DCP Announces New Zoning Relief Proposal for South Richmond Homeowners

On April 3, 2023, the New York City Department of City Planning announced its South Richmond Zoning Relief proposal after years of planning with Staten Island communities in the Special South Richmond Development District of the South Shore. The proposal will simplify the approval process for simple home projects that require zoning clearances, such as pool installations or other home improvements. The proposal will also enhance preservation efforts on larger land spaces and allow the community to have greater oversight over sensitive natural sites in the District, such as the area’s wetlands.

“For years, South Richmond homeowners have been hamstrung by needlessly complicated rules and a tangled web of red tape,” Mayor Eric Adams said of the new proposal. “This proposal will make families’ lives easier, empower the community, and bring out the natural beauty of Staten Island.”

Residents of the District have long expressed complaints of the burdensome and complex process for small home improvement project that all required approval by the City Planning Commission, causing a backlog of applications and years long delays. The new Zoning Relief proposal will reduce the burden the old regulations imposed on homeowners by making changes to zoning ordinances that will allow residents to complete certain home projects without city approval on land under one acre.

The Special District was originally created to preserve the nature within the district boundaries as new construction increased. The Zoning Relief proposal will now also allow the City Planning Commission and Community Board to use its oversight power to more effectively regulate larger sensitive sites over one acre of land.

“…This new proposal removes many of those unnecessary barriers, while striking the proper balance between protecting property rights and preserving the natural environment and unique character of these communities,” City Council Minority Leader Joseph C. Borelli said, praising the new zoning plan.

The New York City Department of Community Planning began community outreach in the summer of 2022 to gauge support for the new proposal and held three Working Group meetings on the details of the proposal, including goals and regulations for the updated zoning, priorities in the review process, and a draft of the new zoning legislation.

The Zoning Relief proposal began public review on April 10, giving members of the community, the Borough President and City Council, and various city agencies the opportunity for further input on the new proposal.

By: Vanessa Cameron (Vanessa is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)



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