Press Release

Press Release # 003
Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Tool Provides Illustrated, User-Friendly Maps and Data that Help Clarify and Demystify Land Use Information


September 7, 2011 – City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden and Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Carole Post today announced launch of ZoLa, the Zoning and Land Use web application, which provides a new and simple way to find a wide range of land use information in interactive, highly-readable map layers pertaining to a particular property, or to the city at large. ZoLa allows users to enter an address and quickly find a wealth of information including: property ownership, zoning, land uses in the surrounding area, historic districts, landmarks and local elected officials. One can also select a citywide map to see where a citywide initiative is in place, such as the FRESH program, which incentivizes neighborhood grocery stores.

Commissioner Burden said, “Zoning is the language of the physical city, and the Department of City Planning is committed to making zoning and other important land use information readily accessible to the public. ZoLa is a unique tool with a wealth of land use information, and it will help New Yorkers easily find out everything they would want to know about their properties and neighborhoods. ZoLa is the latest initiative in which we are improving the ways that our award-winning website serves the public.”

With 112 rezonings adopted to date during the Bloomberg Administration, and more in the pipeline, ZoLa provides an easy way to see the zoning changes that have been adopted or proposals under consideration in a neighborhood or citywide. Developed by the Department of City Planning (DCP) and DoITT, ZoLa is a part of NYC Simplicity, Mayor Bloomberg’s plan that harnesses technology to make government more transparent, customer-focused, innovative and efficient.

“Every day DoITT works to modernize, unlock, and innovate City government – and with ZoLa we’ve delivered the premiere online destination for New York City’s zoning and land use information,” said DoITT Commissioner Post. “Leveraging our innovative NYCityMap platform and open source tools, we’re proud to have worked with Commissioner Burden and her staff on an in-house developed application that furthers the accessibility of City government.”

ZoLa is a web-based Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application that has the same components as NYCityMap, New York City’s online map portal, providing for ease of use and development cost savings Users can start a ZoLa search the same way they would use NYCityMap, by entering an address; borough, block and lot (BBL); an intersection; or a place of interest. A search for an address or BBL will yield zoning, building and property information for the selected property. The map can zoom into a neighborhood of interest and the user can click on properties to find their zoning.

Through ZoLa’s “Show Zoning & Related Data on Map” tool, one can click on a number of layers to reveal more data and features on the ZoLa map, giving New Yorkers a visual snapshot of how zoning affects their neighborhoods.

  • If you are interested in learning about how your neighborhood is zoned, the Zoning layer will show all of the zoning districts in a selected area, as well as the option to view special districts. For residents wondering if there are any new or recent applications that might affect an area of interest, ZoLa will reveal proposed Zoning Map Amendments that are in public review, as well as those that have been adopted since January 2002.
    Clicking on Land Use will display a color-coded view of a selected area identifying the primary land uses, such as one- and two-family residences, commercial uses or open space.
  • Other Zoning Designations highlights areas where the Inclusionary Housing program, which promotes the creation and preservation of permanently affordable housing, Lower Density Growth Management regulations and the innovative FRESH food store incentives apply.
  • Other Program Areas will show users where Business Improvement Districts, Empire Zones or Federal Empowerment Zones are located.
  • The Waterfront layer will show areas along the coastal zone boundary and properties affected by the waterfront access plan.
  •  Environmental Requirements pinpoint all of the environmental designation areas pertaining to potential hazardous materials contamination or noise and air quality impacts, and link to the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation’s website for more information.
  • Other information available on NYCityMap is also included in ZoLa, such as boundaries for City Council and Community Districts, detailed building information, property ownership, as well locations of landmarks and historic districts.

In addition to presenting the current zoning on a property, ZoLa also provides links to descriptive overviews of each zoning district on City Planning’s website. Up until now, the only online source for quickly finding a property’s zoning was updated just twice a year. The information in ZoLa is updated monthly – allowing for more up-to-date zoning information incorporating the latest zoning map changes adopted by the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

Prior to the launch of ZoLa, researching the specifics of zoning regulations was often a difficult, time consuming task involving scanning through maps and cross-referencing documents. For example, to determine whether waterfront access plan regulations or Inclusionary Housing opportunities apply to a particular property required detailed inspection of several series of maps in multiple sections of the 12 volumes of the Zoning Resolution. With ZoLa, by simply providing an address or block and lot, one can see that information on a map and in a tabular listing where these and other special rules apply. In addition, for researchers interested in the historical context of zoning, easy links are now provided on the DCP website to archives of zoning maps back to 1961.

To access ZoLa, go to City Planning’s website,, and click on the ZoLa logo, or visit ZoLa directly at First time users are encouraged to review the user guide and frequently asked questions. ZoLa’s zoning information will be updated monthly to provide users with the most recent information.

Department of City Planning

The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable communities in the City, in part by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts, as well as establishing policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, waterfront and public space.

Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications

DoITT is the City’s Information Technology (IT) utility, ensuring the sustained, efficient delivery of IT services, infrastructure and telecommunications. DoITT establishes the City’s IT strategic direction, security policies and standards; procures citywide IT services, and evaluates emerging technologies; provides project management, application development and quality assurance services; maintains, and Geographic Information Systems; operates the City’s data center, the dedicated wireless network (NYCWiN), the wired network (CityNet), the Citywide Service Desk, and telecommunications systems; administers telecommunications franchise contracts providing fiber, cable television, pay telephones, and mobile telecom equipment installed on City property and streets; leads CITIServ, the citywide IT infrastructure consolidation program; supports the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, and the Health and Human Services Connect and Accelerator programs; administers 311; and fosters public-private partnerships to improve IT service delivery.


Rachaele Raynoff / Jovana Rizzo (City Planning) – (212) 720-3471
Nicholas Sbordone (DoITT) – 212-788-6602