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Zoning Tools
Large-Scale Development

Zoning Text | Zoning Maps | Zoning Districts | Zoning Tools | About Zoning | Glossary

Zoning Tools: Large-Scale Development

A large-scale development is a development on a large zoning lot or several zoning lots planned as a unit that are contiguous or only separated by a street. In order to promote good site planning for these types of developments and their surrounding neighborhoods, given this unique nature of scale, the City Planning Commission (CPC) may modify the underlying zoning district rules to allow greater flexibility of bulk and open space on the site. To do this, the Commission may allow site plans that shift floor area, dwelling units, lot coverage and open space on a development site without regard to zoning lot lines or district boundaries, allowing use, bulk and parking configurations which would otherwise not be allowed.

In order to approve a large-scale development, the CPC must find that the redistribution of bulk and open space will result in a better site plan and a better relationship among buildings and open areas with the neighborhood than would be possible without modifying the underlying zoning. Special permits and authorizations are available for three types of large-scale developments, depending upon the zoning district, the intended mix of uses and the size of the development.

Large-scale general development
Large-scale general development
A large-scale general development is a development or enlargement located in a medium- or high-density commercial or manufacturing district that must contain uses allowed by the underlying zoning district. Located on a tract of land comprising at least 1.5 acres (65,340 sq. ft.), a large-scale general development may include existing buildings, provided they form an integral part of the development. In C5 and C6 districts, a development of at least five acres (217,800 sq. ft.) may include an existing building that is not an integral part of the development provided the building covers less than 15 percent of the development and is not included in the bulk modification. When a development is located partially in a residence district or in a C1, C2, C3 or C4-1 district, and partially in a commercial or manufacturing district, the commercial floor area may not be distributed within the residential or lower-scale commercial districts.

A large-scale residential development is a development located entirely in a residence district or in a C1, C2, C3 or C4-1 district. It must be situated on a tract of vacant land comprising at least three acres (130,680 sq. ft.) and contain a minimum of 500 dwelling units, or at least 1.5 acres with a minimum of three principal residential buildings. Because these developments are designed predominantly for residential uses and a population of differing family sizes, planning ensures a mix of apartment sizes to accommodate different family groups, variations in building configuration and siting, open space that meets the passive and active recreational needs of residents, and protection and preservation of natural features on the site. On-site community facilities are encouraged. Commercial uses in the development are restricted to uses permitted in C1, C2 and C4 districts. The Quality Housing Program is inapplicable.

Large-scale community facility development
Large-scale community facility development
in the East Village
A large-scale community facility development is a development or enlargement located entirely in a residence district or in a C1, C2, C3 or C4-1 district that is used predominantly for community facility uses but can contain any residential and commercial uses permitted within the underlying districts. The development must be on a tract of land comprising at least three acres, which may include existing buildings provided that they form an integral part of the development.


The Zoning Reference provides only general zoning information and is not meant to serve as a substitute for the actual regulations which are to be found in the Zoning Resolution.

Zoning Text | Zoning Maps | Zoning Districts | Zoning Tools | About Zoning | Glossary


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Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.

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