On Demand Audio

Basic NYC Zoning and Land Use for Real Estate Lawyers

(1k+ reviews)

Produced on April 11, 2019

$ 99 Real Estate and Administrative In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 18m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Real Estate Administrative

Course Description

Consider the following scenarios: your client is looking to buy property within the five boroughs of New York City, and the broker is assuring them that they are able to develop a building with a certain amount of commercial, residential and/or manufacturing floor area. How can you confirm the accuracy of this information? A potential client calls you, saying they want to buy air rights from another property on their block – how do you confirm their ability to do so, and if so, what is the process to actually facilitate such a transaction? Finally, you have a client that owns property in a manufacturing district, but wants to build a residential building – how do you go about changing the use and/or bulk that is permitted as of right at the site?

In New York City, where the Zoning Resolution is well over a thousand pages long, it is critical for a real estate practitioner to understand the applicable New York City zoning designations and regulations in order to confirm that your client can actually do what they want to with a property that they own or are looking to purchase. This program provides an overview of how to navigate land use and zoning in New York City, with a focus on practical issues that real estate lawyers representing developers and property owners should understand. The course will also provide an introduction to "air" rights, including how to determine if there are available air rights for acquisition, confirming whether a potential air rights transaction complies with the Zoning Resolution, and the documents necessary to memorialize such a transaction.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Review the role of NYC's land use and zoning agencies in property development
  2. Develop basic land use and zoning due diligence skills
  3. Determine what "as-of-right" development of a property is
  4. Identify discretionary approvals available to increase development potential
  5. Advise clients on development ("air") rights transactions

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Nora Martins concentrates her practice on New York City zoning and land use, particularly applications for discretionary approvals from the City Planning Commission (such as zoning map amendments, City map changes, zoning text amendments, and special permits) and the Board of Standards and Appeals (including variances and special permits) to maximize development potential and entitlements. Nora also coordinates and reviews the related CEQR applications required in connection with these land use applications.
Nora’s practice ranges from preliminary zoning due diligence to the preparation and management of discretionary land use applications for all types of properties and projects, from small multi-family buildings to complex large-scale mixed-use waterfront developments.

Nora also represents clients before various other New York City agencies and entities, appearing before the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Department of Buildings, local community boards, and elected officials.

Joshua Rinesmith focuses on real estate development, with a concentration in land use and zoning law and related transactional matters. He advises property owners, developers, architects and engineers on New York City zoning compliance and the development potential of property throughout the city. He regularly appears before a variety of agencies having jurisdiction over development in New York City including the Department of Buildings, Board of Standards and Appeals, Department of City Planning and City Planning Commission, the Department of Housing Development and Preservation, and the Environmental Control Board.

Joshua has extensive experience in zoning lot merger and transfer of development rights transactions, including the drafting of purchase and sale agreements, zoning lot development and easement Agreements, and light and air easement agreements. He also assists clients in securing the required approvals under the City’s Inclusionary Housing Program. Joshua also has experience representing clients in obtaining “as of right” tax incentives for residential and commercial development projects under the City’s 421-a and ICIP/ICAP programs.


Judith T.

Great course. Organized and explained a lot of useful material in an easy to understand way.

Stephen D.

This was great - well-done!

Michael D.

The two instructors were knowledgeable and the course materials provide a good take-away and reference. The example of Penn Station and landmark laws was interesting. A few more examples like that would be great as an area of improvement.

Saundra Y.

Very detailed explanations.

David F.

Excellent course

Alan M.

Well organized over view of the topic

Richard F.

good overview

Matthew R.

Very detailed.

Virginia P.

Excellent primer.

Richard D.


Douglas R.

A+ - great course and great materials

Richard C.

Great materials and speakers!

Michael L.

Good level of detail, from knowledgeable presenters. Written materials and charts were particularly valuable resource and made it much easier to understand the material.

John K.

Not an area of law that I happen to practice in, but it very interesting for me nonetheless since I have always been interested in the history of New York City and why it looks the way it does, and this lecture gave me some answers to those questions.

Philip V.


Alexander F.

Speakers were well versed and had a passion for the subject.

Mark C.


Thomas G.


Maria A.

Excellent and informative

Christopher B.

The presenters were very thorough and covered a lot of valuable material.

Andrew L.

Excellent compilation of relevant regulations

Peter F.

Complex area. Expert presenters. I learned to never ever handle matters so heavily governed by so many bureaucracies.

Marco M.

Excellent Presentation

James D.


Jeffrey K.

One of the best programs ever! Fabulous job. These folks really know how to teach and present a beautiful, interesting program. This should be a model for other presenters to learn from and follow.

James D.

A very clear presenter and I liked the exchanged between the two parties

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