Blocks & Lots

NYC Zoning Handbook – NYC Planning

“Zoning establishes an orderly pattern of development across neighborhoods, and the city as a whole, by identifying what is permissible on a piece of property. It is a law which organizes how land may be used, enacted pursuant to State authorizing legislation and, in New York City, the City Charter. Zoning is not planning itself, but is often one of its results; it is a tool that often accompanies, and effectively implements, a well-considered plan. Zoning regulations in New York City are contained within the Zoning Resolution.

Under New York City’s Zoning Resolution, land throughout the City is divided into districts, or “zones,” where similar rules are in effect. Zoning regulations are assigned based on consideration of relevant land use issues, rather than other factors such as property ownership or financial considerations. By virtue of the legal authority that establishes it, zoning is a set of limits on the use of land, rather than a set of affirmative requirements for a property owner to use a property in a particular way.

New York City zoning regulations originally stated which uses could be conducted on a given piece of property, and placed limits on how a building could be shaped, or its bulk. Today, zoning continues to regulate land use under a more expansive concept of use and bulk provisions to encompass issues such as off-street parking, affordable housing, walkability, public space, sustainability, and climate change resiliency.

New York City’s Zoning Resolution became effective in 1961, replacing an earlier Resolution dating from 1916. It has been amended many times since 1961, reflecting the changing needs and priorities of the city.”


Link to the complete Zoning Handbook is here: