Use Group 4 NYC Zoning

Use Group 4 Community Facility NYC Zoning

(Last Updated On: June 7, 2019)

The NYC Zoning Resolution has Use Groups to categorize buildings based on their use. Use Group 4 consists of Community Facility Uses. As well Use Group 3  is community Facility Use.


Use Group 4 NYC Zoning

Community Facility Use Groups

Certificate Of Occupancy for Use Group 4

Use Groups are listed on the Certificate Of Occupancy for a space. Use Group 4 has three categories. A Certificate Of Occupancy or CO for Use Group 4 would have 3 options for identifying the use of spaces:

  • 4A 
  • 4B
  • 4C

See another post we wrote to learn more about Community Facility Zoning.

Use Group 4A

Use Group 4A is Community Facility.

  • “Ambulatory, Diagnostic, or Treatment health care facilities”
  • Clubs
    • Additionally Clubs are not permitted As-Of-Right in R1 or R2 Zoning Districts.
  • Community Centers or Settlement Houses
  • Houses of Worship
    • Church
    • Mosque
    • Synagogue
    • Temple
    • Rectories
    • Convents
    • Monasteries
    • etc…
  • Seminaries
  • Non Commercial Recreation Centers
  • Not for profit hospital staff dwellings
    • Only if located “on the same zoning lot as the non-profit or voluntary hospital and related facilities or on a separate zoning lot immediately contiguous thereto”
  • “Non-profit or voluntary hospitals and related facilities”
    • but not animal hospitals
  • “Philanthropic or non-profit institutions”
  • “Proprietary hospitals and related facilities”
    • Does not include animal hospitals
    • Cannot be built in R1 or R2 Zoning As-Of-Right
  • Welfare Centers
    • Cannot be built in R1 or R2 Zoning As-Of-Right

Use Group 4B

Use Group 4B is “Open Uses”

  • “Agricultural uses including greenhouses, nurseries, or truck gardens”
    • “provided that no offensive odors or dust are created, and that there is no sale of products not produced on the same zoning lot”
  • Cemeteries
    • Cannot be built in R1 or R2 Zoning As-Of-Right
  • Golf Courses
  • Outdoor tennis courts and ice skating rinks
    • Cannot be built in R1 or R2 Zoning As-Of-Right
  • Parks
    • Public Parks
    • Play Grounds
    • Private Parks
  • Railroad and Transit Right Of way

Use Group 4C

Use Group 4C are accessory uses to Group 4A or Group 4B.

Any use that is not As Of Right would require a Special Permit from the Board of standards and Appeals or possibly a Zoning Variance.


Additional Restrictions on Use Group 4

There are restrictions and special requirements for Community Facility uses in certain situations below are a few examples.

Health Care Facility Restrictions 

  • Veterinary, “physical culture or health establishments”, or “ophthalmic dispensing” establishments do not count for Use Group 4 or community facility.
  • Health Care Facilities are not allowed in R1 or R2 districts.
  • Health Care is facilities are limited to 1,500 sq ft in R3-1, R3A, R3X, R4-1, R4A, and R4B.
  • In Mixed Use buildings containing Residential Use Health Care can only be on the first floor of the building or on the second floor if accessible through a separate entrance or directly from the first floor facility.

Zoning Restrictions on Clubs

Certain Types of Clubs do not qualify as Use Group 4 or as Community Facility as listed below:

  • “clubs, the chief activity of which is a service predominantly carried on as a business”
  • “non-commercial outdoor swimming pool clubs”
  • “any other non-commercial clubs with outdoor swimming pools located less than 500 feet from any lot line”
  • “any activity or use listed within the definitions of either adult physical culture establishments or physical culture or health establishments”

Philanthropic or non-profit institution Restrictions

“Philanthropic or non-profit institutions without sleeping accommodations excluding ambulatory diagnostic or treatment health care facilities listed in Use Group 4, provided that the number of persons employed in central office functions shall not exceed 50, and the amount of #floor area# used for central office purposes shall not exceed 25 percent of the
total floor area or 25,000 square feet, whichever is greater, except that in R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 or R7
Districts, the amount of floor area used for central office purposes shall in no event exceed 25 percent of the total floor area”


Where Can You Build Use Group 4?

Residential Zoning Districts

You can develop Use Group 4 Community Facilities in many zoning districts and subdistricts in New York City including most contextual zoning districts. Below is a list of Residential Zoning Districts were you can develop Use Group 3:


Commercial Zoning Districts

You can develop Community Facility Use Group 3 in most commercial districts in NYC including their respective subdistricts and contextual districts.

  • C1 Local Retail
  • C2 Local Service
  • C3 Waterfront Recreation
  • C4 General Commercial
  • C5 Restricted Central Commercial
  • C6 General Central Commercial


Manufacturing Zoning Districts

Community Facility Use Group 4 is only permitted in M1 Zoning Districts.

In M1 districts Special Permit from City Planning is necessary for Use Group 4A Community Facilities, except ambulatory diagnostic or treatment health care facilities and houses of worship.


NYC Zoning Use Group 4

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 NYC Zoning Resolution Use Group 4. 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 Use Group 4 in the NYC Zoning Code.

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.


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