Metrics and Factors
This article provides an overview of numeric metrics and other factors used to regulate music and dancing. This following is not inclusive and provides only examples of the use of the metric or factor. It is necessary to review the numerous provisions of the Zoning Resolution as marked in the excerpt Zoning Resolution – Provisions Relating to Dancing and Music.
New York State Liquor Authority
[Note that the authority of the State Liquor Authority is limited to “Cabarets”:
“A license under this section shall be required of any licensee upon whose premises musical entertainment, singing, dancing or other forms of entertainment is permitted; provided, however, that this section shall only apply to licensees whose premises have a capacity for the assemblage of six hundred or more person. ” § 64-d Alcohol Beverage Control Law. http://dance-regulation.zortmusic.com/document/statutory-authority-of-new-york-state-liquor-authority-to-regulate-dancing-and-music/.]
Special Permits – Board of Standards and Appeals
§ 73-24 Special Permits Uses for Eating or Drinking Places provides various standards for the Board of Standards and Appeals to consider in reviewing Special Permits.
such use will not impair the character or the future use or development of the surrounding residential or mixed use neighborhood
In M1-5B Districts, eating and drinking places shall be limited to not more than 5,000 square feet of floor space
subject to the enclosure provisions of Section 32-411
The Board shall prescribe appropriate controls to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area, including, but not limited to, location of entrances and operable windows, provision of sound-lock vestibules, specification of acoustical insulation, maximum size of establishment, kinds of amplification of musical instruments or voices, shielding of floodlights, adequate screening, curb cuts or parking
The Board may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area, including requirements for shielding of floodlights or adequate screening.
that a minimum of four square feet of waiting area within the zoning lot shall be provided for each person permitted under the occupant capacity as determined by the New York City Building Code. The required waiting area shall be in an enclosed lobby and shall not include space occupied by stairs, corridors or restrooms. A plan shall be provided to the Board to ensure that the operation of the establishment will not result in the gathering of crowds or the formation of lines on the street;
such use will not cause the sound level in any affected conforming residential use, joint living-work quarters for artists or loft dwelling to exceed the limits set forth in any applicable provision of the New York City Noise Control Code
Use Group Provisions Article III Chapter II
§ 32-15 Use Group 6
“Eating or drinking establishments, including those which provide outdoor table service or have music for which there is no cover charge and no specified showtime, and those which have accessory drive-through facilities”
“Cover Charge” is not defined. Many establishment have a minimum and/or a cover charge. Cover charges are needed to pay the musicians.
“No Specified Showtime”
§ 32-15 Use Group 6
“[E]stablishments, including those which provide outdoor table service or have music for which there is no cover charge and no specified showtime, and those which have accessory drive-through facilities”
Some establishments have “showtimes” but do not necessarily clear out the establishment. Some establishments operate as clubs, and others as restaurants with live music.
“No Cover Charge And No Specified Showtime”
This factor is sometimes interpreted as “or” rather than “and.”
“Capacity of 200 Persons of Fewer”
§ 32-15 Use Group 6
“Eating or drinking establishments with musical entertainment but not dancing, with a capacity of 200 persons or fewer”
This factor ignores the amount or space allocated to a dance floor or the maximum number of dancers that can be accommodated. This requirement seems to have a notion that dancing only occurs in dance clubs or music clubs and ignores dancing in restaurants or in event rooms part of a restaurant.
See also § 42-13 Use Groups 6C, 9A and 12B.
§ 32-19 Use Group 10
“Eating or drinking places, without restrictions on entertainment or dancing, but limited to location in hotels.”
The meaning of “location in hotels” is somewhat ambiguous. Note that Use Group 10 is not attached to a specific geographic district, and hotels are found in many residential areas or in Use Group 6 districts.
Capacity Of More Than 200 Persons
§ 32-21 Use Group 12
“Eating or drinking establishments with entertainment and a capacity of more than 200 persons, or establishments of any capacity with dancing.”
“Four Square Feet Of Waiting Area”
[Use Group 12].
“In C4 Districts, a minimum of four square feet of waiting area within the #zoning lot# shall be provided for each person permitted under the occupant capacity”
“A Minimum Of 100 Feet From A Residence District Boundary”
[Use Group 12].
“a minimum of 100 feet from a #Residence District# boundary, except that within 100 feet from a #Residence District# boundary, such establishment is permitted only by special permit pursuant to Section 73-244. In C6-1, C6-2, C6-3 and C6-4 Districts, a minimum of four square feet of waiting area within the #zoning”
“5,000 Square Feet Of Floor Space”
§ 42-14 Use Group 17
Eating or drinking places of less than 5,000 square feet with entertainment other than musical entertainment but not dancing, with a capacity of 200 persons or less as listed in Use Group 6C, and with entertainment or dancing as listed in Use Groups 10A or 12A. However, such #uses# are permitted” with a Special BSA Permit.
See more re BSA Special Permits.
“The Dance Floor Or Area, If Any, Does Not Exceed 400 Square Feet”
§ 91-112 Eating And Drinking Establishments With Dancing In C5 Districts.
Note – §91-112 appears to be the only provision of the ZR which concerns the number of square feet in the dance floor or area. The number of square feet in the dance floor is a more appropriate and relevant factor than the number of square feet in the entire establishment or the capacity of the venue.
Note: In the Special Lower Manhattan District, Use Group 12 is limited in many respects and larger over 200 establishments with dancing are not allowed!!
“In all C5 Districts within the #Special Lower Manhattan District#, in addition to eating and drinking establishments permitted pursuant to Section 32-15 (Use Group 6), the following types of eating and drinking establishments shall be permitted: eating or drinking establishments with entertainment, including musical entertainment or dancing, with a total capacity of 200 persons or fewer, provided that the dance floor or area, if any, does not exceed 400 square feet. The locational and waiting area requirements for eating or drinking establishments of Section 73-244 (In C2, C3, C4*, C6-4**, M1-5A, M1-5B, M1-5M and M1-6M Districts, the Special Hudson Square District and the Special Tribeca Mixed Use District) shall apply; eating or drinking establishments with entertainment, including musical entertainment or dancing, with a capacity of more than 200 persons, pursuant to the provisions of Section 73-244, as modified in Section 91-061 (Applicability of special permits by the Board of Standards and Appeals).”