R6A Zoning NYC Residential

by | Last updated May 24, 2023 | NYC Zoning

New York City has many different zoning districts and subdistricts. These all have specific rules concerning what you can develop on a given property. In this post, we will review R6A Zoning.


What is R6A Zoning?

In NYC, R6A Zoning is a medium-density residential zoning district. It is a contextual zone that follows the regulations of the Quality Housing Program. R6A is located in certain parts of Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.

I am Jorge Fontan, an architect in New York and owner of NYC-based architecture firm Fontan Architecture. In this post, I will discuss some basic concepts regarding R6A zoning in New York City. Before getting into the specifics, here is a list of all the R6 Zoning Districts.


R6 Zoning Districts:

Commercial Zoning Districts With R6A Residential Equivalent


R6A Zoning NYC

Zoning Map Including R6A Zoning in NYC


Quality Housing Program R6A Contextual Zoning 

The Quality Housing Program, or QHP, is a set of zoning rules that are mandatory in Contextual Districts. Quality Housing promotes shorter, wider buildings, typically larger in square footage than tall, skinny buildings. The Quality Housing Program is not to be confused with the Inclusionary Housing Program for affordable housing. The quality housing program is a separate set of zoning regulations and has nothing to do with low-income or affordable housing.

QHP aims to promote a higher quality building and allow for a slightly higher floor area. There are more zoning floor area deductions in the Quality Housing Program than in other zoning types. These deductions would give you a slight boost to your total building size. R6A is a “Contextual District” and must follow the rules of the Quality Housing Program.


Inclusionary Housing Program

The Inclusionary Housing Program promotes mixed-income housing by offering a Floor Area Bonus to developments that include a percentage of affordable units. These districts have optional or sometimes mandatory requirements for affordable housing. There can be zoning penalties if you choose not to provide affordable units and zoning bonuses if you do.

Not all areas have Inclusionary Housing requirements. These are located in certain areas of the city.


R6A Zoning & Community Facility Use

R6A Zoning is a residential zone, but Community Facility uses are allowed in R6 zones. In a community facility, the zoning calculations may differ from the residential option. One can also build a mixed-use building with both community facility and residential use.


R6A Zoning Commercial Overlay

Sometimes residential districts have commercial overlays. A commercial overlay means the zone is primarily residential, but commercial use is also allowed. In this case, you can develop a commercial building, or you can have both as a mixed-use building. In the case of R6A the commercial overlay will not offer as much floor area for commercial use as is allowed for residential use. Here is a link to an article we wrote on Commercial Overlays.


R6A Zoning Regulations 

Below I will go through an example of R6A zoning restrictions with a few basic calculations. This is the type of information that would be found in a Zoning Analysis or Zoning Report. We have another post if you want to read more about What is a Zoning Analysis?


Lot Size:

Minimum Lot width =18 Feet

Minimum Lot Area = 1,700 Sq Ft

Lot Coverage:

Corner Lot = 100%

Interior or Through Lot = 65%

Floor Area Ratio (FAR):

FAR = 3.0

Inclusionary Housing FAR = 3.6

Density Factor


Base Height: This indicates a setback is required at these heights.

Base Height = 40 Minimum / 60 Maximum (65 With Qualifying Ground Floor)

Inclusionary Housing Base Height = 40 Minimum / 65 Maximum

A setback is required in the base height range. Or this can be the maximum height of the building without a setback.

Building Height: This is the maximum building height.

Building Height: = 70 feet (75 with Qualifying Ground Floor) 7 stories maximum with QGF.

Inclusionary Housing Building Height: = 80 feet (85 with Qualifying Ground Floor) 8 stories maximum.


Corner Lot: No Yards Required

Interior Lot = 30-foot minimum rear yard required


R6A Zoning Example Lot

Let’s assume we have a 50-foot wide and 100-foot deep property in an R6A Zoning District in Manhattan on an interior lot.

Zoning Floor Area/ Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

The floor area ratio is 3, Floor Area Ratio or FAR is a ratio that determines how many square feet you can build on the property. You take the property size and multiply it by the FAR.

In this example, we have:

FAR of 3

Lot Size of 50 feet x 100 feet.

Zoning Floor Area = Lot Area X FAR

Lot Area = 50 x 100

Lot Area = 5,000 sq ft

FAR = 3

Zoning Floor Area = 5,000 sq ft x 3

Zoning Floor Area = 15,000 sq ft


How many apartments can we build on our R6A lot?

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

R6A Zoning Example Conclusion

In this example, we propose building a 15,000 sq ft building. The apartment building can be six stories tall. It will have a maximum of 22 apartments but can also have fewer.


Building Design in R6A

Below is an example of a Building we designed for a rezoning project to request an up-zoning to R6A. This example is an eight-story building with Inclusionary Housing Program. You can read another post to learn more about Rezoning in NYC.

R6A Zoning Building Example with Inclusionary Housing

R6A Zoning Building Example with Inclusionary Housing


R6A Zoning Codes

The New York City Zoning Resolution is complicated and quite in-depth. In this article, we reviewed some basic Zoning Codes regarding R6A Zoning. This analysis does not assume to cover every possible issue but provides a general overview of the relevant zoning codes. Every project is unique and should be assessed by a professional licensed Architect.


Thank you for reading our Blog Post on R6A Zoning. 

I hope this was helpful. If you want to discuss a specific project with an architect, please Contact Fontan Architecture. We will be happy to help.


Contact Fontan Architecture


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.