Renovations: Curb Cut
As of August 28, 2017, it is mandatory to submit all curb cut filings in DOB NOW: Build.
A curb cut is a dip in a sidewalk with an angled cut in the edge of a curb to enable a vehicle to drive from a street to a driveway. This provides access to a garage, parking lot, loading dock and/or drive-through located within the property. Curb Cuts are encroachments onto the public right of way. Typically, a curb cut project involves the following components:
- Curb Cut. An angled drop cut to the curb in the roadway, street, public right of way, or similar, which provides access to the zoning or tax lot.
- Driveway Apron. A sloped portion of the driveway in the public right of way starting at the curb, extending along the sidewalk and leading to the parking area.
- Sidewalk. A portion of the street or public right of way which provides pedestrians a pathway to walk.
- Driveway. A private pathway for vehicles from a street to a parking area.
- Off-Street Parking Spaces. Open or enclosed parking spaces, often required for a zoning lot based on the Zoning Resolution (ZR) requirements and often accessed by a driveway.
- Storm Water Drainage. Water falling or coming to rest on impervious surfaces within a property must be discharged to either a public storm sewer system or an on-site disposal system. Proposed increases in combined impervious surfaces, if more than or equal to 200 square feet, require a description of the method for storm water discharge, per PC 106.6.2.
The Zoning Resolution and the City's Administrative Code have rules governing the location and design of curb cuts. Curb cuts typically are not installed close to intersections where exiting cars could interfere with traffic flow and cause accidents. Curb cuts must not be located in bus stop zones or close to fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or parking signs. Before beginning a curb cut project, the Department of Buildings must approve proposed work and issue a work permit.
Property Owners may hire a New York State licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.), Registered Architect (R.A.), or Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) to submit a curb cut project application. Property Owners and Contractors who illegally install a curb cut are issued Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations, and may face court appearances, fines and civil penalties, potentially receiving multiple violations with significant remediation costs.
- Curb cuts are not permitted within a crosswalk; or where there exists, partially or fully, a utility access cover or other access point to a utility.
- The curb is dropped to a height of 1.5”. The remaining adjacent curb reveal, or the height difference of the curb cut and the street, must match the existing or new curb reveals of the adjacent lots. For new development projects without existing curb cuts, curb reveals of 3” minimum and 7” maximum, must be provided.
- Steel faced curbs must be provided for properties in zoning districts C, M, R7 and up, and for corner quadrants in all districts.
- All curb cuts and areas of 7-inch sidewalk shall be aligned perpendicular to the curb line, driveway or property line.
- Existing Granite curbs shall be replaced in kind. The curb being installed shall generally be of the same type that exists on the rest of the block. When two or more curb types already exist on the block within a single zoning area, the new curb shall be of the higher type material.
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