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NYC 2 family house with building classification code CO but zoned R3-1.

New York, NY |

Purchased a 2 family home in Queens. House was built in 1900, predates some of NYC's regulations. It is zoned as an R3-1 but is building classification code: CO and is taxed by the dept of finance as a 3 family. The 1st floor has a 3 br apt. There is a separate entrance to the 2nd floor, and once one reaches top of entrance stairs it divides into 2 doors, One on the left and one on the right. Right door leads to a dining room, kitchen, bath and 2 brs. The Left door at top of stairs leads to a LR and 2 Brs. The 2nd floor looks like 2 apartments that are being used as one There are only 2 gas meters but 3 electric meters. Both potential apartments on 2nd floor have access to another emergency stairway that exits the building. Can I legally convert it to official 3 fam house? How?

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Attorney answers 2


Your question is very detailed and clear, however this is a national list serve and unless a local New York attorney responds you are not likely to get the answer you need. I suggest contacting a lawyer in your area, or you might also try going to the City planning and development department with your question. The planning department is paid for by your tax dollars and thier answers are free. The only reason you might not take to the planning department would be if you are certain you are going through with the project, and you think there is a chance they will deny the project and you don't want them to know about it until you have everything in order with your attorney.


First - you need to contact an attorney licensed in NY to help you. Second - you probably should consult a licensed contractor and discuss your goals. In trying to accomplish your goal, you will find yourself dealing with your local planning office (zoning) and building department (building codes). From your description, you may also need to deal with whatever utility department/company provides utilities to the structure. Prepare for frustration and expect decisions by your local government to take a long time. This could be an arduous task.

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