R7D Zoning NYC

by | Last updated May 23, 2023 | NYC Zoning

New York City has many different zoning districts and subdistricts. These all have specific rules with regard to what you can develop on a given property.


What is R7D Zoning?

In NYC, R7D Zoning is a medium-density residential zoning district. It is a contextual zone and must follow the regulations of the Quality Housing Program. You can find R7D 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 R7D zoning in New York City. Before getting into the specifics, here is a list of all the R7 Zoning Districts.


Basic R7 Zoning Districts

R7 Contextual Districts


R7D Zoning NYC

Zoning map including R7D Zoning in NYC


R7D Zoning NYC

R7D is a medium-density contextual residential zoning district in New York City. In an R7D district, you can develop up to about 8 to 10-story high multifamily buildings.


Quality Housing Program R7D 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 a tall skinny building. 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. R7D 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 floor area restrictions 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.


R7D Zoning & Community Facility Use

R7D Zoning is a residential zone, but Community Facility uses are allowed in all R7 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 facilities and residential use.


R7D 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 have both as a mixed-use building. In the case of R7D the commercial overlay will offer less floor area for commercial use than is allowed for residential use. Here is a link to an article we wrote on Commercial Overlays.


R7D Zoning Regulations 

Below is an example of R7D zoning restrictions with a few basic calculations. This type of information would be found in an Zoning Analysis or Zoning Report.


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 = 4.2

Inclusionary Housing FAR = 5.6

Density Factor


R7D Zoning Height Restrictions:

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

Base Height = 60 Minimum / 85 Maximum

Inclusionary Housing Base Height = 60 Minimum / 95 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: = 100 feet (105 with Qualifying Ground Floor) 10 stories maximum with QGF.

Inclusionary Housing Building Height: = 110 feet (115 with Qualifying Ground Floor) 11 stories maximum.


Corner Lot: No Yards Required

Interior Lot = 30 foot minimum rear yard required


R7D Zoning Analysis Example

Here is an example of a zoning analysis. Be aware that zoning is complicated, and I only address some basics here. I assure you there are many additional issues and variations beyond this example.


R7D Zoning Example Lot

Lets assume we have a 50 foot wide and 100 foot deep property in an R7D Zoning District in Manhattan on an interior lot.

Zoning Floor Area/ Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

The floor area ratio is 4.2, Floor Area Ratio or 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 4.2

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 = 4.2

Zoning Floor Area = 5,000 sq ft x 4.2

Zoning Floor Area = 21,000 sq ft


How many apartments can we build on our R7D lot?

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

R7D Zoning Example Conclusion

In this example, we propose building a 21,000 sq ft building. The apartment building will be seven stories tall and have a setback at least on the top floor. The building will have a footprint of 50 x 65. It will have a maximum of 31 apartments but can also have fewer.


Building Design in R7D

Below is an example of a Building we designed for a rezoning project to request an up-zoning to R7D. This building is a ten storys with Inclusionary Housing Program. We have another post you can read if you want to learn more about Rezoning in NYC.

R7D Zoning Building Design

R7D Zoning Building Design


R7D Zoning Codes

The New York City Zoning Resolution is complicated and quite in-depth. In this article, we reviewed some basic Zoning Codes concerning R7D 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 R7D 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.