Chapter 6 - Special Urban Design Regulations
The regulations of this Chapter shall apply:
(a) in R9 and R10 Districts, to developments, as defined in Section 26-13, as set forth in Section 26-10 (SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR DEVELOPMENTS IN R9 AND R10 DISTRICTS). However, the provisions of Section 26-10 shall not apply within any Special Purpose District or to any Quality Housing building;
(b) in R3, R4 and R5 Districts, to zoning lots with buildings accessed by private roads, as set forth in Section 26-20 (SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR LOTS WITH PRIVATE ROADS), except where such zoning lots:
(1) consist entirely of single-family detached residences;
(2) are accessed by private roads that existed on February 6, 2002; or
(3) are located within lower density growth management areas, in which case the provisions of paragraph (c) of this Section shall apply;
(c) in lower density growth management areas, to zoning lots with buildings accessed by private roads, as set forth in Section 26-30 (SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR LOTS WITH PRIVATE ROADS IN LOWER DENSITY GROWTH MANAGEMENT AREAS);
(d) to developments, enlargements or conversions in all districts, as applicable, as set forth in Section 26-40 (STREET TREE PLANTING AND PLANTING STRIP REQUIREMENTS); and
(e) to Quality Housing buildings where supplemental ground floor level rules apply to buildings with qualifying ground floors, as set forth in Section 26-50 (SPECIAL GROUND FLOOR LEVEL PROVISIONS FOR QUALIFYING GROUND FLOORS).
In R9 and R10 Districts, an application to the Department of Buildings for a permit respecting any development shall include a plan and an elevation, drawn to a scale of at least one-sixteenth inch to a foot, of the new building and buildings on contiguous lots or contiguous blocks showing arcades, street wall articulation, curb cuts, street trees, sidewalk paving, a central refuse storage area and such other necessary information as may be required by the Commissioner of Buildings.
The urban design guidelines are established to strengthen, at street level, the relationship of developments with existing buildings and to improve the quality of the streetscape by:
(a) maintaining the visual continuity of developments at street level;
(b) enhancing the visual character of the neighborhood; and
(c) reducing conflict between pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
(a) guide the location of arcades to assure horizontal continuity of developments with existing building arcades and to maintain visual continuity at street level;
(b) require transparency and/or articulation of front walls to improve the visual quality of the street;
(c) improve the quality of the street environment;
(d) limit the number and location of curb cuts, minimizing undue conflict between pedestrian and vehicular movements; and
(e) eliminate trash on sidewalks by requiring central refuse storage areas within the zoning lot.
A "contiguous block" is a block containing one or more zoning lots separated by a narrow street from the block containing the development.
A "contiguous lot" is a zoning lot that shares a common side lot line with the zoning lot of the development.
In addition to the definition of development set forth in Section 12-10 (DEFINITIONS), "development" shall also include an enlargement involving an increase in lot coverage.
Horizontal continuity regulations set forth in this Section are intended to relate developments with existing buildings, at street level, in order to maintain visual and functional continuity relating to the following aspects.
Arcades shall be bonused only where the zoning lot of a development occupies:
(a) the entire street line of a block and when the arcade extends the full length of such street frontage; or
(b) a portion of the street line of a block and the contiguous zoning lot contains an arcade extending the full length of the street frontage, and no walls are existing where the two arcades abut; or where the contiguous zoning lot is vacant. Such arcade shall be located at the same elevation as the existing arcade.
Arcades may be interrupted by a bonusable open space such as a publicly accessible open area.
When any building wall of a development that is five feet or more in height adjoins a sidewalk, a public plaza or an arcade, at least 25 percent of the total surface area of such walls between curb level and 12 feet above curb level or to the ceiling of the ground floor, whichever is higher, or to the full height of the wall if such wall is less than 12 feet in height, shall be transparent. The lowest point at any point of any transparency that is provided to satisfy the requirements of this Section shall not be higher than four feet above the curb level.
Door or window openings within such walls shall be considered as transparent. Such openings shall have a minimum width of two feet.
In addition, any portion of such building wall, 50 feet or more in width, which contains no transparent element between curb level and 12 feet above curb level or the ceiling of the ground floor, whichever is higher, or to its full height if such wall if less than 12 feet in height, shall be covered with vines or similar planting or contain artwork or be treated so as to provide visual relief. Plantings shall be planted in soil having a depth of not less than 2 feet, 6 inches, and a minimum width of 24 inches. If artwork is being used, approval by the New York City Art Commission shall be obtained prior to the certificate of occupancy being issued for the development.
