The City Council recently adopted a zoning text amendment that updates public space signage and seating regulations at privately owned public spaces (POPS)


The recently adopted zoning text updates requirements for public space signage at all new and existing POPS. POPS include plazas, arcades, sidewalk widenings and other publicly accessible spaces that were created by a variance or floor area bonus. The new zoning text implements a local law adopted by the City Council in 2017 requiring public space signage at all POPS and codifies the new POPS symbol approved by the Department of City Planning (DCP) in 2019. DCP has also published a rule requiring all owners of POPS to submit to DCP a design review package for new signage that includes the new POPS logo. 

The design review package must be submitted to DCP by Aug. 3, 2020, if the POPS does not have signage that was previously approved by DCP or by Feb. 5, 2022, if the POPS has signage that was previously approved by DCP.

The links below provide an overview of the new rule and the requirements for the design review package.


New POPS Logo


Seating, including benches, movable chairs and seat walls, has been a required amenity in plazas since 1975. However, until now, seating was not a permitted obstruction in plazas approved prior to 1975 and seating was only allowed in arcades in certain Special Districts. The recently adopted zoning text remedies this by allowing movable tables and chairs in plazas and arcades where they were not previously permitted. DCP approval is not required for the placement of these movable tables and chairs. The tables and chairs must be available to the public without restriction and must comply with the following circulation requirements: minimum 5-foot clearance from any building entrance, minimum 3-foot clear path for an arcade with a depth of 10 feet or less and minimum 6-foot clear path for an arcade with a depth greater than 10 feet.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.