May 10, 2012

New York City Council unanimously approves Zone Green

On April 30, 2012, the New York City Council unanimously approved Zone Green, New York City’s proposed zoning amendments that remove various hurdles for developers and building owners to incorporate green elements such as solar energy systems, thicker walls for insulation and rooftop gardens into their properties.  A previous blog  post detailing these amendments is available here.

On March 28, the City Planning Commission approved the amendments with various modifications and clarifications, including the following:

Require that applications for certification for a rooftop greenhouse be delivered to the affected Community Board when filed

Clarify that the maximum height for a rooftop greenhouse receiving floor area or height waivers is 25 feet, measured from the level of the roof to the highest point of the greenhouse.

Where the text sets forth the energy efficiency standards that would entitle new buildings to deduct up to eight inches of exterior wall thickness from floor area, modify references to the NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) to reflect the potential for future modifications to the NYCECC.

When a new building deducts up to eight inches of wall thickness from floor area, require this to be noted on the Certificate of Occupancy.

Add skylights to the list of permitted obstructions on a rooftop within a court.

Clarify that sun control devices, if not accessible, do not count toward floor area.

Clarify that wind turbines are allowed to exceed a height limit as set forth in this proposal on top of portions of a building that are at least 100 feet in height, but not on lower portions of a building, where a different portion of the building is at least 100 feet in height.

A report that was submitted by the Commission on March 28 is available here.


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