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98-61 High Line Access or Support Easement Volumes Requirement
For all developments or enlargements within the Special West Chelsea District, an easement volume to facilitate public pedestrian access to the High Line via stairway and elevator (hereinafter referred to as "primary access"), shall be provided on any zoning lot over which the High Line passes that, on or after December 20, 2004, has more than 5,000 square feet of lot area. For all developments or enlargements within Subareas H, I and J that are developed pursuant to Section 98-25 (High Line Improvement Bonus), this provision does not apply.
In the High Line Transfer Corridor, an easement volume to facilitate public pedestrian access to the High Line via stairway (hereinafter referred to as "secondary access"), shall be provided on any zoning lot from which floor area has been transferred pursuant to Section 98-33 unless a primary access easement has been provided pursuant to this Section.
However, a primary access easement shall not be required if a primary access easement is already provided on the same block and a secondary access easement shall not be required if a primary or secondary access easement has already been provided on the same block. Furthermore, primary and/or secondary access easements shall not be required where the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies that:
  1. the minimum dimensions required for the access easement volume pursuant to paragraph (a) of Section 98-62 cannot be accommodated within 33 feet, 6 inches of a street line for primary access easements and 40 feet of a street line for secondary access easements; or
  2. in the case of a primary easement, a secondary easement is already provided on the same zoning lot and such easement is sufficient in size, or has been enlarged to be sufficient in size, to accommodate the provisions for primary access easements as specified in Section 98-62; or
  3. for primary or secondary easements, access has already been constructed, or an access volume has been dedicated, on the same block or on the same street frontage, and that such access or access volume meets the location and access requirements for primary or secondary access easements, as specified in Section 98-62, paragraphs (a) and (b), and meets all standards, as applicable, for persons with disabilities; or
  4. for primary or secondary easements, construction documents for the High Line open space have been developed by the City that specify the same street frontage as an access location; or
  5. such development or enlargement is located wholly within an M1-5 District and no portion of such development or enlargement has more than 10,000 square feet of floor area and is located within five feet of the High Line; or
  6. such development or enlargement is located on a zoning lot that fronts on West 23rd Street.
98-62 High Line Access Easement Regulations
The provisions of this Section shall apply to any zoning lot providing an access easement volume, other than a zoning lot developed pursuant to Section 98-25 (High Line Improvement Bonus), as follows:
  1. Location and Minimum Dimensions
    1. Primary access easement volume

      A primary access easement volume may be located within a building or within open areas on the zoning lot, including open areas required pursuant to Section 98-53 (Required Open Areas on the East Side of the High Line), provided such volume is within 15 feet of a narrow street line. The minimum length of such volume shall be 18 feet, 6 inches, and the minimum width shall be 10 feet; however, the minimum area of such volume shall be 350 square feet. The height of such volume shall extend from a point at least 10 feet below curb level to a point at least 15 feet above the level of the High Line bed. A primary access easement volume may also replace a previously provided secondary access easement volume, and such secondary access easement volume may be terminated pursuant to Section 98-64. Such minimum dimensions are illustrated in Diagram 6 (High Line Access Easement Volume Parameters) of Appendix C of this Chapter.
    2. Secondary access easement volume

      A secondary access easement volume shall be located within 15 feet of a narrow street line and directly adjacent to the High Line for a minimum length of 25 feet. Such volume shall have a minimum width of 10 feet. The height of such volume shall extend from curb level to a point at least 10 feet above the level of the High Line bed.
  2. Access

    All access easement volumes shall be accessible either directly from a public sidewalk or through a publicly traversable way through the zoning lot directly connecting with a public sidewalk. Such publicly traversable way shall meet the following requirements:
    1. The required width of the publicly traversable way shall be a minimum of eight feet.
    2. No portion of the publicly traversable way shall be interrupted or occupied by an off-street parking or loading area.
    3. The access easement volume shall be visible from the public sidewalk or the publicly traversable way.
    4. The publicly traversable way shall be maintained by the property owner in good repair.
    5. The publicly traversable way shall be fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
    6. The publicly traversable way shall be open and accessible to the public at all times when a stairway and/or elevator located within the associated access easement volume is open and accessible to the public.
  3. Permitted obstructions

    Any access structure within the access easement volume, or any weather protection provided by an overhang or roofed area over such access easement volume, accessory to the access structure, shall be considered permitted obstructions within required yards or open areas.
  4. Permitted uses

    An access easement volume required on a zoning lot pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter may be temporarily used by the owner of such zoning lot for any permitted use until such time as required by the City of New York or its designee for access purposes. Such permitted use shall be limited to non-residential uses where such access easement volume is within a building. Where such access easement volume is within an open area, such area shall be landscaped, or may be improved in accordance with the provisions of Sections 37-726 (Permitted obstructions) and 37-73 (Kiosks and Open Air Cafes), except that in the case of open air cafes and kiosks, a certification shall not be required.

    Improvements or construction of a temporary nature within the easement volume shall be removed by the owner of such zoning lot prior to the time at which public use of the easement areas is required. A minimum notice of six months in writing shall be given by the City of New York or its designee to the owner of the zoning lot, in order to vacate the tenants of such temporary uses.
  5. Legally required windows

    The minimum distance between any legally required window in a portion of a building used for residential use and an access easement volume shall be 30 feet, measured in a horizontal plane at the sill level of, and perpendicular to, such window for the full width of the rough window opening.
98-63 Recording of High Line Access Easement Volume
An instrument in a form acceptable to the Department of City Planning creating a High Line access easement volume shall be recorded in the Office of the City Register, a certified copy of which shall be submitted to the Department of City Planning.
Notice by the Department of City Planning of its receipt of a certified copy of an instrument establishing any access easements required pursuant to this Chapter shall be a precondition to issuance by the Commissioner of Buildings of any building permits including any foundation or alteration permit for any development of enlargement on a site pursuant to Section 98-60 for primary access easements. Receipt of a certified copy of an instrument creating a secondary access easement shall be provided in conjunction with notification, pursuant to Section 98-33, paragraph (a).
98-64 Termination of High Line Access Easement Volume
In the event that the City Planning Commission notifies the Department of Buildings and the owner in writing that a High Line access easement volume is not required on a zoning lot under the final construction plans for the restoration and reuse of the High Line as an accessible, public open space, the restrictions imposed on such zoning lot by the provisions of Section 98-61 (High Line Access or Support Easement Volumes Requirement) shall lapse, following receipt of notification thereof by the owner, and the owner shall have the right to record an instrument reciting the consent of the Commission to the extinguishment of the easement volume. On termination of the High Line access easement volume requirement which has been certified pursuant to this Section, any area reserved for such easement within a building or other structure may be used for any use permitted pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter and such area shall not be considered floor area; and any open area reserved for such easement shall be maintained as an open area and shall be subject to the open area requirements of Section 98-53 (Required Open Areas on the East Side of the High Line).
98-65 Transit Facilities
The provisions of paragraph (b) of Section 93-65 (Transit Facilities) shall apply to any subway-related use on a zoning lot that includes the volume bounded by a line 37 feet east of and parallel to Eleventh Avenue, West 26th Street, a line 100 feet east of and parallel to Eleventh Avenue, and a line 95 feet south of and parallel to West 26th Street, up to a height of 60 feet, as illustrated on the District Map in Appendix A of this Chapter.

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