Bloomberg Gifts Free FAR to Rooftop Gardeners


This is great news for urban farmers (and their landlords). From yesterday’s New York Times article about the Bloomberg administration’s effort to encourage city agencies to buy locally grown food…

The mayor also signed a bill to exempt rooftop greenhouses from being counted toward buildings’ height and floor area measurements. The greenhouses will join structures like roof tanks, air-conditioning equipment and chimneys as apparatus that are not factored into buildings’ official totals, easing limitations on the construction of such structures.

Great news! Bloomberg has been really forward-looking on this stuff, trying to be proactive on helping small businesses (particularly food-related ones) grow. Two thumbs up from us.
Photo from Amber Sandoval-Griffin via the Vertical Farm Blog

12 Comment

  • I wonder is this is going to lead to a trend whereby people claim that it’s a greenhouse but it will actually be a sun room, solarium or cabana instead. Is there a regulation that will require that something actually is grown in it. Will certain “medicinal” plants be allowed. I love the concept but think like a New Yorker.

  • I wonder is this is going to lead to a trend whereby people claim that it’s a greenhouse but it will actually be a sun room, solarium or cabana instead. Is there a regulation that will require that something actually is grown in it. Will certain “medicinal” plants be allowed. I love the concept but think like a New Yorker.

  • Awesome! Wondering how landmark status of a building will play into this, and how DOB will be required to be involved…if you aren’t using an FAR to create a greenhouse, do you need to get the same approvals as if you were creating an addition?

  • of course people will build sunrooms and rec rooms and party rooms and plant a carrot in it to say it is an organic greenhouse. Duh… it’s almost too easy. This is NYC. free FAR on top of buildings?! OMG, this is going to be hillarious.

  • of course people will build sunrooms and rec rooms and party rooms and plant a carrot in it to say it is an organic greenhouse. Duh… it’s almost too easy. This is NYC. free FAR on top of buildings?! OMG, this is going to be hillarious.

  • Where’s Robert Scarano when you need him? Someone has to find out a way to abuse this into living space…Any takers?

    • Don’t see any reason why you couldn’t set up a bed in a greenhouse and live there. You could even argue that it needs temperature control for very particular plants to avoid extreme heat in summer and cold in winter.

      But, whatever. Free FAR doesn’t bother me.

  • Where’s Robert Scarano when you need him? Someone has to find out a way to abuse this into living space…Any takers?

  • This is great. I think I already might have enough FAR for building a stair and sunroom to connect to my roof deck to the apartment. I grow things all the time, but I’ll also use the space recreationally.

    Hopefully landmarks won’t be as ridicoulous with this as they were with our commercial tenant. They would only allow the installation of awnings below the lintels of the 1970′s (bad) fenestration placed within even worse brick masonry of the same period (it may even be a split face cmu of some sort). The commercial space itself is a 1920′s or 30′s rear yard addition and initially held 3 little stores with storefronts from about 1′-6″ to about 9 feet above the sidewalk. Yet landmarks insisted that the tenant limit themselved to the 1970′s lintel heights – about 8′ to preserve the masonry… The only oringinal masonry on the facade is above 9 feet and at the side walls.

  • No way landmarks won’t stop these where they can. They don’t allow AC equipment or solar panels or anything else to be visible.