C4-5 Zoning NYC

by | Last updated Jul 3, 2020 | NYC Zoning

C4-5 Zoning is a General Commercial Zoning district in NYC. In C4-5 you can build a variety of commercial building uses, community facilities, and residential buildings.

The C4-5 Zoning District is a sub district of C4 Zoning in NYC.


C4-5 Zoning Districts:

C4-5 Residential Equivalent:

  • R7-2


C4-5 Zoning Regulations

The C4-5 zoning district is a General Commercial Zoning District with residential and commercial uses. These are mapped in Chelsea, The West Village in Manhattan, and on Roosevelt Island.


C4-5 Residential Equivalent

Most Commercial Zoning districts have a Residential Equivalent. This means you can develop a residential building within the commercial zoning district. You follow the residential equivalent zoning requirements in the case of a residential development. The residential equivalent for C4-5 is R7-2 Zoning.


Mixed Use Building

You can develop a mixed use building with commercial and residential zoning. In this case you would apply the requirements of C4-5 and R7-2 in designing the building.


C4-5 Zoning Specifications

C4-5 Commercial Floor Area Ratio (FAR):

Floor Area Ratio determines the floor area that can be built on the property.

FAR =  3.4

The FAR is for Commercial Floor Area. Residential FAR usually differs from Commercial.

C4-5 Community Facility Floor area Ratio

FAR =  6.5

Sometimes the FAR is higher for community facilities as it is in this case.

Yard Requirements for Commercial Use in C4-5

Side Yards

Side Yards are not required, but if side yards are provided they must comply with the following:

At minimum 8 feet in width or

At minimum 5 feet in width with an average width of 8 feet.

Some special circumstances will require side yards.

Rear Yard

20 Foot rear yard required

C4-5 Height And Setback

Initial Setback Distance

20 feet on narrow street

15 on wide street

Building Height Within Initial Setback Distance = 60 feet or 4 stories whichever is less

Sky Exposure Plane Vertical to Horizontal

Narrow Street Sky Exposure Plane = 2.7 to 1

Wide Street Sky Exposure Plane = 5.6 to 1

C4-5 Alternate Height And Setback

Alternate height and setback regulations can apply if you provide open space for the entire length of the front lot line.

Depth Of Optional Front Yard

15 feet on narrow street

10 on wide street

Sky Exposure Plane Height Above Street Line = 60 feet

Sky Exposure Plane Vertical to Horizontal

Narrow Street Sky Exposure Plane = 3.7 to 1

Wide Street Sky Exposure Plane = 7.6 to 1



You should always make sure if your property is subject to Sliver Law restrictions.


NYC Zoning

As an architect I study zoning very closely. NYC Zoning is complicated and quite involved. In this article we reviewed some of the basic Zoning Codes with regards to commercial zoning district C4-5. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue and condition, but provide a general overview. This post does not substitute the NYC Zoning Resolution.


Thank You for reading our Blog Post on C4-5 Zoning in NYC.

I hope this was helpful. You can leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific project with an architect you can contact us directly.


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Jorge Fontan

Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.