Zoning Frequently Asked Questions

Zoning FAQ NYC

(Last Updated On: September 3, 2019)


Zoning FAQ NYC


The following are New York City  Zoning Frequently Asked Questions we receive in our New York Architecture Firm: Fontan Architecture.

Residential Zoning FAQ

Small Zoning Lots

Q. Can I build multifamily on a small zoning lot?

A. The NYC Zoning Resolution identifies minimum lot sizes for residential zoning. If a property is smaller than the minimum lot size in either width or square footage the lot cannot be developed for multifamily use.


Commercial Zoning FAQ

Hotel Zoning

Q. Is a hotel commercial or residential zoning?

A. Hotels are commercial zoning.


Manufacturing Zoning FAQ

Residential use in Manufacturing Districts

Q. Can I build residential in a manufacturing zone?

A, In most cases no. There are some exceptions:

  1. If you are in a residential zone ending with a D for example M1-1D you may be able to get a special permit for residential use.
  2. NYC has some Mixed Zoning Districts where a property can be in a Manufacturing and Residential Zoning District paired zone.

Hotels in Manufacturing Zoning

Q. Can I build a hotel in a manufacturing zoning M Zone?

A. Hotels in Manufacturing or M zoning districts require special permits and these are only available for M1 Districts. The hotel special permit will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the NYC Department of City Planning.


Mixed Use Buildings Zoning FAQ

Commercial Overlay FAR

Q. Do I add the commercial overlay FAR to the residential FAR.

A. No you never add the FAR, if you have multiple FAR based on different uses for a property whichever is the largest will be the total FAR for the building. Each individual use cannot exceed its given FAR.

Residential Equivalent

Q. Can I use the commercial FAR for residential use.

A. No you cannot use commercial FAR for residential use. In most NYC commercial zoning districts there is a Residential equivalent this will determine the requirements for residential use.


NYC Zoning Frequently Asked Questions  

As an architect, I study Zoning Codes, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article we reviewed some Frequently Asked Questions we receive about NYC Zoning. 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 NYC Zoning FAQs.

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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