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100th Anniversary of the NYC Zoning Resolution

100th Anniversary of the NYC Zoning Resolution

In the early 20th century New York City was quickly becoming a major business center in the United States and the need for more offices, warehouses, and housing developed. At the same time, more modern construction methods developed which allowed for larger and taller buildings.

New buildings were constructed in the early 1900s without regard to height or light and air quality. Different building uses were also being constructed in neighborhoods where they were not desirable, creating a mix of residential, manufacturing, and commercial uses.

At the time, creating governmental restrictions of building bulk and land use was groundbreaking. The radical Zoning Resolution of 1916 was introduced and regulated height and setback of buildings and created residential districts with limited permitted uses. The NYC Zoning Resolution was born and has been used as a model for cities throughout the US ever since.

What is commonly referred to as the ‘modern’ Zoning Resolution was enacted in 1961. The Zoning Resolution is constantly being reviewed and updated to accommodate the ever-evolving built environment as was seen this year with Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) text amendments.

Interested in reading more about the history of New York City’s zoning? See the City Planning site here.