The C3 Commercial District

A C3 commercial district is an area that permits waterfront recreational activities. Uses of a C3 district include boat rentals and launches, boat showrooms and sales, docks for ferries and water taxis, bicycle sales and rentals, and even ice-cream stores. These uses fall under Use Group 14 in article 3, chapter 2 ofNYC’s Zoning Resolution. Commercial buildings located in C3 districts must have a floor area ratio (FAR) of 0.5 and must be no higher than two stories or 30 feet, whichever comes first.

C3 districts are usually connected toresidential areas (use groups 1-2). Residential development in these areas falls under R3-2 regulations, which are broad and permit a variety of housing types, including low-rise attached houses, small multifamily apartment houses, and detached and semi-detached one- and two-family homes. (

Community facility use is also permitted in C3 districts (use groups 3-4). Hospitals, schools, community centers, libraries, and houses of worship fall into these two categories. (

There are also C3A commercial districts. These districts allow the same uses (use group 14) as their C3 cousins, but they are usually adjacent to R3A residential districts, which have more restrictions on the type of residences allowed than R3-2 areas. R3A neighborhoods must have detached one-and two-family residences. Multi-family apartment buildings and semi-detached homes are against regulations.

Examples of C3 districts in NYC include City Island and Mill Basin in Brooklyn. C3A districts can also be found in Staten Island and the Throgs Neck area of the Bronx.

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