A tax lot is a real property recorded on the City Tax Map and a Zoning Lot is the extent of land to be treated as one lot for the purposes of assessing the Zoning. In most cases, the tax lot and zoning lot are the same, but a zoning lot can be made up of multiple tax lots.
Zoning Lot vs Tax Lot NYC Zoning
Tax Lot Definition NYC
A tax lot is a real property recorded on the New York City Tax Map and is used to assess property taxes.
Zoning Lot NYC definition
A zoning lot in NYC can be identified in several ways. The following would all qualify as a zoning lot depending on the circumstances.
Individual Lots existing on Dec 15, 1961
A lot of record existing on Dec 15, 1961 including any amendments to the lot.
Other lots Existing on Dec 15, 1961
Land that was either not subdivided or made up of multiple “lots of record” located on a single block on Dec 15, 1961 that had one single owner would constitute a Zoning Lot.
Unsubdivided or Multiple Lots With One Owner
A tract of land that is not subdivided or has 2 or more lots or record in a single block “contiguous for a minimum of 10 linear feet” with one owner may be a Zoning Lot.
Unsubdivided or Multiple Lots With More Than One Owner
A tract of land that is not subdivided or that has two or more lots “contiguous for a minimum of 10 linear feet” on one block that should be treated as one Zoning Lot with multiple owners is a Zoning Lot. This is in reference to a Zoning Lot Merger, which means, for the purpose of zoning, multiple owners can merge their lots for zoning, only keeping them as separate tax lots. Documents will need to be filled to complete this process and it will be reviewed by the Department Of Buildings. This is how many of NYC Air Rights Deals are done.
Subdividing a Zoning Lot
Zoning Lots may be subdivided into two or more zoning lots if they comply with all applicable Zoning Regulations. If there is an existing non complying building, it may be possible to subdivide if you do not create a new noncompliance or increase the amount of noncompliance.
Zoning Lot vs Tax Lot Differences.
A Zoning lot in NYC in many cases will be the same as the tax lot, but it will not be so in all cases. A zoning lot can be made up of multiple tax lots with one, two, multiple owners.
Tax Lot vs Zoning Lot Definitions
As an architect, I study Building 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 the tax lot and zoning lot definitions. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.
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This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.