R7 districts are medium-density apartment house districts mapped in much of the Bronx as well as the Upper West Side in Manhattan and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. The height factor regulations for R7 districts encourage lower apartment buildings on smaller zoning lots and, on larger lots, taller buildings with less lot coverage. As an alternative, developers may choose the optional Quality Housing regulations to build lower buildings with greater lot coverage.
Regulations for residential development in R7-1 and R7-2 districts are essentially the same except that R7-2 districts, which are mapped primarily in upper Manhattan, have lower parking requirements.
Height factor buildings are often set back from the street and surrounded by open space and on-site parking. The floor area ratio (FAR) in R7 districts ranges from 0.87 to a high of 3.44; the open space ratio (OSR) ranges from 15.5 to 25.5. As in other non-contextual districts, a taller building may be obtained by providing more open space. For example, 76% of the zoning lot with a 14-story building must be open space (3.44 FAR × 22.0 OSR). The maximum FAR is achievable only where the zoning lot is large enough to accommodate a practical building footprint as well as the required amount of open space. The building must be set within a sky exposure plane which, in R7 districts, begins at a height of 60 feet above the street line and then slopes inward over the zoning lot.
In R7-1 districts, off-street parking is required for 60% of the dwelling units, and can be waived if five or fewer spaces are required. In R7-2 districts, off-street parking is required for 50% of the units, and can be waived if 15 or fewer spaces are required.
The optional Quality Housing regulations in R7 districts utilize height limits to produce lower, high lot coverage buildings set at or near the street line. With floor area ratios that are equal to or greater than can be achieved in height factor buildings, the optional Quality Housing regulations produce new buildings in keeping with the scale of many traditional neighborhoods in the East Village and upper Manhattan, the west Bronx, and sections of Queens and Brooklyn.
The optional Quality Housing regulations for buildings on wide streets outside the Manhattan Core are the same as in R7A districts. The maximum FAR is 4.0 and the base height before setback is 40 to 65 feet with a maximum building height of 80 feet. The maximum FAR on narrow streets and within the Manhattan Core is 3.44, and the base height before setback is 40 to 60 feet with a maximum building height of 75 feet. The area between a building’s street wall and the street line must be planted, and the building must have interior amenities for residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program. Off-street parking is required for 50% of all dwelling units.
The contextual Quality Housing regulations, which are mandatory in R7A districts, typically produce high lot coverage, seven- and eight-story apartment buildings, blending with existing buildings in many established neighborhoods. R7A districts are mapped along Prospect Park South and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, Jackson Heights in Queens, and in Harlem and along the avenues in the East Village in Manhattan.
The floor area ratio (FAR) in R7A districts is 4.0. Above a base height of 40 to 65 feet, the building must set back to a depth of 10 feet on a wide street and 15 feet on a narrow street before rising to a maximum height of 80 feet. In order to preserve the traditional streetscape, the street wall of a new building can be no closer to the street line, than any building within 150 feet on the same block, but need not be farther than 15 feet. Buildings must have interior amenities for the residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program. Off-street parking is not allowed in front of a building. Parking is required for 50% of all dwelling units.
In contextual R7B districts, the mandatory Quality Housing regulations are similar to those of R6B districts but the higher floor area ratio (FAR) and height limit generally produce six- to seven-story apartment buildings rather than the rowhouses typical of R6B districts. There are R7B districts in Brooklyn and throughout Queens, including portions of Rego Park. Parts of the East Village in Manhattan are also mapped R7B.
The FAR is 3.0; the base height of a new building before setback must be between 40 and 60 feet before rising to a maximum building height of 75 feet. To maintain the traditional streetscape, curb cuts are prohibited on zoning lot frontages less than 40 feet. The front wall of a new building, on any lot up to 50 feet wide, must be as deep as one adjacent front wall but no deeper than the other. On lots 50 feet wide or more, the front wall must be no closer to the street line than the front wall of an adjacent building. Front walls need not be set back beyond 15 feet. Buildings must have interior amenities for residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program.
R7D districts promote new contextual development along transit corridors. Portions of Fulton Street and the Special Coney Island District in Brooklyn are mapped as R7D districts. Blocks that are mapped C4-5D have an R7D residential district equivalent.
The floor area ratio (FAR) of 4.2 allows greater residential density than R7A districts and less than R7X districts. In a C4‑5D district or when a commercial overlay is mapped in an R7D district, the ground floor of a building must be reserved for retail uses, such as shops and services, to maintain the vitality of the street.
Quality Housing bulk regulations, mandatory in R7D districts, produce ten-story buildings set at or near the street line. The base height of a new building must be 60 to 85 feet before setback, rising to a maximum building height of 100 feet. In order to maintain the continuity of the street wall, a new building can be no closer to the street line than any other building within 150 feet on the same block but need not be farther than 15 feet. In commercial overlay districts or in a C4‑5D district, the street wall of a building on a wide street must extend along the entire width of the zoning lot at the street line. Interior amenities for building residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program are required.
Off-street parking is required for 50 percent of dwelling units.
R7X districts are also governed by contextual Quality Housing bulk regulations but the substantially higher floor area ratio (FAR) and maximum building height typically produce taller, bulkier buildings than in R7A and R7B districts. The flexibility of the R7X regulations is exemplified by the nine- to 13-story apartment buildings in the R7X districts mapped along major thoroughfares in Harlem in Manhattan and Jackson Avenue in Long Island City in Queens.
The FAR in R7X districts is 5.0. Above a base height of 60 to 85 feet, the building must be set back a depth of 10 feet on a wide street and 15 feet on a narrow street before rising to its maximum height of 125 feet. To maintain the traditional streetscape, the street wall of a new building can be no closer to the street line than any building within 150 feet on the same block but need not be farther than 15 feet. The building must have interior amenities for residents pursuant to the Quality Housing Program.