Small Zoning Lots in NYC

Small Zoning Lots in NYC are residential zoning lots where the area of the lot is less then the minimum required by code or where the width of the property is less then that required by code. If a residential property is a small zoning lot any new development will be restricted to a maximum of 1 or 2 families. A Multi family building will not be allowed as of right on a small zoning lot in New York City.

 

Small Zoning Lots

Small zoning lots are only an issue for residential developments. If you have a commercial overlay the commercial development can proceed as it normally would. The residential portion can have one or two families as of right. The number of families will be determined by one of two issues. First whether or not the zoning district allows two families and second the Density Factor.

Small Lots in Single Family Zoning Districts

Some Zoning districts only allow single family homes. If that is the case then obviously you can only build a single family home provided you qualify on the Density Factor.

Small Lots in Two Family or Multifamily Zoning Districts

If you are in a zoning district that allows two families or multi family buildings then you can build up to two families on a small zoning lot. Multi family will not be allowed without a variance in a multi family Residential Zoning District. Variances are special authorization to develop a property in a manner that is not as of right. A variance is not easy to get.

Density Factor Calculations

Density Factor is a zoning formula that determines how many residential units you can develop on a property.

 

Small Zoning Lots

Zoning DistrictDescriptionMinimum Lot AreaMinimum Lot Width
R1-1Single Family Detached Only9,500 square feet100 Feet
R1-2Single Family Detached Only5,700 square feet60 feet
R2Single Family Detached Only3,800 square feet40 feet
R2ASingle Family Detached Only3,800 square feet40 feet
R2XSingle Family Detached Only2,850 square feet30 feet
R3-1Single or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line3,800 square feet40 feet
R3-2Single or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line3,800 square feet40 feet
R3ASingle or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line2,375 square feet25 feet
R3XSingle or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line3,325 square feet35 feet
R4-1Single or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line2,375 square feet25 feet
R4BSingle or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line2,375 square feet25 feet
R5BSingle or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line2,375 square feet25 feet
R5DSingle or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line2,375 square feet25 feet
R4 through R10Single or Two family detached or Zero Lot Line only3,800 square feet40 feet
R3-R10All Other Conditions1,700 square feet18 feet
Small Zoning Lots in NYC lot width and lot area

 

Small Lots In Lower Density Growth Management Areas

Zoning DistrictDescriptionMinimum Lot AreaMinimum Lot Width
R3Atwo-family
detached and two-family zero lot line residences
3,135 Square feet33 feet
R4-1two-family
detached and two-family zero lot line residences
3,135 Square feet33 feet
R4Atwo-family
detached and two-family zero lot line residences
3,135 Square feet33 feet
R3-1two family semi detached residences3,135 Square feet33 feet
R3-2two family semi detached residences3,135 Square feet33 feet
R4-1two family semi detached residences3,135 Square feet33 feet
Small Lots In Lower Density Growth Management Areas, Lot Width and Lot Area Chart

 

How to Develop a Small Zoning Lot in NYC

  • Build 1 or 2 Families
  • Merge Zoning Lots
  • Enlarge The Lot
  • Get A Variance
  • Develop Mixed Use or Non Residential

 

Build 1 or 2 Family Homes on a Small Zoning Lot

When developing your small zoning lot the easiest thing to do is to build a 1 or 2 family home. We did a project where the client had a small zoning lot in R6 Zoning. We designed a small building 4 stories with 2 duplex units. It was a 2 family 4 story house. The first 2 stories were one family and the top 2 stories were another family.

 

Merge Zoning Lots

You can make an air rights deal with your neighbors and merge the zoning lots. With could bring you over the minimum and requirements even though your property doesn’t physically change.

 

Enlarge The Lot

You can purchase your neighbors lot or a portion of their property enough to bring you over the limit. You need to make sure you do not leave their lot with less then the minimum required.

 

Get a Variance

Getting a variance is complicated but it is possible. This is a very time consuming process to receive special approvals to build something that is not “as of right.” Nobody can gaurantee you that the variance will actually be approved.

 

Develop Mixed Use or Non residential

If you have a commercial overlay you may consider building a commercial space or a mixed use building with 1 or 2 family residential and commercial below. Also you can do a community facility or mixed use community facility with 1 or 2 family residential.

 

I hope this was helpful. Good luck with developing your small zoning lots feel free to leave a question or comment below or contact us directly if you want to discuss your project.

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