Place of Assembly NYC

by | Apr 17, 2019 | Commercial, NYC DOB

Indoor Spaces with 75 people or more qualify as a Place of Assembly and outdoor spaces with 200 people or more do as well. The spaces need a certificate Of Operation to function legally in New York City.


  • What Qualifies as a Place Of Assembly in NYC
  • Typical Places of Assembly
  • PA Application Process
  • Certificate Of Operation
  • Applicable Codes
  • FDNY Inspections
  • FPP Fire Protection Plan


What Qualifies as a Place Of Assembly in NYC?

Indoor Place Of Assembly

Indoor spaces to be occupied by 75 people or more or on roofs with 75 people or more are a Place of Assembly.

Outdoor Place Of Assembly

Outdoor spaces with 200 people or more qualify as a Place Of Assembly.


Typical Places of Assembly

The following are a list of the most common Places of Assembly of course the list can include many more types of buildings and spaces.

  • Auditoriums
  • Cabarets
  • Catering Halls
  • Community Centers
  • Concert Halls
  • Dance Halls
  • Fashion Shows
  • Gymnasiums
  • Lecture Halls
  • Museums
  • Night Clubs
  • Religious Buildings / House Of Worship
    • Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Temples etc…
  • Recording Studios with live audience
  • Restaurants or Bars
  • Sports Stadiums
  • Theaters


PA Application Process

Place OF Assemblies in New York City must be flied online through the DOB NOW: build. The went into affect as of December 10 2018. DOB terminology for a Place Of Assembly Filing is PA.


Certificate Of Operation

Below is a blank example of a Certificate Of Operation which is required for all Places of Assembly to operate legally in New York City.

NYC Certificate of Operation

NYC Certificate of Operation


Place Of Assembly Codes

A PA application must comply with NYC Zoning Resolution, Building Codes, and Fire Codes. The Place of Assembly must be inspected for the issuance of a Certificate Of Operations and to maintain such certificate.

Below are a few examples of items reviewed in a Place Of Assembly filing:

  • Seating Layout
  • Exit Signs
  • Emergency Lighting
  • Location of Sign
  • Egress Calculations
  • Travel Distance
  • Walking Surfaces
  • Aisle Widths
  • Signage
  • Fire Sprinklers
  • Fire Alarms 
  • ADA Accessibility 


Fire Department Inspections

A Place Of Assembly is inspected every year by FDNY to maintain its viability.


FPP Fire Protection Plan

Spaces with over 300 people must not only have a PA filing and Certificate Of Operation but also a FPP. FPP is a Fire Protection Plan. This is filed with the Department Of Buildings for a variety of building types and spaces one of which being Places Of Assembly with more than 300 people.


NYC Codes

As an architect I study building codes closely. NYC Building Codes are complicated and quite involved. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic regulations with regards to Certificate Of Operations and Place Of Assembly Filing. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview. This post does not substitute the NYC Building Codes.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Place of Assembly NYC.

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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 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.