No curb cuts are permitted on wide streets. Curb cuts are permitted along narrow streets provided that no zoning lot has more than one curb cut on any narrow street frontage.
Additional curb cuts, in excess of one for each narrow street frontage, for zoning lots in excess of 30,000 square feet of lot area, or curb cuts on wide streets for zoning lots that have no narrow street frontage may be allowed, provided that the City Planning Commission and the Department of Transportation certify to the Commissioner of Buildings that such additional curb cuts will not result in conflict between pedestrian and vehicular circulation and will result in a good overall site plan.
An application to the Commission for certification respecting any additional curb cut shall be made on a standard application form for such certification and shall be accompanied by a site plan drawn to a scale of at least one sixteenth inch to a foot, showing the size and location of the proposed curb cut. The Commission shall furnish a copy of the application for such certification to the affected Community Board at the earliest possible stage and will give due consideration to their opinion as to the appropriateness of such curb cuts.
In cases where a zoning lot has no narrow street frontage, the Commission may waive the applicable accessory off-street parking requirements of Section 25-23 (Requirements Where Group Parking Facilities Are Provided).
The parking requirements set forth in Sections 25-21, 25-31 or 36-31 shall not apply to any development for which the Commissioner of Buildings has certified that there is no way to provide the required parking spaces with access to a street in conformity with the provisions of this Section.
All developments shall provide facilities for central trash storage within the zoning lot. Where such facilities are provided outside of a building, such facilities shall be screened by an enclosure containing materials compatible with the materials of the front building wall of the development.
In all cases, there shall be an area for central trash collection provided at the rate of 75 square feet for uncompressed garbage or 50 square feet for compressed garbage for each 10,000 square feet of lot area. Such area shall be ventilated.
The City Planning Commission may, by certification to the Commissioner of Buildings, allow modifications of the requirements of this Chapter. Such modifications will be allowed when the Commission finds that such modifications will enhance the design quality of the development.
To provide for the orderly development of residences that are distant from streets, site planning requirements are established in Sections 26-20 through 26-27, inclusive. The regulations of this Section are intended to:
(a) optimize vehicular access within and among zoning lots containing private roads;
(b) regulate the size of and distance between curb cuts to minimize undue conflict between pedestrian and vehicular movement;
(c) provide for sidewalks to facilitate social interaction and enhance pedestrian safety; and
(d) provide for tree planting along private roads in order to enhance the visual and environmental character of the neighborhood.
Private roads shall consist of a paved road bed constructed to minimum Department of Transportation standards for public streets, including curbs and curb drops. The minimum width of a private road shall be 38 feet from curb to curb along its entire length or, where at least three accessory parking spaces are provided for every two dwelling units and no such spaces are located within the bed of a private road, the minimum width shall be 34 feet. The entrance to any group parking facility may be narrower than such minimum widths for a distance not to exceed 20 feet, and a private road may contain a landscaped median provided the paved width of such private road meets the minimum width required exclusive of such medians. The City Planning Commission may modify the required width of a private road, pursuant to Section 26-26 (Modification and Waiver Provisions).
Curbs shall be provided along each side of the entire length of a private road.
A curb cut, excluding splays, from a street to a private road may be as wide as such private road. Curb cuts providing access from private roads to parking spaces located outside the road bed of the private road shall not exceed a width of 18 feet, including splays.
A minimum distance of 16 feet of uninterrupted curb space shall be maintained between all curb cuts.
A minimum three-foot wide planting strip shall be provided adjacent to and along the entire length of the required curb. Within the required planting strip, one tree of at least three inches in caliper shall be planted for every 25 feet of length of such planting strip.
Driveways are permitted to traverse such planting strips, and utilities are permitted to be located within such planting strips.
A minimum four-foot wide paved sidewalk shall be provided adjacent to and along the entire length of the required planting strips. However, no sidewalk shall be required along that side of a private road that does not have a building wall facing it.
An area open to the sky at least five feet in depth shall be provided between a required sidewalk and any building, except that any driveway or parking space located within such open area shall have a depth of at least 18 feet measured perpendicular to such sidewalk. Such open area shall be planted except for parking spaces and entryways to buildings. Where an open area at least 18 feet in depth is required, overhangs of buildings above the first story that project not more than three feet into the required open area are permitted, provided the lowest level of the overhang is at least seven feet above grade at the face of the building. Supports for such overhang are permitted, provided that the total area occupied by such supports does not exceed 15 percent of the area underneath the overhang.