this Chapter in effect at the time of such filing.
(c) Design changes to a previously certified application, including applications certified pursuant to paragraph (b) of this Section, may be made only upon further certification by the Chairperson of the Commission that such changes would not increase the degree of non-compliance or would result in a greater level of compliance with this Chapter.
(d) Developments for which an application for authorization or special permit pursuant to this Chapter was filed prior to April 22, 2009 may be continued pursuant to the regulations of this Chapter in effect at the time of such filing.
(e) Developments for which an application for an authorization or special permit, other than an authorization or special permit pursuant to this Chapter, was filed prior to April 22, 2009, may be continued pursuant to the terms of such authorization or special permit and, to the extent not modified under the terms of such authorization or special permit, shall be subject to the regulations of this Resolution that were in effect at the time such authorization or special permit was granted.
Note: All zoning regulations pertaining to the Special Inwood District Rezoning, which amended the Zoning Resolution (N 180205A ZRM) and Zoning Map (C 180204A ZMM), and which have been in effect since 8/8/18, are no longer in effect as of 12/19/19 per court order. For the applicable zoning designations currently in effect, please see zoning maps 1b, 1d, 3a, and 3c.
The regulations of all other Chapters of this Resolution are applicable, except as superseded, supplemented or modified by the provisions of this Chapter. 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, in the event of a conflict between the provisions of this Chapter and the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 4, the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 4, shall control.
In the event a Special Purpose District imposes a restriction on the height of a building or other structure that is lower than the height limit set forth in this Chapter, the lower height shall control. However, all heights shall be measured from the base plane.
The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to the following Special Purpose Districts unless expressly stated otherwise in the special district provisions:
Special Battery Park City District
Special Governors Island District
Special Southern Roosevelt Island District
Special Stapleton Waterfront District.
The regulations of this Chapter shall not apply in the Special Sheepshead Bay District, except that Section 94-061 (Permitted residential, community facility and commercial uses) shall be modified to permit all WD uses listed in Section 62-211 from Use Groups 6, 7, 9 and 14 in accordance with the underlying district regulations.
The regulations of this Chapter shall apply in the following Special Purpose Districts, except as specifically modified within the Special Purpose District provisions:
Special Inwood District
Special St. George District.