City Island housing development heads to Council

Despite height concerns,Commission approves City Island residential development abutting eastern shore of Long Island Sound. On September 9, 2009, the City Planning Commission approved City Island Estates’ proposal to build a new residential development abutting the eastern shore of Long Island Sound at 226 Fordham Place on City Island. The 43-unit project includes 21 two-family side-by-side detached residences and one single-family detached home. The only current activity on the lot is a marine salvage and small repair business.

To facilitate the project, the developer applied for a waiver of the Special City Island District’s 35-foot height requirement in order to build 17 of the 21 two-family homes up to 41.5 feet in height. The developer also proposed rezoning the site and an adjacent lot from M1-1 to R3A.

At the Commission’s July 22 public hearing, the developer’s attorney testified that the project site is located in a 100-year floodplain. Due to concerns over flooding, the developer could not provide ground floor living space in 17 of the two-family homes. The height waiver would allow the developer to provide living space on the second and third floors instead. Residents opposed to the project expressed concern that the project’s height would violate the character of City Island and set a bad precedent. 6 CityLand 121 (Sept. 15, 2009).

The Commission unanimously approved the proposal. It stated that due to the site’s sloping topography, the 17 homes that will exceed the height limit would not appear taller than the fives homes proposed along Fordham Place. The Commission noted that after its public hearing the developer changed the project’s design by agreeing to line up the homes along Fordham Place with the 17 homes within the development to increase the view corridors. The Commission required the developer to record a restrictive declaration precluding it from building more than 43 residential units or providing any community facility uses unless it could demonstrate that the additional development would not result in significant environmental impacts.

The City Council has until October 29, 2009 to approve the project.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: BX 10,App’d, 27-0-3
Boro.Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 10-0-1
Council: Pending

CPC: On the Sound on City Island (C 060288 ZMX – rezoning); (C 060289 ZSX – spec. perm.) (Sept. 9, 2009).

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