R5 districts allow a variety of housing at a higher density than permitted in R3-2 and R4 districts. The floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.25 typically produces three-and four-story attached houses and small apartment houses. With a height limit of 40 feet, R5 districts provide a transition between lower- and higher-density neighborhoods and are widely mapped in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. Portions of Windsor Terrace and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn are R5 districts.
To ensure compatibility with neighborhood scale, the maximum street wallheight of a new building is 30 feet and the maximum building height is 40 feet. Above a height of 30 feet, a setback of 15 feet is required from the street wall of the building; in addition, any portion of the building that exceeds a height of 33 feet must be set back from a rear or side yard line. Detached houses must have two side yards that total at least 13 feet, each with a minimum width of five feet. Semi-detached houses need one eight foot wide side yard. Apartment houses need two side yards, each at least eight feet wide. Front yards must be 10 feet deep or, if deeper, a minimum of 18 feet to prevent cars parked on-site from protruding onto the sidewalk. Cars may park in the side or rear yard, in the garage or in the front yard within the side lot ribbon; parking is also allowed within the front yard when the lot is wider than 35 feet. Off-street parking is required for 85% of the dwelling units in the building, but requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified within the Transit Zone
On a block entirely within an R5 district (without a suffix), optional regulations may be used to develop infill housing in predominately built-up areas. Infill regulations may be used if at least 50% of the area of the block is occupied by zoning lots developed with buildings, and the lot does not exceed 1.5 acres (65,340 sq ft). However, infill regulations may not be used to redevelop a lot occupied by a one- or two-family detached or semi-detached house unless the blockfront is predominantly developed with attached or multi-family housing, or commercial or manufacturing uses. Infill regulations can be found in the definition of predominantly built-up areas in Section 12-10 of the Zoning Resolution.
On sites that qualify for infill housing, the higher floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.65 and more relaxed parking requirements permit developments with greater bulk and more dwelling units than are otherwise permitted in R5 districts; infill regulations typically produce three-story buildings with three dwelling units and two parking spaces—one in a ground-floor garage and the other in the driveway. Infill regulations can also produce small apartment buildings.
To ensure that infill housing generally conforms to existing neighborhood scale, height and setback regulations for R5 infill housing are the same as for R5B districts. The maximum street wall length for a building on a single zoning lot is 185 feet. Front yards must be at least 18 feet deep to prevent cars parked in the front driveway from protruding onto the sidewalk. Off-street parking must be provided for at least two-thirds of the dwelling units.
R5A contextual districts, mapped in the northeast Bronx neighborhoods of Olinville and Williamsbridge, permit only one- and two-family detached residences with a maximum 1.1floor area ratio (FAR). Similar to R4A districts, R5A districts are characterized by houses with two stories and an attic beneath a pitched roof, but the greater FAR and higher perimeter wall allow for somewhat larger buildings.
The perimeter wall of a house may rise to 25 feet in R5A districts (compared to 21 feet in R4A districts) before sloping or being set back to the maximum building height of 35 feet. The minimum lot width is 30 feet. The amount of required open space is governed by yard requirements that are the same as those in R4A districts: a front yard must be at least as deep as an adjacent front yard and at least 10 feet deep but it need not exceed a depth of 20 feet; a 30 foot deep rear yard; and two side yards that total at least 10 feet, each with a minimum width of two feet. Cars may park in the side or rear yard; parking is also allowed within the front yard when the lot is wider than 35 feet. An in-house garage is permitted if the lot is at least 35 feet wide. One off-street parking space is required for each dwelling unit.
Although an R5B contextual district permits detached and semi-detached buildings, it is primarily a three-story rowhouse district typical of such neighborhoods as Windsor Terrace and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. The traditional quality of R5B districts is reflected in the district’s height and setback, front yard and curb cuts regulations that maintain the character of the neighborhood.
The floor area ratio (FAR) of 1.35 typically produces a building with a maximum street wall height of 30 feet, above which the building slopes or is set back to a maximum height of 33 feet. As in R4B districts, the front yard must be at least five feet deep and it must be at least as deep as one adjacent front yard and no deeper than the other, but it need not exceed a depth of 20 feet. Attached rowhouses do not require side yards but there must be at least eight feet between the end buildings in a row and buildings on adjacent zoning lots. Curb cuts are prohibited on zoning lot frontages less than 40 feet. Where off-street parking is required, on-site spaces must be provided for two-thirds of the dwelling units although parking can be waived when only one space is required. Requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified within the Transit Zone. Front yard parking is prohibited.
R5D contextual districts, designed to encourage residential growth along major corridors in auto-dependent areas of the city, are mapped in portions of the Jamaica and Rockaway Park neighborhoods in Queens and on Williamsbridge Road in the northeast area of the Bronx.
R5D districts serve as a transition between lower-density districts and moderate-density districts by incorporating the lot area, lot width and building envelope of R5B districts with certain aspects of the Quality Housing Program available in R6 through R9 districts and R10 contextual districts) relating to interior building amenities, planting and the location of accessory parking. Lot coverage requirements are the same as for R6 contextual districts.
Characterized by moderate-density, multi-family housing, R5D districts have a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.0, a height limitation of 40 feet (45 feet with a qualifying ground floor) and a significant amount of required off-street parking, reflecting the lack of easy access to mass transit and the reliance on automobiles.
The minimum lot width for single- and two-family detached houses is 25 feet; side yards are not required for lots less than 30 feet wide. Zero lot line buildings are permitted. As in R4B and R5B districts, the front yard must be at least five feet deep and at least as deep as one adjacent front yard but no deeper than the other, although it need not exceed a depth of 20 feet.
Off-street parking, which is not permitted in front of the building, is required for 66% of all dwelling units. Requirements are lower for income-restricted housing units (IRHU) and are further modified within the Transit Zone. Curb cuts are not permitted on a wide street if the zoning lot also fronts on a narrow street.