Self-storage Text Amendment

Self Storage Text Amendment
The NYC Department of City Planning proposes a zoning text amendment to require a CPC Special Permit for 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

On May 22, 2017, the Department of City Planning began the public review process for the proposed self-storage text amendment. Read the press release.

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. PDF Document View the timeline.

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.


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, called an Amended (A) Text. An A-text is an alternative zoning text that provides the public with a broader range of options to comment on, and the City Planning Commission with a wider range of policy options to consider. Either the original zoning text or the A-text, or a version of those, may be adopted.

The public comments on the proposed Self-Storage Text Amendment have been mixed, with Community Boards, Borough Presidents and other stakeholders both supportive and in a few cases, critical. The concerns include that the proposed CPC Special Permit is too restrictive, that insufficient consideration has been given to self-service storage facilities’ role serving residents and small businesses alike, and that the restriction on self-storage in IBZs could potentially cause an increase in self-storage development in M and C8 districts outside of IBZs, which are often closer to residential areas.

In response to those concerns and the results of the DEIS, which acknowledged the potential of the original proposed text amendment for a significant impact on the self-storage industry, DCP has developed a revised Mixed-Use Alternative. This Alternative permits 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 are also proposed: these provisions would facilitate the proposed set-aside of ground-floor space for industrial use.

This modified zoning text amendment, called an “A text,” includes:

  1. a requirement that in designated M districts, at least 20,000 square feet of ground floor space on the same zoning lot as a new self-storage facility be dedicated to manufacturing, semi-industrial or industrial uses in Use Groups 11A, 16A, 16B, 16D, 17 and 18; art studios in Use Group 9A; and photographic or motion picture production studios, radio or television studios in Use Group 10A;
  2. changes to the originally proposed CPC Special Permit, so that it applies only to modify or waive the industrial ground floor requirement;
  3. specifications for the ceiling heights of the required ground floor industrial space;
  4. a reduction of the off-street parking and loading dock requirements associated with the required industrial ground floor space, to facilitate the mixed-use prototype in which the ground floor is shared with the lobby and loading areas for the self-storage facility;
  5. a reduction in the dimensions of the required loading berths associated with the self-storage use from 50 feet to 37 feet, consistent with the size of trucks that self-storage customers typically use; and
  6. an allowance for up to 20,000 square feet of the required industrial floor area to exceed the 1.0 FAR cap in M1-1 districts, to facilitate the mixing of uses on the zoning lot.

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.

The proposed CPC Special Permit for self-storage development will apply in Designated Areas in Manufacturing (M) districts, which largely coincide with IBZs. These are New York City’s most active industrial areas and are the focus of the administration’s economic development policies to support industrial businesses.

The proposed Designated Areas in Manufacturing Districts intersect with 27 Community Districts:

Bronx: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12
Brooklyn: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 16, 17, 18
Queens: 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13
Staten Island: 1, 2, 3

Choose a community district below to see a map of the area which is available in PDF Document pdf format.

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.

On May 22 2017, the Department of City Planning referred out the proposed self-storage text amendment (N 170425 ZRY) to begin the formal review process. PDF Document View the presentation. The PDF Document proposal was referred out to twenty-seven Community Boards; the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island Borough Boards; and to the Borough Presidents of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island: for a time period of sixty days. The proposed text amendment will then go to the City Planning Commission, followed by the City Council.

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