In May, the City Council adopted a zoning text amendment that revised the parking regulations in the “Manhattan Core,” the area south of 96th Street on the east side and south of 110th Street on the west side. Since 1982, this area of Manhattan has been subject to parking regulations that differ from those in effect in the rest of the City, in part due to an effort to reduce pollution after the Clean Air Act and an acknowledgement that the number of cars in the congested areas of central Manhattan should be limited. Parking is not required for any new development in the Manhattan Core and is only permitted in limited amounts.
This summer, City Planning is in the midst of a zoning change that will reduce the parking requirements for new buildings in Downtown Brooklyn. The text amendment is part of the city’s larger reevaluation of the Zoning Resolution’s parking requirements, as I’ve discussed previously (DCP released a study last year examining Manhattan’s parking situation, but hasn’t yet introduced any text amendment for that area). To recap the requirements – with the exception of Manhattan below 110th Street, all new buildings in NYC must provide some amount of on-site parking spaces. This requirement can be as high as one space for 100% of all new residential units in lower density areas, and can be onerous for affordable housing and small buildings – or anywhere there isn’t a market for on-site parking spaces. The zoning provides few exceptions to the parking requirements – the requirements for affordable housing are less than those for market rate residential buildings, and developments that are small enough can waive their requirement, but in most other cases, the only way that the parking requirement can be reduced is through a variance.
Downtown Brooklyn’s text amendment, which reduces residential requirements from 40 to 20 percent, is currently winding its way through the public review process. The reduction has been welcomed by many in the development community – the area continues to see a number of high-density residential development projects, and since it has some of the best transit access in the country, there simply isn’t a market for the required number of on-site parking spaces. Continue reading
Streetsblog reported last week that the Department of City Planning is re-analyzing its minimum parking requirements in certain neighborhoods with good transit access, such as Downtown Brooklyn, Harlem and western Queens. Currently, the Zoning Resolution requires that parking be provided for almost all new developments throughout all areas of NYC, with the exception of Manhattan below 110th Street and in a limited area in Queens. Continue reading
In 2007, an owner of an upper east side townhouse submitted a proposal to the Department of City Planning requesting permission to convert the townhouse basement into a 1-car garage. Doing so would require creating a 9’2” curb cut in front of the property in question.
The Department of City Planning rejected the application, citing Section 25-633 of the zoning resolution:
In the districts indicated, curb cuts are prohibited for residential developments on zoning lots having a width of less than 40 feet…
City Planning felt that this section disqualified the applicant, since the property: Continue reading
The City Planning Commission yesterday put forward new proposed parking regulations that aim to prevent the utilization of front yards as parking spaces. The proposed regulations will prohibit new “parking pads” in single and two-family districts and will also prohibit some new curb cuts. [Curb cuts are literally breaks in a curb that lead to a driveway or parking area.] Curb cuts allow for the creation of these “parking pads” while simultaneously eliminating an on-street public parking spot. Prohibiting them allows City Planning to kill two birds with one stone.
Additionally, the citywide text amendment proposes to: Continue reading