On Demand

Introduction to New York City Zoning Law

1h 21m

Created on March 16, 2017




Zoning is the primary tool employed by local governments to regulate the use of real property, the size and shape of buildings, and parking. New York City adopted the first comprehensive zoning ordinance in the United States in 1916 and continues to be a leader in the field. Through the process of amendment, the NYC Zoning Resolution is constantly growing in terms of size, complexity, and administration.  

This course, presented by land use attorney Howard Goldman, offers an overview of the background, key concepts, process, and purposes of zoning in New York City. In a practical application of this information, the course addresses two major zoning changes: the proposed East Midtown Rezoning and the recently adopted Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.

The course is intended to be helpful to lawyers seeking a basic understanding of zoning and land use, as well as more experienced practitioners and academics.   

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand zoning as an exercise of the police power
  2. Review key concepts such as as-of-right, discretionary approvals, zoning lot, floor area, floor area ratio, and transfer of development rights

  3. Discuss the role of governmental entities such as the City Planning Commission, City Council, Department of Buildings, Board of Standards and Appeals, and Community Boards in zoning
  4. Explain the proposed East Midtown Rezoning, which is intended to keep Midtown Manhattan east of Fifth Avenue competitive as an international office center, and the recently adopted Mandatory Inclusionary Housing regulations, which require a substantial amount of below-market housing to be provided when a discretionary governmental approval increases the residential development potential of a property

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