Yoga Studio Codes in NYC
In New York City, a Yoga Studio can be classified in different Zoning Use Groups that will determine where a Yoga Establishment can be located. The Use Groups would be 6C, 6E, or 9A. To qualify for Use Groups 6C or 9A there will be limitations on the design of the establishment.
Yoga Studio Codes in NYC
NYC Code Definition of Yoga
The following is a quote form the NYC Building Bulletin 2013-010 for the definition of Yoga:
“Yoga” is typically defined as a series of postures and breathing exercises, which are practiced to achieve control of the body and mind, tranquility, or similar.
Yoga Studio Place of Assembly
Indoor spaces with 75 people or more would require a Place Of Assembly Filing.
Yoga Studio Zoning in NYC
In New York City, Yoga Studios fall under Use Group 6E, Adult Physical Culture Establishment or Physical Culture or Health Establishments. Yoga Studios can also fall under Use Group 6C Retail Service Establishments or Use Group 9A Retail Establishment Studio, art, music, dancing or theatrical.
Yoga Studio as Use Group 6C or Use Group 9A
In order for a Yoga studio in NYC to qualify as Use Group 6C or Use Group 9A, it must comply with the following regulations as per NYC Department Of Buildings (DOB) Building Bulletin 2013-010. Below are the criteria to qualify for the retail establishments:
The Following Limitations Only Apply to Use Groups 6C and 9A
Open Plan Student Instruction Areas
Yoga establishments can have only one student instruction area with open floor plan arrangement. The instruction area cannot be more than 1,500 square feet.
Multiple Yoga Establishments in One Building
If there are multiple Yoga Establishments in the building, then each must be owned separately and cannot have the same owners.
Maximum Occupancy of A Yoga Studio
The Yoga studio cannot be occupied by more than 74 people including staff. It cannot be a “Place Of Assembly”.
Shower Facilities for Yoga Studios
Showers and bathtubs are not allowed, neither for students or staff. Showers and baths cannot be provided in a separate portion of the building.
Physical Culture or Health Establishment
The Yoga Studio cannot be accessory to a “physical culture or health establishment”, ex., fitness gym. If the Yoga Studio qualifies as a or part of a “physical culture or health establishment”, then it will require a special permit from The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA).
Letter Of No Objection for a Yoga studio
If you want to open a yoga studio in a space that qualifies for Use Groups 6 or 9, you may need to file for a Letter Of No Objection (LNO). Applying for a LNO requires records research and proper documentation. If you are converting an existing space into a yoga studio, you will need to file an Alteration Type 1 unless you can get a Letter of No Objection. If you get a LNO for your Yoga studio Conversion, you can file the conversion as an Alteration Type 2, which is a much easier application process. An Alteration Type 1 is for as new Certificate Of Occupancy and an Alteration Type 2 is not. Read another blog post we wrote to learn more about Alt 1 vs Alt 2 applications.
As an architect, I study zoning very closely. NYC Zoning and Building Codes are complicated and quite involved. In this article we reviewed some of the basic Zoning Codes with regards to Yoga Establishments. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue and condition but to provide a general overview. This post does not substitute the NYC Zoning Resolution or Building Codes.
Thank you for reading our blog post on Yoga Studio Codes and Alterations in NYC.
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.
Author Jorge Fontan AIA
This post was written by Jorge Fontan, a Registered Architect and owner of Fontan Architecture.