Underlying Zoning District Definition

(Last Updated On: December 21, 2019)

An Underlying Zoning District is the basic Zoning District applicable to a zoning lot. A property can have an underlying district with a Commercial Overlay and be within a Special Zoning District.


Underlying Zoning District

The term Underlying Zoning District is found within the New York City Zoning Resolution in many locations and with a few different sets of context. The term is not defined within the Zoning Resolution definitions. It is meant to be the basic zoning without out any special districts or overlays. For example if we look at a property in an R10 Zoning District with a C2 Commercial Overlay in a Special Zoning District the R10 would be the underlying district.

Underlying districts in New York City will be districts that begin with a:

Underlying Commercial Districts not Overlays

A commercial overlay is not an underlying district but a regular Commercial District is. Commercial overlay is a commercial area mapped over a residential zoning district. In this case the Residential District would be the underlying district.  For example in a R6 Zoning district with a C2-2 Zoning Overlay, R6 is the underlying district.

Special Districts

There are many Special Zoning Districts in NYC. The Zoning Resolution outlines when you will follow the Special District regulations and when you will follow the Underlying District rules. These types of situations are when Zoning can really get complicated.


Underlying Zoning District Definition

As an architect, I study Building Codes 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 Underlying Zoning District Definition. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.


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