Use Group 3 Community Facility 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 3 consists of Community Facility Uses. As well Use Group 4  is community Facility Use.


Use Group 3 NYC Zoning

Community Facility Use Groups

Certificate Of Occupancy for Use Group 3

A Certificate Of Occupancy for Use Group 3 would have 1 of 2 options for identifying the use of spaces:

  • 3A 
  • 3B


Use Group 3A

Use Group 3A is Community Facility. See another post we wrote to learn more about Community Facility Zoning.

  • Schools
  • Colleges, University, and Professional Schools
    • Not including “business colleges or trade schools”
  • College or University Dorms / Dormitories including Fraternity or Sorority Houses
  • Libraries
  • Museums and “Non Commercial art galleries”
  • Long Term Care Facilities
  • Monasteries and Convents
  • “Non-Profit Hospital staff Dwelling”
  • “Philanthropic or Non-Profit uses with sleeping accommodations”

Additional Restrictions on Use Group 3

There are restrictions and special requirements for Community Facility uses in certain situations below are a few examples.

Non-profit hospital staff dwellings

“located on the same zoning lot as the non-profit or voluntary hospital and related facilities or on a separate zoning lot that is immediately contiguous thereto or would be contiguous but for its separation by a street or a street intersection”

Long-term care facilities

  • In R1 or R2 Special Permit is required by City Planning.
  • “In Community District 11 in the Borough of the Bronx, Community District 8 in the Borough of Manhattan, Community District 14 in the Borough of Queens and Community District 1 in the Borough of Staten Island, developments of nursing homes, as defined in the New York State Public Health Law, or #enlargements# of existing nursing homes that increase the existing floor area by 15,000 square feet or more, are permitted only by special permit by the City Planning Commission”

Use Group 3B

Use Group 3B is “accessory uses”. This would be uses that are accessory to the Community Facility Use for example Parking or cellar.


Where Can You Build Use Group 3?

Residential Zoning Districts

You can develop Use Group 3 Community Facilities in many zoning districts and subdistricts in New York City including most contextual zoning districts. Below is a list of Residential Zoning Districts were you can develop Use Group 3:

Commercial Zoning Districts

You can develop Community Facility Use Group 3 in most commercial districts in NYC including their respective subdistricts and contextual districts.

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


Manufacturing Zoning Districts

In general you cannot develop Community Facility Use Group 3 in Manufacturing Districts As Of Right. There are some exceptions see example below.

Museums in Manufacturing Zoning

“Use Group 3A shall be limited to museums that are ancillary to existing motion picture production studios or radio or television studios, provided they are located within 500 feet of such studios and do not exceed 75,000 square feet of floor area.”

Schools In M1 Districts

Schools may be permitted in M1 Zoning Districts with a Special Permit by City Planning.


NYC Zoning Use Group 3

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 3. 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 3 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.