North Bronx rezoning OK’d

Contextual rezoning impacted 181 blocks in Williamsbridge and Baychester neighborhoods. On October 5, 2011, the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s 181-block rezoning of the Williamsbridge and Baychester sections in the Bronx. The rezoning impacted an area generally bounded by 233rd Street to the north, East Gun Hill Road and Givan Avenue to the south, the New England Thruway to the east, and the Bronx River Parkway to the west.

Williamsbridge is characterized by a mix of detached homes, rowhouses, small apartment buildings, and larger multi-family buildings near the Bronx River Parkway. Baychester is characterized by lower density residential buildings developed after World War II. The area was predominately zoned R4, R5, and R6, which permitted development out-of-context with the neighborhood’s built character. 

The rezoning applied contextual and low-density residential zoning districts to the two neighborhoods. Planning’s proposal included applying R5D districts to 86 blocks developed with attached and semi-detached homes. R6A districts were applied to 39 blocks in Williamsbridge to encourage a broader range of developments on blocks with underutilized and vacant lots. The rezoning also applied R4 and R4A districts to 29 blocks in Baychester. Commercial overlays were altered to reinforce existing mixed-use corridors and provide appropriate growth opportunities.

At the City Planning Commission’s hearing, no one opposed the proposal, but two property owners asked the Commission to apply C2-4 commercial overlays to their blocks, rather than the proposed C1-4 overlays, in order to provide more flexibility in converting their properties. The Commission approved the rezoning, noting that the requested modifications were outside the scope of the plan.

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee on October 3, 2011, local Council Member Larry B. Seabrook commended Planning for its work on the rezoning. Seabrook stated that there had been an “explosion of developers” coming into the neighborhood and that the plan directed opportunities for growth along appropriate corridors.

The Subcommittee unanimously approved the rezoning, and the Land Use Committee and full Council followed suit.

ULURP Process

Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: BX 12, App’d, 32-0-0
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-1
Council: App’d, 46-0-0

Council: Williamsbridge/Baychester Rezoning (C 110384 ZMX – rezoning) (Oct. 5, 2011).

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