R5 Zoning in NYC
In this post we are going to be discussing R5 Zoning in NYC. The R in R5 stands for Residential. First we will look at some general info for this type of zoning. Then an analysis of an actual R5 property in the Bronx. The example is a real property we assessed for one of our clients to determine what they can build on the property.
R5 Zoning NYC
New York City has many different zoning districts. The purpose of these districts is to restrict what people build based on the location. A zoning district that begins with R is a residential district. These districts are R1 through R10. The higher the number the larger the building you can build there. R5 is most common in Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx there is also some R5 in Staten Island. R5 has many sub categories:
- R5 Infill
This article will only be addressing regular R5 Zoning.
What is R5 Zoning?
R5 zoning is a residential zone. It allows single family, two family, and multi family buildings. We consider Multi family as 3 families or more. In R5 you can often see 3 to 4 story attached row houses of 1, 2, or multiple families. R5 properties are developed with attached, semi-detached, zero lot line and detached houses / buildings.
Allowed Building Types:
Attached Buildings. Attached buildings are buildings that sit directly on the 2 side lot lines and have no side yards, they can be attached to other buildings on 1 or 2 sides. Row houses are an example of attached buildings.
Semi-Detached Buildings. Semi-detached are buildings that are built on one side lot line and attached to 1 other building. Semi Detached buildings are in groups of two.
Zero Lot Line Buildings. Zero lot line buildings are buildings that are built on one side lot line but are not built against another building.
Detached Building – Is a building that has yards on all sides of the building and is not built on a property line.
General R5 Rules:
What You Can Build In R5
Floor Area Ratio or FAR – 1.25 This ratio determines how much square footage you can build on your property. You multiply the lot area by this number (FAR). See sample analysis below.
Lot Width Minimum – 40′. You must have a 40 foot wide lot to build a detached building.
Lot Area Minimum – 3,800 square feet. You must have a 3,800 square foot property to build a detached building.
Not Detached (any other building type listed above)
Lot Width Minimum – 18′ You must have an 18 foot wide lot to develop an R5 property. Special restrictions apply to smaller lots.
Lot Area Minimum – 1,700 square feet. You must have a 1,700 square foot lot to develop an R5 property. Special restrictions apply to smaller lots.
Maximum Building Heights
Street Wall Height – 30′. The wall closest to the street can be a maximum of 30′ high. This does not count handrails, parapets, or a pitched roof.
Building Height – 40′ The maximum building height is 40 feet measured to the highest point of a roof. This does not count railings, parapets, or bulkheads.
Buildings over 30′ Tall must have a 15 foot setback from the street wall at the 30′ elevation.
Lot Coverage – 55% You can build on a maximum of 55% of your lot. The property must have an open space of 45% having no building elements on it. Examples are yards, driveways, or paved outdoor areas.
Rear Yard – 30′ Must have a 30 foot rear yard. There are Special provisions for lots less than 70′ deep. Corner lots do not have rear yards they have 2 side yards and 2 front yards.
Front Yards must be 10′ Minimum or 18′ if larger. A front yard must be at least 10 feet if you are going to provide a yard greater then 10 feet it must be 18 feet or more. You are not allowed to build a front yard greater than 10 and less than 18 feet in depth.
Side yards are not required for attached buildings.
For detached buildings you must have 2 side yards that combined equal 13 feet. The smallest yard must be at least 5′.
A Semi detached house or building must have one side yard of at least 8 feet.
R5 Zoning Analysis Example
This is an actual property in The Bronx that we looked into for a client who was interested in tearing down a 2 family house to build a multifamily building. Here is the process to determine how many apartments you can build on an R5 property.
The property lot in question is 50 feet wide and 100 feet deep. This gives us a lot area of 5,000 square feet.
Lot Area – 50 x 100 = 5,000 square feet
To determine how many square feet the building can be we need to know the FAR and multiply the lot area by the FAR. The FAR in R5 Zoning is 1.25
Lot Area x FAR = Buildable Square Footage. (zoning square footage)
5,000 x 1.25 = 6,250 square feet.
The building we can develop on this property can have a maximum floor area of 6,250 square feet.
To determine how many apartments you can build. You take the zoning square footage and divide by the dwelling unit factor. The factor is 760 square feet in this zone. R5 zoning has density factor of 760 this means you can build 1 apartment per 760 square feet of zoning area.
# Of Apartments = Zoning Area / Density factor
# Of Apartments = 6,250 / 760
# Of apartments = 8
In this example we could develop a multifamily building of 6,250 square feet and have up to 8 apartments in the building.
To learn about other residential zones in NYC take a look at an article we wrote with basic information of all the Residential Zones in NYC
I hope this was helpful. If you want to discuss a specific project with an architect please feel free to Contact Fontan Architecture. We will be happy to help.