R2A Zoning NYC

by | Last updated May 28, 2019 | Published on Aug 15, 2018 | NYC Zoning

R2A Zoning is a low density contextual residential zoning district in NYC. You can only build single family detached homes in R2A.



The R2A Zoning District is a sub district of R2 Zoning in NYC. It’s characterized by detached single family homes. R2A Zoning is mapped in Queens.

R2 Zoning Districts

R2 Contextual Districts


R2A Zoning Regulations

The New York City Zoning Resolution is complicated and quite in depth. In this article we will review some basic Zoning Codes with regards to residential zoning district R2A. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue, but provide a general overview of the zoning codes.


R2A Zoning Community Facility

R2A Zoning is a residential zone but Community Facility uses are allowed in R2 zones. In the instance of a community facility the zoning calculations may be different as community facilities can have alternate requirements.


R2A Zoning Specifications

Minimum Lot Size: Lot Area & Lot Width

Lot Size:

You can only build single family detached homes in R2 zoning. A Detached house has yards on all sides and does not touch any other buildings or houses.

Minimum Lot width =40 Feet

Minimum Lot Area = 3,800 Sq Ft

R2A Floor Area Ratio (FAR):

Floor Area Ratio determines the floor area that can be built on the property. The floor area ratio is multiplied by the lot area.

FAR = .5

Density Factor or Dwelling Unit Factor (DU) for R2A

The Dwelling Unit factor determines the maximum number of dwellings or families on the property. In R2A you can only build a single family home but the density factor is 1,900 square feet. Density Factor will matter if you have a small zoning lot.

R2A Building Heights: 

The Perimeter Wall height is 21 feet maximum.

The Overall Building Height is 35 feet maximum.

Yard Requirements for R2A

Front Yard = 15 Feet minimum

Rear Yard = 30 Feet

Side Yards = 13 Feet of side yards combined with the smaller of the two yards being 5 feet minimum.


R2A Zoning Example

Here is an example zoning analysis. Be aware that zoning is complicated and I am only addressing the basics here. I assure you there are many additional issues and variations to consider beyond this example.

R2A Example Lot

Lets assume we have a 40 foot wide and 100 foot deep property in an R2A Zoning District in Queens on an interior lot.

Zoning Floor Area/ Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

So the floor area ratio is .5. The FAR is a ratio that determines how many square feet you can build on the property. You simply take the property size and multiply it by the FAR.

In this example we have:

FAR of .5

Lot Size of 40 feet x 100 feet.

Zoning Floor Area = Lot Area X FAR

Lot Area = 40 x 100

Lot Area = 4,000 sq ft

FAR = .5

Zoning Floor area = .5 x 4,000

Zoning Floor Area = 2,000 sq ft

In this example we can build a single family house up to 2,000 square feet on the property.


R2A Zoning in NYC

As an architect I study 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 R2A Zoning Districts. 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 post on R2A Zoning in NYC.

I hope this was helpful. You can leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific project or want help with zoning analysis please feel free to contact Fontan Architecture directly. We will be happy to help.


Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

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.

  • Raj G. says:

    What happens if your lot is large enough to accommodate 2 families with the Density Factor being 1900.
    2.13 = 2 family. are we still allowed to or not?

  • John Chen says:

    I have a cornor lot r2a 40X100, I asked my friend who’s in school for architecture and he says my new 2nd floor edition has to be recessed 5 feet , since im a 1.5 story house now .. my new 2nd floor would have to have a extra 5 feet recess but 1st floor would be grandfathered in ? that sounds so weird

  • Myra says:

    Is community facility allowed in R2A and R2X zoning?

  • Marco V says:

    In R2A zoning, you are allowed up to an additional 300 sq ft. of FAR for adding a detached garage or attached garage. Is that true? What if the garage is located in the cellar which does not impact FAR or lot coverage ratios?

    • Marco,
      You don’t get an extra 300 square feet you just don’t have to count that 300 square ft. It may sound the same but its not. So a cellar does not count for zoning and the parking does not count for zoning therefore you will not get anything extra by parking in the cellar. It just doesn’t get counted.

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