R1-2 Zoning NYC

by | Last updated Jul 3, 2020 | NYC Zoning

R1-2 Zoning is a low density residential zoning district in NYC. You can only build single family detached homes in R1-2.



The R1-2 Zoning District is a sub district of R1 Zoning in NYC. It’s mostly characterized by large single family homes on large properties with a lot of green natural areas. R1-2 Zoning is mapped on Riverdale in The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens.

R1 Zoning Districts

R1 Contextual Districts


R1-2 Zoning Regulations

The New York City Zoning Resolution is complicated and quite in depth. In this article we will review some basic Zoning Codes with regards to residential zoning district R1-2. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue, but provide a general overview of the zoning codes.


R1-2 Zoning Community Facility

R1-2 Zoning is a residential zone but Community Facility uses are allowed in R1 zones. In the instance of a community facility the zoning calculations may be different as community facilities can have alternate requirements.


R1-2 Zoning Specifications

Minimum Lot Size: Lot Area & Lot Width

Lot Size:

You can only build single family detached homes in R1 zoning. A Detached house has yards on all sides and does not touch any other buildings or houses.

Minimum Lot width =60 Feet

Minimum Lot Area = 5,700 Sq Ft

R1-2 Floor Area Ratio (FAR):

Floor Area Ratio determines the floor area that can be built on the property. The floor area ratio is multiplied by the lot area.

FAR = .5

Density Factor or Dwelling Unit Factor (DU) for R1-2

The Dwelling Unit factor determines the maximum number of dwellings or families on the property. In R1-2 you can only build a single family home but the density factor is 2,850 square feet. Density Factor will matter if you have a small zoning lot.

R1-2 Building Heights: 

The height requirement is measured by a sky exposure plane starting 25 feet above the front yard line.

At the depth of the required front yard one draws an imaginary plane 25 feet vertically and then running back towards the rear of the property at a 1:1 pitch. The house cannot penetrate that imaginary plane.

Yard Requirements for R1-2

Front Yard = 20 Feet minimum

Rear Yard = 30 Feet

Side Yards = 20 Feet of side yards combined with the smaller of the two yards being 8 feet.


R1-2 Zoning Example

Here is an example zoning analysis. Be aware that zoning is complicated and I am only addressing the basics here. I assure you there are many additional issues and variations to consider beyond this example.

R1-2 Example Lot

Lets assume we have a 60 foot wide and 100 foot deep property in an R1-2 Zoning District on Fieldston Road in Riverdale, The Bronx on an interior lot.

Zoning Floor Area/ Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

So the floor area ratio is .5. The FAR is a ratio that determines how many square feet you can build on the property. You simply take the property size and multiply it by the FAR.

In this example we have:

FAR of .5

Lot Size of 60 feet x 100 feet.

Zoning Floor Area = Lot Area X FAR

Lot Area = 60 x 100

Lot Area = 6,000 sq ft

FAR = .5

Zoning Floor Area = 3,000 sq ft

In this example we can build a single family house up to 3,000 square feet on the property.


R1-2 Zoning in NYC

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 R1-2 Zoning Districts. 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 post on R1-2 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.