C2-8 Zoning is a Local Retail and Local Service Commercial Zoning District in NYC. In C2-8 you can build a variety of commercial building uses, community facilities, and residential buildings. C2 Zoning has a low commercial FAR of 2 but these buildings can have a residential development above the commercial spaces.
The C2-8 Zoning District is a sub district of C2 Zoning in NYC.
C2-8 Zoning Districts
C2-8 Residential Equivalent:
C2-8 Zoning Regulations
The C2-8 Zoning District is primarily residential with commercial uses on the street level. The Upper West side and and Upper East side of Manhattan have C2-8 Zoning. 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.
C2-8 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. The residential equivalent for C2-8 is R10 Zoning.
Mixed Use Building
You can develop a mixed use building with commercial and residential zoning. In this case you would apply the requirements of C2-8 and R10 in designing a mixed use building. Because of the low Floor Area Ratio for C2-8 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.
C2-8 Zoning Specifications
C2-8 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.
Plaza Floor Area Bonus:
1 to 6 ratio plaza to building floor area bonus
In C2-8 the Plaza Bonus applies to buildings with community facility use.
You can build 6 additional square feet of building for every square foot of plaza. Plazas have specific requirements not all locations qualify.
Arcade Floor Area Bonus
1 to 3 ratio arcade to building floor area bonus
In C2-8 the arcade Bonus applies to buildings with community facility use.
You can build 3 additional square feet of building for every square foot of arcade. Arcades have specific requirements not all locations qualify.
C2-8 Community Facility Floor area Ratio
FAR = 10
Sometimes the FAR is higher for community facilities as it is in this case.
Yard Requirements for Commercial Use in C2-8
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
C2-8 Height And Setback
Initial Setback Distance
20 feet on narrow street
15 on wide street
Building Height Within Initial Setback Distance = 85 feet or 6 stories whichever is less
Sky Exposure Plane Vertical to Horizontal
Narrow Street Sky Exposure Plane = 2.7 to 1
Wide Street Sky Exposure Plane = 5.6 to 1
C2-8 Alternate Height And Setback
Alternate height and setback regulations can apply if you provide open space for the entire length of the front lot line.
Depth Of Optional Front Yard
15 feet on narrow street
10 on wide street
Sky Exposure Plane Height Above Street Line = 85 feet
Sky Exposure Plane Vertical to Horizontal
Narrow Street Sky Exposure Plane = 3.7 to 1
Wide Street Sky Exposure Plane = 7.6 to 1
You should always make sure if your property is subject to sliver law restrictions.
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 C2-8. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue and condition, but provide a general overview. This post does not substitute the NYC Zoning Resolution.
Thank You for reading our Blog Post on C2-8 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 you can contact us directly.
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.