R5B Zoning NYC

by | Last updated Jul 10, 2020 | NYC Zoning, Property Development

R5B Zoning in NYC is a low density contextual residential zoning district. It is a subdistrict of R5 zoning. In R5B you can build any type of residential building including multifamily.

R5B is a sub district of R5 zoning. R5B is mapped in The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.


R5 Zoning Districts


R5 Contextual Districts: R5A, R5B, and R5D are contextual districts and have a few additional requirements.


R5B Zoning Regulations:


R5B Zoning Community Facility

R5B Zoning is a residential zone but Community Facility uses are allowed in R5 zones. When developing a community facility the zoning calculations may be different as community facilities tend to have alternate requirements.


R5B Zoning Specifications

You can build one family, two family homes, or multifamily buildings in R5B.

Lot Size 

Lot Size For Detached or Zero Lot Line

Minimum Lot width =25 Feet

Minimum Lot Area = 2,375 Sq Ft

Lot Size For Attached or Semi Detached

Minimum Lot width = 18 Feet

Minimum Lot Area = 1,700 Sq Ft

Floor Area Ratio (FAR):

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

FAR = 1.35

Density Factor or Dwelling Unit Factor (DU)


Building Heights: 

Street Wall Maximum  Height = 30

Maximum Building Height = 33 Feet


Front Yard = 5 Feet, In this contextual District the front yard must be at least as deep as an adjacent yard and no deeper then an adjacent yard.

Rear Yard = 30 Feet

Side Yards Detached = 2 side yards 8 feet wide each.

Side Yards otherwise = 4 feet minimum

Side yards can be waived for the abutting side(s) of attached buildings. There are requirements for this that must be met to qualify.


Parking Spaces must be provided for 66% of the dwelling units.



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.


Lets assume we have a 40 foot wide and 100 foot deep property in an R5B Zoning District in Queens on an interior lot.

Zoning Floor Area/ Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

So the floor area ratio is 1.35. 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 1.35

The lot Size is 40 feet x 100 feet.

Zoning Floor Area = Lot Area X FAR

Lot Area = 40 x 100

Lot Area = 4,000 sq ft

FAR = 1.35

Zoning Floor Area = 4,000 sq ft x 1.35

Zoning Floor Area 5,400 sq ft

So we can build a 5,400 sq ft building.

How Many Families Can we Have On Our R5B Zoning Lot

Zoning regulates the maximum number of residential units you can put in a building.

R5B Zoning Example Conclusion

We can build a 6 unit multifamily building of 5,400 square feet. We will need to provide 4 parking spaces.


R5B Zoning Codes

The New York City Zoning Resolution is complicated and quite in depth. In this article we review some basic Zoning Codes with regards to Zoning R5B. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue or circumstance, but provide a general overview of the basic and most common zoning codes.


Thank You for reading our Blog Post on R5B Zoning.

I hope this was helpful. You can leave questions or comments below. If you want to discuss a specific project with an architect please feel free to 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.