Twenty-one areas to lose commercial zoning overlay. In 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed the Staten Island Growth Management Task Force to examine over-development in the borough. The Task Force’s recommendations resulted in new zoning controls adopted in 2004 restricting the size and density of Staten Island residential development. A loophole remained for lots within residential zones that were also subject to commercial district overlays. Along with allowing commercial uses on these lots, the commercial overlays permitted large as-of- right residential developments.
The Task Force had recommended the elimination of portions of 21 commercial overlays along streets in Staten Island that remained primarily residential in character, and the Planning Department, in May 2005, initiated three separate rezoning applications to remove lots that retained their residential character from all 21 commercial overlays.
A joint hearing was held on the three applications on August 10, 2005. Seven property owners and developers spoke, asking that their specific lots retain commercial zoning. Four opponents claimed to have taken steps toward developing commercial buildings on their lots. A Rosebank developer, with a site partially impacted by the rezoning, claimed to have commenced architectural plans for a proposed drug store. A second developer stated that a lot on Wyman Road in Southern Great Kills had specifically been purchased for a large commercial office development. Two Port Richmond property owners claimed to have purchased their lots for commercial uses or to have commercial users currently on their site.
On September 14, 2005, the Commission approved all three applications to remove the commercial overlays, finding that their elimination was appropriate because the areas remain primarily non-commercial and the zoning change would stop commercial uses from encroaching on established residential neighborhoods. The Commission modified the proposal to retain commercial zoning in three small areas in Port Richmond, West New Brighton and Rosebank: on Bement Avenue between Myrtle and Morrison Avenues, on Post Avenue between Heberton and Port Richmond Avenues, and on a portion of Vaughan Street.
ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on May 23, 2005.
All three Staten Island Community Boards recommended approval. Borough President James P. Molinaro approved all three applications without change.
City Council’s mandatory review is pending.
CPC: Staten Island Commercial Overlay Rezoning (C 050453 ZMR – map amendment); (C 050454 ZMR – map amendment); (C 050455 ZMR – map amendment) (September 14, 2005). CITYADMIN