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Section 1206 Yards and Courts

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1206.1 General
This section shall apply to yards and courts adjacent to exterior openings that provide required natural light or required natural ventilation. Such yards and courts shall be on the same zoning lot as the building. Where such yard or court is wholly or partially on a different tax lot from the exterior opening which the yard or court serves, a light and air easement or restrictive declaration acceptable to the commissioner shall be recorded against the tax lot or lots where such yard or court is located.
1206.2 Yards
Yards shall be not less than the dimensions prescribed by the New York City Zoning Resolution and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
1206.2.1 Rear Yard Access for Multiple Dwellings
For multiple dwellings, there shall be direct access from the street to every rear yard through a noncombustible 2-hour fire-resistance-rated passage either in a direct line or through a court, except that the passage may be 1-hour fire-resistance-rated for dwellings not exceeding three stories in height and occupied by not more than two families on any story. Such passage shall be at least 36 inches (914.4 mm) in clear width and 7 feet (2133.6 mm) in height.
Exceptions: No such passage shall be required for:
  1. Buildings of Type IA or IB construction.
  2. Buildings not exceeding three stories in height, and occupied by not more than one family on any story nor more than three families in all.
  3. Buildings not exceeding two stories in height, and occupied by not more than two families on any story nor more than four families in all.
1206.3 Courts
Courts shall not be less than the dimensions prescribed by the New York City Zoning Resolution and other applicable laws, rules and regulations.
1206.3.1 Court Access
Access shall be provided to the bottom of courts for cleaning purposes.
1206.3.2 Air Intake
Courts more than two stories in height shall be provided with a horizontal air intake at the bottom not less than 10 square feet (0.93 m2) in area and leading to the exterior of the building unless abutting a yard or public way.
Exception: For multiple dwellings more than two stories in height, an air intake with a vertical cross-sectional area of 21 square feet (1.95 m2) and a least minimum dimension of 3 feet (914.4 mm) shall be provided at or near the lowest level of any court, in accordance with Section 26(7)(a) of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.
1206.3.3 Court Drainage
The bottom of every court shall be properly graded and drained to a public sewer or other approved disposal system complying with the New York City Plumbing Code. For Group R and I-1 occupancies, such grading and drainage shall also comply with Section 27-2027 of the New York City Housing Maintenance Code. For Group R-1, R-2 and I-1 occupancies, such grading and drainage shall also comply with Section 77 of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.
1206.3.4 Court Walls for Multiple Dwellings
All walls enclosing courts of multiple dwellings shall be of light colored materials or shall be painted a light color.
Exceptions:
  1. Outer courts that open to a street.
  2. Courts that exceed the minimum dimension set forth in the New York City Zoning Resolution by at least 50 percent.
1206.4 Lighting in Courts and Yards
In Group I-1, R-1 or R-2 occupancies, all yards and courts shall be artificially illuminated with a minimum intensity of not less than 1 footcandle (11 lux) measured 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor of the lowest level of such yards or courts.
Exception: Such lighting is not required in an inner court that is accessible only from the interior of the building and to which access is restricted for clean-out purposes.

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