C1-8A Zoning is a Local Retail and Local Service Contextual Commercial Zoning District in NYC. In C1-8A you can build a variety of commercial building uses, community facilities, and residential buildings. C1-8A Zoning has a low commercial FAR of 2 but these buildings can often have a residential development above the commercial spaces. C1-8A has a residential equivalent of R9A a Contextual Zone.
The C1-8A Zoning District is a sub district of C1 Zoning and C1-8 Zoning in NYC a commercial zoning district with common residential use. Zoning districts that end with a letter are contextual zoning districts. Contextual Zoning Districts are required to comply with the Quality Housing Program for residential use. Commercial Buildings in Contextual Zoning have some quality Housing Regulation applied to them as well specifically height and setback requirements.
C1-8 Zoning Districts:
C1-8A Residential Equivalent:
C1-8A Zoning Regulations
The C1-8A Zoning District is primarily residential with commercial uses on the street level. There are only a few blocks in Manhattan that have C1-8A Zoning mostly on the Upper West Side. The commercial uses are usually typical commercial uses for residential areas including retail, restaurants, and services for the day to day needs of a residential neighborhood.
C1-8A Residential Equivalent
Most Commercial Zoning districts have a Residential Equivalent. This equivalent is the Residential Zoning you would comply with when developing a residential building or mixed use building. The residential equivalent for C1-8A is R9A Zoning.
Mixed Use Building C1-8A
You can develop a mixed use building with commercial and residential zoning. In this case you would apply the requirements of C1-8A and R9A in designing a mixed use building. Because of the low Floor Area Ratio for C1-8A it would be most likely that a new development would have residential use above the commercial floor(s) in order to maximize the development potential.
C1-8A Zoning Specifications
C1-8A Commercial Floor Area Ratio (FAR):
Floor Area Ratio determines the floor area that can be built on the property.
FAR = 2
The FAR is for Commercial Floor Area, residential use usually differs from Commercial.
C1-8A Community Facility Floor area Ratio
FAR = 7.5
This FAR applies to buildings with both commercial and community facility use.
Yard Requirements for Commercial Use in C1-8A
Side Yards are not required, but if side yards are provided they must comply with the following:
At minimum 8 feet in width or
At minimum 5 feet in width with an average width of 8 feet.
Some special circumstances will require side yards.
20 Foot rear yard required
C1-8A Building Height and Setbacks
The building height and setbacks of commercial contextual districts are governed by the residential equivalent height and setback requirements for the Quality Housing Program.
As an architect I study zoning very closely. NYC Zoning is complicated and quite involved. In this article we reviewed some of the basic Zoning Codes with regards to commercial zoning district C1-8A. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue and condition, but provide a general overview of the zoning codes.
Thank You for reading our Blog Post on C1-8A Zoning in NYC.
I hope this was helpful. You can leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific project with an architect or get help with a Zoning Analysis please feel free to Contact Fontan Architecture directly. We will be happy to help.
This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.