Citywide Hotels Text Amendment

Tops of buildings with the Empire State Building in the background

The Citywide Hotel Special Permit aims to create a consistent approach to hotel development citywide. It is a proposed amendment to New York City’s Zoning Resolution.

Overview

From 2007 to 2020, New York City has added over 54,000 hotel rooms, a 73 percent increase from the years prior. This growth was driven by a rise in tourism and new sources of financing for hotels. The five years between 2015 and 2019 saw a particularly remarkable leap, with over 21,000 hotel rooms coming online in the City—or a 40 percent increase from the previous five-year period.   

Until the COVID-19 pandemic halted most new construction in March 2020, new hotels outpaced other types of non-residential development in some parts of the City. In some cases, this altered established patterns of activity and the environment New Yorkers, visitors and all businesses share.

Hotels are an important use of land that can support substantial economic activity, both inside the city and around the region. Hotels lodge an estimated 28 million visitors and account for $13 billion for the city’s economy. The proposal would require the City Planning Commission to consider a new hotel's potential for adverse effects on use and development in the surrounding area before it can be established.

Over the last 15 years, the City Planning Commission has adopted a variety of hotel special permits for specific neighborhoods. The proposed Special Permit would apply to many areas across the city, so that New Yorkers can rely on consistent, predictable rules for hotel development. 

Read our NYC Hotel Market Analysis, an overview of the hotel industry and accommodation market pre- and post-COVID.

What Is the Proposed Zoning Change?

The proposed zoning change would require City Planning Commission approval for new and enlarged hotels and motels, tourist cabins and boatels in commercial, mixed-use and paired M1/R districts. Learn more about New York City’s zoning districts here.

The review process would allow the Commission to ensure that new hotels do not create significant conflicts with surrounding development. 

The new Special Permit requirement would override existing hotel special permit requirements. However, the existing special permit provisions that apply in M1 districts, which require the Commission to make findings specific to industrially zoned areas, will remain in place. 

Map of new York with pink and gray shading. Title reads: Citywide Hotel Special Permit Areas of Applicability. Pink shading denotes “Districts where new Special Permit would apply.” Gray shading denotes “Areas with Existing Hotel Special Permits.”

Learn More About the Zoning Proposals

Get Involved

For more information or to ask questions, please contact Hotels@planning.nyc.gov.