Council approves controversial Bronx rezoning

75-block rezoning protects low density in some areas, but increases density in others. On July 19, 2006, the City Council approved City Planning’s rezoning proposal for portions of Pelham Parkway and Indian Village, two northeastern Bronx communities characterized by low density residential development. The proposal will reduce the permitted density of development on 67 blocks and increase the permitted density of residential construction on eight blocks along Williamsbridge Road and Pelham Parkway South. 3 CityLand 91 (July 15, 2006).

At the July 17, 2006 hearing before Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises, City Planning’s Purnima Kapur, director of the Bronx office, spoke about the controversial up-zoning to an R5D district along Williamsbridge Road. The rezoning would allow all types of residential development, but restrict the scale of development by setting a 40-foot height limit and restrictive parking requirements. Subcommittee Chair Tony Avella criticized Kapur for showing a diagram of potential development in the R5D zone that he believed rested on “assumptions” rather than realistic development schemes and called the diagram “unprofessional given the controversy that exists.”

Three residents testified in vehement opposition to the R5D component. The opposition told the Subcommittee that the up-zoning would only exacerbate the area’s traffic and parking problems and urged that the proposal be sent back to Planning for modification.

While several Council members expressed concern over the concept of packaging down-zoning proposals with up-zoning components in low-density areas, the Subcommittee nevertheless approved the proposal without modification. Avella, who voted to approve, cited Council Member James Vacca’s recent decision to drop his opposition and the community board’s support of the proposal as compelling reasons for approval.

Council: Pelham Parkway/Indian Village Rezoning (July 19, 2006). CITYADMIN


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