Use Group 2 Residential NYC Zoning

by | May 8, 2019 | NYC Zoning, Property Development

The NYC Zoning Resolution has Use Groups to categorize buildings based on their use. Use Group 2 consists of Attached, semi detached, and zero lot line single or two family homes as well as all multifamily buildings. All residential uses except Single Family Residential detached homes fall under Use Group 2.


Use Group 2 NYC Zoning

Residential Use Groups

  • Use Group 1 Single family Detached Homes
  • Use Group 2 All other Residences

Certificate Of Occupancy for Use Group 2

A Certificate Of Occupancy for Use Group 2 would have 1 of 2 options for identifying the use of spaces:

  • 2A 
  • 2B


Use Group 2A

Use Group 2A is “Residential Use” for Attached, Semi-Detached, or Zero Lot Line one and two family homes as well as all multifamily buildings. See another post we wrote to learn more about Attached, Semi-Detached, and Zero Lot Line buildings.

Use Group 2B

Use Group 2B is “accessory uses”. This would be uses that are accessory to the residence(s) without being residential space such as a garage or cellar.


Where Can You Build Use Group 2?

Residential Zoning Districts

You can develop a single or two family semi-detached homes or multifamily buildings (Group 2) in most residential zoning districts and subdistricts in New York City including most contextual zoning districts. Below is a list of Zoning Districts were you can develop Use Group 2 residential:

Certain Residential Zoning Restrictions for Use Group 2

R3A Zoning Restrictions

In R3A Zoning residential use is restricted to single and two family detached or zero lot line residence.

R3X, R4A, R5A Restrictions

In R3X, R4A, and R5A Zoning residential use is restricted to Single and two family detached homes.

R3-1 Restrictions

In R3-1 Zoning residential use is restricted to one family or two family detached and semi detached homes.

R4-1 Restrictions

In R4-1 Zoning residential use is restricted to one family or two family detached, semi detached and zero lot line homes.

R4B Restrictions

In R4B Zoning residential use is restricted to one family or two family homes of any kind including detached, semi detached, attached, and zero lot line homes.

Additional Restrictions for Zero Lot Line Structures

Zero Lot Line buildings are not allowed in R3-2, R4 (Except R4-1 and R4B) or in R5 (Except R5B and R5D)

Commercial Zoning Districts

Most commercial zoning districts have a residential equivalent zone. You can develop Residential Use Group 2 in any commercial district in NYC with a residential equivalent supporting use Group 2 including subdistricts and contextual districts.

  • C1 Local Retail
  • C2 Local Service
  • C3 Waterfront Recreation
  • C4 General Commercial
  • C5 Restricted Central Commercial
  • C6 General Central Commercial

Some commercial zoning districts have restrictions for example C4-1 has restrictions for residential based on lot size. Additionally Lower Density Growth Management Areas in Staten Island will have additional restrictions requiring mixed use buildings for residential use in many cases.

Manufacturing Zoning Districts

Manufacturing Districts do Not Allow Residential Use As Of Right.

Im M1 districts ending an the letter D residential use may be “permitted by authorization” by City Planning. There are several requirements in order to apply for this authorization. It must be reviewed on a case by case basis by City Planning. M1-6D has additional requirements in order to apply for this authorization.

  • M1-1D
  • M1-2D
  • M1-3D
  • M1-4D
  • M1-5D
  • M1-6D


Additional NYC Zoning Restrictions for Small Lots

NYC Zoning has restrictions on developing residential use on small zoning lots. If a property is smaller than the minimum required for the residential zoning district this can be a problem to develop. There are certain additional requirements in order to build on small zoning lots.

Certain areas of New York City have Special Zoning Districts and special requirements or restrictions. These can sometimes interfere with developments.


NYC Zoning Use Group 2

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 NYC Zoning Resolution Use Group 2. 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 blog post on Use Group 2 in the NYC Zoning Code.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave questions and comments below. If you would like to speak with an architect you can Contact Fontan Architecture directly.


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.