Commercial Zoning NYC Use Group 8

by | Last updated Jun 7, 2019 | Commercial, NYC Zoning, Property Development

The NYC Zoning Resolution has Use Groups to categorize buildings based on their use. NYC Zoning Use Group 8 consists of Commercial Amusement Services such as Theaters, Bowling Alleys and Billiards.


Commercial Zoning NYC Use Group 8

Certificate Of Occupancy for Use Group 8

Use Groups are listed on the Certificate Of Occupancy for a space. Use Group 8 has five categories. A Certificate Of Occupancy or CO for Use Group 8 would identify the use of spaces as:

  • 8A 
  • 8B
  • 8C
  • 8D
  • 8E

Use Group 8A Amusement

  • Billiard parlors / pool halls
  • Bowling alleys (up to 16 lanes)
  • Model car hobby center, including racing up to 8,000 square feet
  • Theaters

Use Group 8B

Use Group 8B consists of certain retail or service establishments

  • Driving Schools
  • Lumber Yards with up to 400 square feet for cutting lumber and up to 5,000 square feet in total not counting office or display
  • Pawn Shops
  • Household Appliance Repair
  • Upholstering direct to consumer

Use Group 8C

Use Group 8C is for automotive services:

  • Car Rental
  • Public Parking with 150 spaces or less

Use Group 8D

Use Group 8D is Prisons

Use Group 8E

Use Group 8E contains Accessory Uses to other Use Group 8 uses.


Additional Restrictions on Use Group 8

There are restrictions and special requirements for Commercial uses in certain situations below are a few examples.

C4 Zoning Restrictions

Billiards, Bowling, Driving schools, Pawn Shops, Upholstering cannot be on the ground floor of a building unless they are 50 feet from the “street wall”.

Zoning Restrictions for Movie Theaters

In motion picture theaters waiting area must be provided at 4 square feet per seat in the theater


Where Can You Build Use Group 8 Commercial uses in NYC?

Residential Zoning Districts

You cannot develop commercial uses in residential zoning districts unless there is a commercial overlay.

Commercial Overlays 

A Commercial Overlay is a commercial zone mapped within Residential Zoning Districts to allow for Commercial Use and or Residential. C2 commercial overlays allow for Use Group 8.

Commercial Zoning Districts

You can develop Use Group 8 in most commercial districts in NYC including their respective subdistricts and contextual districts.

  • C2 Local Service
  • C4 General Commercial
  • C6 General Central Commercial
  • C8 General Service

Manufacturing Zoning Districts

Manufacturing Zones allow for Use Group 8 commercial uses


NYC Commercial Zoning Use Group 8 

As an architect I study Zoning Codes closely, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to the NYC Zoning Use Group 8 for Commercial establishments. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Commercial Use Group 8 in the NYC Zoning Code.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.


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.