As of Right Development

As of Right Zoning Definition NYC

(Last Updated On: September 5, 2019)

As of Right is a term used in property development to describe a proposed development that complies with all applicable zoning codes. In NYC an As of Right Development does not require special permits, variances, or any discretionary action from the City Planning Commission or the Board of Standards and Appeals.

 

As Of Right

  • As of Right Definition
  • DOB Review of As of Right Developments
    • DOB Objections
  • Special Permits (Not As Of Right)
  • Variances (Not As Of Right)

 

As of Right Definition

The term As of Right does not a defined term in the New York City Zoning Resolution although it does appear on the City Planning Commissions website. Below is the term as defined by the NYC City Planning Commission:

“As-of-right Development An as-of-right development complies with all applicable zoning regulations and does not require any discretion­ary action by the City Planning Commission or Board of Standards and Appeals. Most developments and enlargements in the city are as-of-right.”

The first thing I will point out about the definition is that most property developments are “As of Right”. This means no special consideration will be required. Essentially an As of Right development is any development that you are entitled to do and requires nothing more than The Department Of Buildings review for Zoning. As of Right Developments comply 100% with the current zoning codes.

 

NYC DOB Review 

Even though a proposed property development is As of Right it must be filed and approved by the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). When an architect such as myself submits an application to the DOB  for a property development we must include a zoning analysis and drawings to prove the building is in compliance with all applicable zoning codes.

NYC DOB Objections

When you file a project with the DOB it is subject to their review process. The project will be assigned to a DOB Plan Examiner this is an architect or engineer who works for the department Of  Buildings. This process is not as bad as people make it out to be. Even though the development may be As of Right it will still be disapproved and receive objections. Almost all projects filed with the DOB  get some objections these are a list of questions or comments from the plan examiner. The architect applying for the permit must answer all the questions and respond to all comments before the project gets approved. The application will be put on disapproved status during this time. People often panic when they see their job has been disapproved but it is perfectly normal. Sometimes the job is disapproved for minor issues and can be easily resolved but sometimes it is disproved for serious issues.

 

Special Permits

If a property development requires a “Special Permit” then it is not an As Of Right Development. Special Permits are issued at the Discretion of The City Planning Commission and or the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA).

 

Zoning Variance

If a property development requires a zoning variance then it is not an As of Right Development. A zoning variance is filed with the Board Of Standards and Appeals. This is for authorization to build something that is not in compliance with the Zoning Code. you can see another post we wrote to learn more about applying for a Zoning Variance in NYC.

 

NYC Development Protocols

As an architect I study codes closely. NYC Codes and protocols are complicated and quite involved. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to the definition of As of Right Developments. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview.

 


Thank you for reading our blog post on the meaning of As of Right Developments.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can contact Fontan Architecture directly.

 

 

4 Comments

  • Marco

    October 10, 2019 11:24 pm
    Reply

    Hi Gorge I have a M1 -1 Zoning . How many square feet can i build on based on the 80 thousand square feet. Marco Macaluso

  • Aryeh M. Friedman

    October 30, 2019 3:57 am
    Reply

    Is a variance needed if all aspects of the zoning lot are as of right the intended building *EXCEPT* the total area is 4 ft^2 to small? Specifically I am looking to potentially buy a lot that is R3A meets the min. width and depth requirements except that a LIRR station platform cuts a sliver off one of the back lot corners making it have a area of 3,796 ft^2. If it matters there is a second lot adjacent to it that is owned by the City and is currently used as unofficial overflow parking for the public elementary school that is across the street from the lot. Also I plan to build a modular duplex on the lot that will meet the FAR and yard requirements.

    Note since I am only looking at this as a potential property I don’t want to spend any money on a detailed study of it. BTW is it possible to make such a study a part of the sales contract and make the contract contingent on getting permits?

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