3.2.14 Transit-Oriented Development – Employment

Intent:  The transit-oriented employment district is established to accommodate general office uses and office support services in a highly pedestrianized setting. General office, characterized by 40 to 70 employees per acre, is the predominant use.  Uses that employ relatively few workers, such as warehousing and distribution, are excluded from this district.  The TOD-E may be located on developable parcels within the ½ mile catchment area of rapid transit stations.  The district establishes an employment node within a 10-minute walk of a designated transit rapid station that serves a workforce of sufficient size to constitute a destination for purposes of rapid transit service.

a) Permitted Uses

Uses Permitted by Right

  • financial services
  • greenways
  • government offices
  • inns
  • offices
  • professional, personal, and technical services
  • transit stations

Uses Permitted with Conditions

  • conference centers, up to 15,000 sq.ft. of gross floor area
  • day care center, (9.11)
  • essential services 1 and 2, (9.14)
  • multi-family homes in mixed use buildings
  • squares, plazas, or other urban open spaces not exceeding ½ acre in area
  • single family attached homes in mixed use buildings
  • workshops and studios for the design and manufacture of art, craft, and artisan products, up to 8,000 sq.ft.  of gross area
  • parking lot or structure as a principal use, (9.48)

Uses Permitted with a Special Use Permit

  • accessory warehousing exceeding 25% of the finished floor area of the principal use, (9.48)
  • light manufacturing, on not more than 5 acres, (9.48)
  • hospitals, (9.48)
  • wind energy facility, minor (accessory) (9.53)

b) Permitted Building and Lot Types

  • civic building
  • highway commercial (for conference facilities only), minimum FAR of.35
  • mixed use17
  • shopfront
  • workplace, minimum FAR of.35

17The mixed use building duplicates the shopfront building type and has at least two occupiable stories; at least 50% of the habitable area of the building shall be in residential use, the remainder shall be in commercial use. However, when an existing residential building is redeveloped to a mixed-use, at least 40% fo the habitable area shall be in residential use.

c) Permitted Accessory Uses

  • home occupations, (9.19)
  • parking lot as an accessory to any permitted principal use, on the same lot or on an abutting lot according to the standards of Article 6
  • retail, restaurant, bars and taverns, personal services, clinics and similar workplace support uses up to 20% of first floor area of any building, or of a multi-building project taken as a whole
  • solar energy facility, minor residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes or façade. (9.54)
  • solar energy facility, non-residential; located in the established rear or side yards or roof slopes, (9.54)
  • warehousing not to exceed 25% of the finished floor area of the principal use
  • accessory uses permitted in all districts, (8.11)

d) General Requirements

1) Along existing streets, new buildings shall create a transition in spacing, mass, scale, and street frontage relationship from existing buildings to buildings in the Transit Oriented Employment district.

New buildings are expected to exceed the scale and volume of existing buildings, but shall demonstrate compatibility by varying the massing of buildings to reduce perceived scale and volume. The definition of massing in Article 12 illustrates the application of design techniques to reduce the visual perception of size and integrate larger buildings with pre-existing smaller buildings.

2) On new streets, allowable building and lot types will establish the development pattern.

3) A master subdivision sketch plan in compliance with this district shall be provided with any application for development approval. It shall comply with the standards of this district and with the most detailed development policies and/or plans adopted by the Town Board for the station’s catchment area. The master plan shall include a topographic survey and shall show the location and hierarchy of streets and public open spaces, location of residential, commercial, and civic building lots, street sections and/or plans, approximate square footage of office/commercial buildings and uses, residential unit count, proposed building heights, an outline of any additional regulatory intentions, phasing, and any other information, including building elevations, which may be required to evaluate the interior pedestrian environment and conditions at project edges. Phasing of development to provide for future horizontal and vertical intensification to meet the standards of this section is permitted. Approval of the master sketch plan will be administrative.

4) A single building on an existing lot shall comply with the standards of this district and with the most detailed development policies and/or plans adopted by the Town Board for the station’s catchment area, but shall require zoning and building permits only.

e) Design Provisions

1) Every building shall share a frontage line with a street or urban open space; lots fronting directly onto a urban open space (i.e., without intervening street) shall be provided rear alley access.

2) New construction favors general office uses, with accessory retail, personal services, restaurant, and similar uses located at street level and residential uses permitted on third and higher floors.

3) Notwithstanding the height restrictions of Article 4, Building and Lot Types, new buildings in the Transit Oriented Employment district are limited to seven stories or 80 feet in height, whichever is greater. Minimum building height is 26 feet, measured at the eave line.

4) Minimum permitted Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is .35, preferred FAR will range from .5 to 1.5.

5) Special parking provisions for residential development in the TOD-E:                                         

Office / Commercial Uses
 1 space/1,000 sq.ft. 1 space/500 sq.ft.
 Efficiency Apartment
 1 space/unit 2 space/unit
 One or Two Bedroom Apartment
 1 space/unit 2 space/unit

6) District Edge Conditions

Along any boundary of a TOD-E district that abuts a pre-existing subdivision of 20 or more single-family detached homes, one of the following edge conditions shall apply to abutting lot boundaries, however no buffer or wall shall be allowed to block extension of a street from existing development into a planned TOD-E development.

  • A free-standing structure or the end unit of an attached structure on lots along the common boundary shall be limited to two stories or 26 feet in height, whichever is less, or
  • A semi-opaque buffer shall be constructed along the common boundary, on the site of the developing use. The width of the buffer shall at a minimum equal ½ the height of the abutting building in the TOD-E district, or
  • A 6’ masonry wall may be constructed by the developer along the common lot boundaries, in which case the width of the buffer may be reduced to the width of the wall.

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Zoning Ordinance Table of Contents