Special Purpose Districts

Special purpose districts are area’s with particular qualities and functions, and are created to meet the needs of a neighbourhood. Special purpose districts can be the cause of any additions and/or changes to zoning reports in that district, in order to solve problems and achieve the goals of the distinctive neighbourhoods.

A special purpose district was first created in 1960, when old buildings started to be replaced. The creation of the new special purpose district allowed the use of new zoning regulations in certain areas and it is a tool in achieving specific planning and urban design objectives. Nowadays, there are many different zoning districts throughout the US, among which the special purpose district. (Torrey, Gaspar and Mangin, 2013)

Within special purpose district, zoning analysis reports will be based on basic zoning rules, as well as additional and local regulations, in order to protect the uniqueness of an area.

For example, The Special 125th Street District is the main commercial center that serves to the residents of Harlem, Manhattan and other visitors in New York City. There are 24 blocks and it is parallel to 124th and 126th Streets. The Special 125th Street District is a popular place for art, culture and entertainment lovers with the location of the Apollo Theater and Studio Museum. Also, it contains many other educational, commercial, cultural and arts institutions. The main goal of this district is to maintain the uniqueness of the street, encourage the activities that will help to keep the street active all day, increase the number of visitors, create more career opportunities for its residents and improve the condition of pedestrians and transportation. The use of non-active institutions like banks, offices and residential lobbies are thus restricted. (Department of City Planning)

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