M1 districts range from the Garment District in Manhattan, with its multistory lofts, to parts of Red Hook and College Point with many one or two-story warehouses studded with loading bays. The M1 district is often a buffer between M2 or M3 districts and adjacent residential or commercial districts.
Light industries typically found in M1 areas include knitting mills, printing plants, woodworking shops, auto storage and repair shops, and wholesale service and storage facilities. In theory, nearly all industries uses can locate in M1 areas if they meet the more stringent M1 performance standards. Offices and most retail uses are also permitted. Certain community facilities, such as hospitals, are allowed in M1 districts only by special permit, but houses of worship are allowed as-of-right.
Floor area ratios in M1 districts range from 1.0 to 10.0 and building height and setbacks are controlled by sky exposure planes which may be penetrated by towers in certain districts. New industrial buildings are usually low-rise structures that fit within sky exposure planes. Except along district boundaries, no side yards are required. Rear yards at least 20 feet deep are usually required, except within 100 feet of a corner.
The M1-1 districts are usually near residential neighborhoods and frequently act as a low bulk buffer at the periphery of older industrial areas with heavier industrial uses and larger buildings. Typically, buildings in this zone cover approximately 75 percent of the lot and would have on-site open parking at the rear of the lot. M1-1 districts require off-street parking of one space per 2,000 sf, or per 3 employees, whichever is less. The maximum FAR is 1.0.