New Zoning Approved for Four Bronx Neighborhoods

Central Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Van Cortlandt Village and Throgs Neck down-zoned. On September 28, 2004, the City Council approved four major Bronx down-zonings.

In Central Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil, the Council rezoned a 30-block area to restrict any new buildings’ height to six and seven stories rather than the 14 stories previously permitted. Currently, 92 percent of the neighborhoods’ buildings are under seven stories.

The Council also rezoned a 15-block area of Van Cortlandt Village, limiting the size and floor area of new dwellings to a size that more closely matched the existing low density buildings. The down-zonings, opposed at the Council by several homeowners and commercial building owners, grew out of a §197-a rezoning proposal initiated in 1998 by Bronx Community Board 8 under the Charter provision that allows a board to propose a plan for its development, growth, and improvement.

The separate Throgs Neck effort began after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held a town hall meeting in Throgs Neck during the summer of 2003. Residents voiced concern over large out-of-character developments, particularly those that blocked waterfront views. Following the town hall meeting, the City’s Planning Department completed a comprehensive lot-by-lot analysis of Throgs Neck, proposing new zoning that lowered density, decreased building heights, increased residential parking requirements, and restricted future development from blocking waterfront views.

With the approval by the Council, Throgs Neck became the second area in the City subject to the new, August 2004 Lower Density Growth Management Area zoning text, which was passed to protect the character of the City’s existing low density, single-family, and small multi-family neighborhoods. The new text stemmed initially from concerns raised by Staten Island residents and elected officials over the 24,000 new housing units built on the Island during 1990-2000. Under the new text, a neighborhood must be designated by the City to be subject to the new restrictions. The entire Borough of Staten Island was the first area designated under the new zoning rules.

The Council approved the Central Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Van Cortlandt Village and Throgs Neck down-zonings by a vote of 51 to 0.

ULURP Process: City Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration for Throgs Neck on June 7, 2004 and for Van Cortlandt Village and Central Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil on June 21, 2004. The Community Boards, Bronx 10 for Throgs Neck and Bronx 8 for Van Cortlandt Village and Central Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil, along with Borough President Adolfo Carrion approved. After an August 11, 2004 hearing on all, the Commission approved Throgs Neck on August 25, 2004 and Van Cortlandt Village and Central Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil on September 8, 2004.

Council: Res. No. 609 (Van Cortlandt Village); No. 610 (Central Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil); Nos. 611, 612, 613, 614 (Throgs Neck) (September 28, 2004); CPC: Throgs Neck Rezoning (N 040479 ZMX; N 040480 ZRX; N 040481 ZRY; N 040482 ZRX) (August 25, 2004); CPC: Central Riverdale/Spuyten Duyvil Rezoning (C 040515 ZMX); CPC: Van Cortlandt Village Rezoning (C 040516 ZMX) (September 8, 2004).

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