Chapter 4 - Special Willets Point District (WP)
The "Special Willets Point District" established in this Resolution is designed to promote and protect public health, safety and general welfare. These general goals include, among others, the following specific purposes:
(a) to transform Willets Point into a diverse and sustainable community that enhances connections to its surroundings through a unique combination of uses;
(b) to create a retail and entertainment destination that catalyzes future growth and strengthens Flushing's role as a nexus of economic, social and cultural activity;
(c) to encourage a mix of uses that complement sporting venues within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park;
(d) to maximize utilization of mass transit, reducing the automobile dependency of the redevelopment;
(e) to create a livable community combining housing, retail and other uses throughout the district;
(f) to create a walkable, urban streetscape environment with publicly accessible open spaces;
(g) to encourage the pedestrian orientation of ground floor uses;
(h) to build upon the diversity of the Borough of Queens as well as the proximity of regional transportation facilities, including the Van Wyck and Whitestone Expressways, LaGuardia and JFK Airports and the Long Island Railroad;
(i) to provide flexibility of architectural design within limits established to assure adequate access of light and air to the street, and thus to encourage more attractive and economic building forms; and
(j) to promote the most desirable use of land and building development in accordance with the District Plan and Urban Renewal Plan for Willets Point and thus improve the value of land and buildings and thereby improve the City's tax revenues.
The provisions of this Chapter shall apply within the Special Willets Point District. The regulations of all other Chapters of this Resolution are applicable, except as superseded, supplemented or modified by the provisions of this Chapter.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 flood zones, in the event of a conflict between the provisions of this Chapter and the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 4 (Special Regulations Applying in Flood Hazard Areas), the provisions of Article VI, Chapter 4, shall control.
For the purposes of establishing blocks and applying the use, signage, street tree, height and setback, court, publicly accessible open space and curb cut regulations of this Chapter, connector streets, the eastern perimeter street, the primary retail street, residential streets, retail streets and service streets shall be considered streets, and their boundaries shall be treated as street lines.
A "connector street" shall be a way intended for general public use located and designed in accordance with requirements set forth in Section 124-31 (Standards for Streets and Blocks), inclusive.
Eastern perimeter street
The "eastern perimeter street" shall be a way intended for general public use located and designed in accordance with requirements set forth in Section 124-31, inclusive.
Primary retail street
The "primary retail street" shall be a way intended for general public use located and designed in accordance with requirements set forth in Section 124-31, inclusive.
A "residential street" shall be a way intended for general public use located and designed in accordance with requirements set forth in Section 124-31, inclusive.
A "retail street" shall be a way intended for general public use located and designed in accordance with requirements set forth in Section 124-31, inclusive.
A "service street" shall be a way intended for general public use located and designed in accordance with requirements set forth in Section 124-31, inclusive.
District Plan Maps are located within the Appendix to this Chapter and are hereby incorporated and made part of this Resolution. They are incorporated for the purpose of specifying locations where special regulations and requirements set forth in the text of this Chapter apply.
The District Plan includes the following five maps:
Map 1 — Special Willets Point District Plan
Map 2 - Location Requirements for Convention Center, Cinema and Office Tower
Map 3 - Height Limits
Map 4 - Locations of Tower Walls without Setbacks
Map 5 - Mandatory Intersections
The provisions of Section 36-76 (Waiver or Reduction of Spaces for Subsidized Housing) shall not apply in the Special Willets Point District.
The following special permit by the Board of Standards and Appeals shall not be applicable:
Section 73-16 (Public Transit, Railroad or Electric Utility Substations) shall not apply to electrical utility substations. In lieu thereof, such use shall be allowed within the Special Willets Point District upon authorization of the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 124-16.
The following special permit by the City Planning Commission shall not be applicable:
Section 74-61 (Public Transit, Railroad or Electric Utility Substations) shall not apply to electrical utility substations. In lieu thereof, such use shall be allowed within the Special Willets Point District upon authorization of the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 124-16.
The requirements of this Section shall apply to zoning lots of at least 200,000 square feet of lot area, containing developments or enlargements resulting in at least 100,000 square feet of floor area on such zoning lots.
No building permit shall be issued until the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies to the Department of Buildings that such developments or enlargements comply with the provisions of this Section.
A set of drawings of sufficient scope and detail shall be submitted, showing that:
(a) all streets and private streets within or abutting the proposed development or enlargement comply with the provisions of Section 124-31 (Standards for Streets and Blocks), inclusive;
(b) all streets and private streets within or abutting the proposed development or enlargement are constructed to grades acceptable to the Commissioner of Buildings and the Commissioner of Transportation;
(c) all publicly accessible open spaces within or abutting the proposed development or enlargement comply with the provisions of Section 124-40 (PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENTS), inclusive; and
(d) for any portion of the Special Willets Point District not within the area proposed for development or enlargement and for which a certification pursuant to this Section has not been obtained, plans shall be submitted showing that the development or enlargement that is the subject of this certification shall not preclude such portions of the Special Willets Point District from complying with the provisions of Sections 124-31 and 124-40 under future certifications pursuant to this Section.
The Chairperson may allow for phased development upon certification to the Commissioner of Buildings that a plan has been submitted that provides for the completion of any private streets and publicly accessible open spaces that are integral to the development or enlargement of a building or buildings within each phase.
