Zoning is the language of the physical city. It aims to promote an orderly pattern of development and to separate incompatible land uses, such as industrial uses and homes, to ensure a pleasant environment. The Zoning Resolution is a legal instrument to regulate and establish limits on the use of land and building size, shape, height, and setback.
The current Zoning Resolution was adopted on December 15, 1961 to apply citywide. When changing conditions warrant them, periodic updates and amendments are made to maintain a rational use of land. Each plot of land within the City’s jurisdiction has a zoning designation — residence, commercial, or manufacturing—to establish relevant parameters for building and land use. Numerous zoning districts are mapped in the City’s diverse neighborhoods to preserve their varying density and character. These limits help give shape to neighborhoods and predictability to their future. The City continues to adapt the Zoning Resolution as the land use patterns in the City change through private and public actions.
ZoLa (the Zoning and Land Use Application) is the Department of City Planning's web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application that provides the public with up-to-date zoning and related information for New York City. ZoLa is a collaboration between the Departments of City Planning and Information Technology and Telecommunications.