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User-friendly zoning handbook the ultimate guide to NYC.

City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden has announced the release of a new Zoning Handbook.

The new edition contains photographs, graphics and concise plain-English explanations of New York City's Zoning Resolution.

As the first revision of the handbook in 16 years, its much-anticipated release coincides with the most far reaching revision of the city's zoning since 1961.

The handbook details and illustrates recent changes to the zoning, including mixed-use districts and new contextual zoning districts that have been developed to manage growth and preserve the character of neighborhoods; and it clearly describes new special districts, such as Hudson Yards, with enhanced inclusionary zoning to help promote construction of affordable housing. The new edition of the handbook is a handy reference for people from many walks of life who follow land use and development in the city. With new color photos and graphics to illustrate building types permitted in the city's different zoning districts as well as an expanded glossary and other useful information, the handbook helps explain some of the complexities of the city's Zoning Resolution.

The book is being distributed to elected officials and all 59 community boards to assist them in their role in the land use review process. It will be available in public libraries, through the Department of City Planning's (DCP) bookstore at 22 Reade Street and may be ordered on the DCP web site at

"The Zoning Handbook is an indispensable tool to explain the basic concepts of zoning and how to apply them and it will be of use to novices and professionals alike," said Burden.

"We expect that the new and improved edition will prove especially valuable in empowering citizens to participate in the city's land use review process and in planning for their communities. The handbook will also help New Yorkers put in perspective the many land use changes they see around them and understand how zoning is used to guide those changes.

"Like our planning initiatives and public outreach efforts, the picture tells the story--we have included illustrations that help the user visualize typical development that might occur in each zoning district."

The new handbook contains innovative graphics illustrating typical buildings each zoning district produces with improved explanatory captions; color photographs of buildings that typify zoning districts in neighborhoods throughout the city; tables for every zoning district listing applicable bulk regulations including height and setback, parking and yard requirements and minimum lot size.

There are listings of comparable residential districts for each commercial district; details on new zoning districts and techniques that have been developed in recent years to manage growth and preserve the character of lower-density neighborhoods with illustrative photographs; descriptions of waterfront zoning regulations including requirements for public access; a simplified use group chart showing uses permitted in residential, commercial and manufacturing zoning districts.

It also includes a zoning analysis of a hypothetical "mixed" building with residential and community facility uses; comparisons of the contextual and non-contextual (or "height factor") zoning options available in the city's moderate-density districts and; an expanded glossary with illustrated plain-English definitions of more than 150 terms from Attic allowance to Zero lot line building.

For more information about the Zoning Resolution, to view zoning maps, information on the land use review process, or obtain a form to mail-order the handbook, visit
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 5, 2006
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