C4-5D Zoning NYC

by | Last updated May 23, 2023 | NYC Zoning

New York City has many different zoning districts and subdistricts. These all have specific rules concerning what you can develop on a given property. Zoning districts starting with a C are commercial zoning districts.


What is C4-5D Zoning?

C4-5D Zoning is a General Commercial Contextual Zoning district in NYC. C4-5D allows for various commercial, community facility, and residential uses. C4-5D has a residential equivalent of R7D, a Contextual Zone.

The C4-5D Zoning District is a contextual sub-district of C4 Zoning and C4-5 Zoning. Zoning districts that end with a letter are usually Contextual Zoning Districts. Contextual Zoning Districts are required to comply with the Quality Housing Program for residential use. Commercial Buildings in Contextual Zoning have some Quality Housing regulations applied to them, specifically height and setback requirements.

I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of NYC-based architecture firm Fontan Architecture. In this post, I will discuss some basic concepts regarding C4-5D Zoning in New York City. Before getting into the specifics, here is a list of all the C4-5 Zoning Districts.


C4-5 Zoning Districts:

C4-5D Residential Equivalent:


C4-5D Zoning NYC

C4-5D Zoning NYC


C4-5D Zoning Regulations

The C4-5D Zoning District typically has commercial and residential uses. C4-5D Zoning is mapped in a small area of The Bronx and Queens. The commercial uses are usually department stores, retail, entertainment, offices, and other commercial uses.


C4-5D Residential Equivalent

Most Commercial Zoning districts have a Residential Equivalent. This equivalent is the Residential Zoning you would comply with when developing a residential or mixed-use building. The residential equivalent for C4-5D is R7D Zoning.

If you want to see a list of all residential equivalents within NYC Commercial Zoning Districts, we have another post with a chart on Residential Equivalent Zoning.


Mixed-Use Buildings in C4-5D

You can develop a Mixed-Use Building with commercial and residential zoning. In this case, you would apply the requirements of C4-5D and R7D in designing a mixed-use building.


C4-5D Zoning Specifications

C4-5D Commercial Floor Area Ratio (FAR):

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

FAR = 4.2

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

Yard Requirements for Commercial Use in C4-5D

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.

C4-5D Building Height and Setbacks

The residential equivalent R7D height and setback requirements for the Quality Housing Program govern commercial contextual districts’ building height and setbacks.


C4-5D Building Example

Below is a building we proposed for a C4-5D rezoning project. This is a ten-story mixed-use building with a commercial ground floor and apartments above. We have another post on The Rezoning Process in NYC if you want to learn more about rezoning.

C4-5D Zoning in NYC Building Example

C4-5D Zoning in NYC Building Example


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 restrictions concerning commercial zoning district C4-5D. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue and condition but provides a general overview of the zoning codes.


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

I hope this was helpful. You can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly if you want to discuss a specific project with an architect.


Contact Fontan Architecture


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.