Self-storage Text Amendment

The NYC Department of City Planning proposes a zoning text amendment to impose appropriate restrictions on new self-storage facilities within New York City’s most active industrial areas, to promote the future availability of siting opportunities for industrial, more job-intensive uses.
The NYC Department of City Planning proposes a zoning text amendment to impose appropriate restrictions on new self-storage facilities within New York City’s most active industrial areas, to promote the future availability of siting opportunities for industrial, more job-intensive uses.
Update: December 19, 2017 – Approved

On December 19, 2017, the NYC City Council adopted the Self-storage Text Amendment with modifications which are now in effect.

Overview

In November 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced a 10-point Industrial Action Plan, which aims to strengthen core industrial areas, invest in industrial and manufacturing businesses, and advance industrial-sector training and workforce development opportunities for New Yorkers.

Industrial Business Zones (IBZ) represent the most active industrial areas in New York City, which recent data shows have PDF Document gained industrial employment since 2010. They also serve as the City’s target areas for the realization of economic development goals supporting a range of industrial and other employment-generating business activities, industrial innovation, and the provision of industrial services that allow New York City to function and prosper. The 10-Point Industrial Action Plan builds on existing policies, first formulated in 2006, which include Industrial Service Provider contracts, tax incentives and the pledge not to rezone IBZs for residential use.

The unregulated development of self-storage in IBZs detracts from the City’s vision and goals for these active industrial areas. Self-storage facilities are seen as a low job-generating use that primarily serves household rather than business needs. They are typically developed on large sites near Designated Truck Routes – sites, which are in limited supply and could potentially provide future siting opportunities for industrial, more job-intensive businesses. Given the City’s numerous measures to support industrial businesses in IBZs and the fact that industrial employment has been growing in these areas since 2010, it is crucial to secure the future availability of sites in IBZs for businesses in industries such as distribution, construction, wholesale, logistics, transportation, film production, manufacturing and utilities.


Originally, the Department of City Planning proposed a zoning text amendment to introduce a Special Permit under the jurisdiction of the City Planning Commission for all new self-storage development in Designated Areas in M districts. A Special Permit is a discretionary action by the City Planning Commission, subject to the public review process (ULURP), which may modify use regulations if certain conditions specified in the Zoning Resolution are met. The public review process includes Community Board, Borough President and City Planning Commission review. The City Council may elect to review a Special Permit application.

By introducing a Special Permit, DCP proposed a case-by-case, site-specific review process to ensure that the development of self-storage would not diminish future siting opportunities for industrial, more job-intensive businesses.

Following referral of the proposed Self-Storage Text Amendment on May 22nd, 2017 and in response to public comments on the original proposal, DCP developed a modified proposal, providing the City Planning Commission and the City Council with a wider range of policy options to consider.

The modified proposal would permit self-storage facilities as-of-right in Designated Areas in Manufacturing Districts, provided that a minimum specified amount of ground-floor space is set aside for industrial uses. The industrial ground floor requirement could be modified or waived by applying for a City Planning Commission Special Permit. Several modifications of floor area, off-street parking and off-street loading provisions were also proposed: these provisions would facilitate the proposed set-aside of ground-floor space for industrial use.

PDF Document View the original text amendment that was referred on May 22nd, 2017 and the PDF Document amended text filed on August 3rd, 2017.

A scoping meeting was held on March 30 2017 that enabled the public to provide comments to inform the scope of work for the environmental review. View the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

ULURP Milestone Target Dates
Department of City Planning Referral May 22, 2017 - Read the press release.
City Planning Commission Hearing August 23, 2017
City Planning Commission Approval with modifications* - View the CPC Report November 1, 2017
City Council Approved with Modifications** December 19, 2017

* CPC modifications:

On November 1, 2017, the City Planning Commission voted favorably on the modified proposal, with additional modifications. PDF Document View the text amendment as adopted by the City Planning Commission. The City Planning Commission’s principal modifications consisted in:

  • Establishing rules that differ for lots smaller than 25,000 square feet and lots equal to or larger than 25,000 square feet.
  • On lots larger than 25,000 square feet, requiring that self-storage include industrial space representing a ratio of the lot size, and replacing the CPC Special Permit with a BSA Special Permit to modify, reduce or waive the industrial space requirement.
  • On lots smaller than 25,000 square feet, requiring that self-storage include a large percentage of large self-storage units generally used by small businesses.


** City Council modifications:

On December 19th, 2017, the City Council voted favorably on the application with additional modifications. View the final text amendment, as adopted by the City Council. The City Council’s principal modifications consisted in:

  • Dividing the Designated Areas in M districts into Subareas 1 and 2 where different rules would apply.
  • In Subareas 1, applying the framework approved by the CPC with modifications, which include among others: increase in the lot threshold at which the industrial space requirement applies, decrease in the industrial space ratio, exclusion of certain uses permitted in the industrial space and the addition of reporting requirements.
  • In Subareas 2, reinstating the originally proposed CPC Special Permit for new self-storage development.

Geographic Applicability

In areas classified as “Subarea 1”, new self-storage development will be subject to a conditional as-of-right framework. In areas classified as “Subarea 2”, new self-storage development will be subject to a CPC Special Permit.

Please see Appendix J of the Zoning Resolution for detailed maps of the Designated Areas in M districts.

 

City Council Designated IBZ Areas

Please email SelfStorage_DL@planning.nyc.gov for more information on the zoning text amendment.