In Zoning a Non-Conforming Use is a legal existing use that does not conform with the allowed Zoning Uses for its district. A Non Complying Building is a legal existing building who’s bulk does not comply with the Zoning District’s Bulk Requirements for example floor area or maximum height.
Non-Conforming vs Non-Complying Zoning
Non-conforming is in reference to the use of a building whereas non-complying is in reference to the bulk of the building. In both cases it would be for an existing legal use that is “Grandfathered”.
A non-complying building is legal existing building that does not comply with any one or more zoning regulations for bulk. This would be the regulations governing the shape and size of the building. Examples: 1. a building taller than the required maximum height or 2. a building having a floor area that exceed the applicable Floor Area Ratio for the given zoning district.
The two most common reasons for a Non-Complying building is that the building was built before the current zoning code or there was a change in the zoning after the building was built.
A non-conforming use is a building with a legal existing use which does not conform to the allowable uses in the current Zoning District. An example would be a residential building in a Manufacturing District or a Commercial Building in a Residential Zoning District.
The two most common reasons for a Non-Conforming Use is that the building was built before the current zoning code or there was a change in the zoning after the building was built.
Non-Conforming vs Non-Complying Zoning in NYC
As an architect I study Building and Zoning Codes closely, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to the non-conformance and non-compliance within NYC Zoning. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Non-Conforming vs Non-Complying NYC Zoning.
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.
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.