The Chairperson shall modify the provisions of Section 124-31, inclusive, to the minimum extent necessary, in the event that the Fire Department determines in writing that such modifications are required under law or regulation governing adequate fire access.
All required private streets and publicly accessible open spaces, once certified in accordance with the provisions of this Section, shall be duly recorded in the form of a signed declaration of restrictions, including a maintenance and operation agreement, indexed against the property, binding the owners, successors and assigns to provide such private streets and publicly accessible open spaces and public access thereto in accordance with the plans certified by the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission. Such declaration or maintenance and operation agreement shall require that a bond be posted that would ensure that the private streets and public access areas are maintained in accordance with the declaration or maintenance and operation agreement and are closed only at authorized times. The filing of such declaration in the Borough Office of the Register of the City of New York shall be a precondition for the issuance of a building permit.
In addition, the private streets and publicly accessible open spaces integral to the development or enlargement of a building or buildings shall be recorded on the certificate of occupancy for such building or buildings by the Department of Buildings and shall be a condition of issuance of such certificate of occupancy.
The use regulations of the underlying district are modified as set forth in this Section, inclusive.
The provisions of Section 32-422 (Location of floors occupied by commercial uses) shall be modified to permit dwelling units on the same story as a commercial use provided no access exists between such uses at any level containing dwelling units and provided any commercial uses are not located directly over any dwelling units. However, such commercial uses may be located over dwelling units by authorization of the City Planning Commission upon a finding that sufficient separation of residential uses from commercial uses exists within the building.
Each ground floor dwelling unit on a residential street shall be directly accessible from such residential street. No more than one entrance to a residential street shall be required for any one ground floor dwelling unit.
(a) Within Area B, as shown on Map 1 in the Appendix to this Chapter, commercial and special permit uses shall be limited to those uses permitted in a C1-4 District and physical culture or health establishments pursuant to Section 73-36, provided that commercial uses shall be located no more than 100 feet from a connector street, the present or former 34th Avenue or Willets Point Boulevard, or Area A, as shown on Map 1 in the Appendix to this Chapter.
(b) Within Area B, uses permitted in the underlying district shall be permitted within an area east and south of the present or former Willets Point Boulevard and contiguous with Area A, provided that such area shall be limited to 115,000 square feet in land area.
The following special permits shall not apply. In lieu thereof, such uses shall be permitted as-of-right:
Section 74-41 (Arenas, Auditoriums, Stadiums or Trade Expositions) shall not apply for trade expositions with a capacity in excess of 2,500 persons, provided that the facility has a floor area of no more than 400,000 square feet;
Section 73-482 (In Commercial or Manufacturing Districts) shall not apply for group parking facilities exceeding 225 spaces, provided such facilities comply with the regulations set forth in Section 124-50 (OFF-STREET PARKING REGULATIONS), inclusive.
In buildings with frontage on 126th Street, the following special permits shall not apply. In lieu thereof, such uses shall be permitted as-of-right:
Section 73-244 (In C2, C3, C4*, C6-4**, M1-5A, M1-5B, M1-5M and M1-6M Districts, the Special Hudson Square District and the Special Tribeca Mixed Use District) shall not apply for eating and drinking establishments with a capacity of more than 200 persons, which shall be permitted as-of-right within 100 feet of a Residence District boundary
Section 73-35 (Amusement Arcades)
Section 73-36 (Physical Culture or Health Establishments)
Section 74-46 (Indoor Interactive Entertainment Facilities)
Section 74-47 (Amusement Arcades)
The following regulations shall apply within Area A, as shown on Map 1 in the Appendix to this Chapter, to all portions of buildings with frontage on 126th Street, the primary retail street, retail streets, connector streets and, in the event that a utility easement is retained on the block bounded by Roosevelt Avenue and 126th Street, along the frontage of the publicly accessible open space required by paragraph (d) of Section 124-42.
(a) Ground floor uses
Uses within stories on the ground floor or with a floor level within five feet of base flood elevation shall be limited to commercial uses permitted by the underlying district, except uses listed in Use Groups 6B, 6E, 8C, 8D, 9B, 10B or 12D. A building's frontage shall be allocated exclusively to such uses, except for Type 2 lobby space or entryways, provided in accordance with Section 37-33 (Maximum Width of Certain Uses), parking pursuant to Section 124-50, inclusive, and vehicular access pursuant to Section 124-53 (Curb Cut Restrictions). Such uses shall have a minimum depth of 50 feet measured from any street wall facing 126th Street, the primary retail street or connector streets.
(b) Maximum length of establishments facing 126th Street and the primary retail street
The length of ground floor frontage occupied by any establishment shall not exceed 110 feet along 126th Street and 65 feet along the primary retail street. Such maximum lengths shall apply within 50 feet of any street wall facing 126th Street and the primary retail street. However, the provisions of this paragraph, (b), shall not apply within 300 feet of Northern Boulevard.
Access to each ground floor establishment shall be provided directly from a street.
For any building, or portion thereof, developed or enlarged after November 13, 2008, each ground floor street wall shall be glazed in accordance with Section 37-34 (Minimum Transparency Requirements).
However, in locations where such ground floor street wall above the level of the adjoining sidewalk or public access area is below base flood elevation, the required glazed area shall occupy an area measured from base flood elevation.