NYC Zoning lists 4 building types for identifying the relationship of the building to other buildings and to the property line. They are attached, detached, semi-detached and zero lot line buildings.
NYC Zoning Building Types
- Detached Buildings
- Attached Buildings
- Semi-Detached Buildings
- Zero Lot Line Buildings
Detached, Zero Lot Line, Semi-Detached, & Attached Buildings in NYC
Detached Buildings in NYC
The following is the exact definition of a detached building from the NYC Zoning Resolution followed by a brief interpretation:
A “detached” building is a building surrounded by yards or other open area on the same zoning lot.
What is a Detached Building?
A detached building is any building that is surrounded by yards on all sides of the zoning lot. A detached building does not abut another building or property line.
Please see another post we wrote for the definition of abutting.
Attached Buildings in NYC
The following is the exact definition of a Attached Building from the NYC Zoning Resolution followed by a brief interpretation:
A building shall be considered “attached” when it abuts two lot lines other than a street line, or another building or buildings other than a semi-detached building.
What is an Attached Building?
An attached building is any building that abuts more than one lot line and or building that is not a semi-detached building.
Semi-Detached Buildings in NYC
The following is the exact definition of a Semi-Detached Building from the NYC Zoning Resolution followed by a brief interpretation:
A “semi-detached” building is a building that abuts only one other building, other than an attached building, on an adjoining zoning lot along only one side lot line and which is surrounded on all other sides by yards, other open areas or street lines.
What is a Semi-Detached Building?
Semi-detached buildings are pairs of buildings attached in the middle that do not qualify as attached buildings. A Semi-Detached Building is any building that is abutting one other building and does not qualify as an attached building, It is surrounded by yards on three sides. If a building qualifies as an attached building it is not a semi-detached building.
Zero Lot Line Buildings in NYC
The following is the exact definition of a Zero Lot Line Building from the NYC Zoning Resolution followed by a brief interpretation:
A “zero lot line building” is a building that abuts only one side lot line and does not abut another building on the same or an adjoining zoning lot and which is surrounded on all sides but one by yards, other open area or street lines on the zoning lot. However, accessory buildings permitted pursuant to Section 23-44 (Permitted Obstructions in Required Yards or Rear Yard equivalents) may be permitted to abut a zero lot line building on an adjoining zoning lot.
What is a Zero Lot Line Building?
A Zero Lot building is any building that abuts only one lot line but does not abut another building. It is surrounded on all sides by yards with one of the yards being on the neighboring property.
Zoning Regulations and Building Types
Zoning regulations can vary depending on what type of building you are proposing or altering. Most importantly side yard requirements.
R5 Zoning Example Attached Buildings
In R5 zoning attached buildings do not need side yards on an abutting side if they abut another building(s). But the building(s) on the end(s) of a row must have an 8 foot side yard. Even though the building on the end may be considered an attached building they cannot touch a side lot line without abutting another building.
R6 Zoning Example
Side yards are not required in R6 Zoning, but if a side yard is provided even for an attached building it must be at least 8 feet wide.
Thank You for reading our post on NYC Zoning Building Types.
I hope this was helpful. You can leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific project please feel free to contact us directly.
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.