City Planning launches all-in-one app to access zoning and land use information

By Katherine Clarke | August 25, 2011 09:38AM

City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden

Two city agencies — the City Planning Department and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications — have launched a new Web application called ZoLa that allows New York City residents to find zoning and land use information pertaining to a particular property or a wider geographic area, dating back to 2002.

The system, available to anyone via the planning commission’s website, is useful to consumers with an interest in restrictions on a certain building, or changes to land use being considered for their neighborhood. 

It lets users enter an address to quickly determine ownership, landmark status, zoning information and land uses of a property and its surrounding streets. It will also show the City Council member who represents that area.

“Zoning is the language of the physical city,” said Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden, “and the Department of City Planning is committed to making zoning and other important land use information readily accessible to the public. ZoLa is a unique tool with a wealth of land use information, and it will help New Yorkers easily find out everything they would want to know about their properties and neighborhoods.”

ZoLa presents all the information that is currently available via NYCityMap and DoITT, a previous web tool put together by city DoITT, such as geographic boundaries for City Council and community boards, but also pinpoints environmental designation areas, business improvement districts, all color coded to make it “easily understandable.” It will also provide information on proposed zoning map amendments that are in public preview as well as 112 that have been adopted since Mayor Michael Bloomberg was elected in 2002.

“Every day DoITT works to modernize, unlock, and innovate City government — and with ZoLa we’ve delivered the premiere online destination for New York City’s zoning and land use information,” said DoITT Commissioner Carole Post. “Leveraging our innovative NYCityMap platform and open source tools, we’re proud to have worked with Commissioner Burden and her staff on an in-house developed application that furthers the accessibility of City government.”

A spokesperson for the planning commission said that the system has taken less than two years to create and will be updated once per month with zoning information.

Other agencies, such as the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the Department of Building s and the Department of Finance, will be responsible for maintaining the information that pertains to their departments.

The application was developed by city planning staff within the department’s existing budget. It’s being maintained by existing staff and resources, a spokesperson said.

The system can be accessed by visiting City Planning’s website,, and clicking on the ZoLa logo, or visiting ZoLa directly at