Special Hunts Point District plan starts public review

Plan strives to encourage growth in food service industry. On January 7, 2008, the Planning Commission launched public consideration for the Department of City Planning’s proposal to rezone portions of the Hunts Point peninsula. The proposal is now with Bronx Community Board 2 for its review.

City Planning seeks to downzone 70 blocks of industrial land to M1-2 for light manufacturing. The area surrounds a 22-acre residential district and is roughly bounded by Bruckner Boulevard, Oak Point Rail Yard, Oak Point Avenue, and Halleck Street/Edgewater Road. It is currently developed by a mix of uses, including warehouses, auto repair shops, and food-related manufacturers and distributors. City Planning also seeks to map a C1-4 commercial overlay along portions of Lafayette and Hunts Point Avenues. The overlays would encourage sorely needed neighborhood retail, such as eating and drinking establishments.

In addition to the rezonings, City Planning seeks additional restrictions through a Special Hunts Point District. Waste-related uses, such as waste-transfer stations, would be prohibited. All industrial activities, including auto-related storage facilities, would be required to take place within a completely-enclosed structure, and all new developments, substantial alterations, or changes of use would require street plantings of one tree per 25 feet of street frontage.

The new district would be split into two sub-districts: a 33-block Residential Buffer Subdistrict and a 37-block Food Industry Subdistrict. The Residential Buffer Subdistrict would prohibit heavier industrial and waste-related uses. Breweries greater than 10,000 sq.ft., however, would be allowed because, according to City Planning, they are compatible with surrounding food market uses and can provide job opportunities for the local community. Retail establishments of all sizes would be allowed in the Residential Buffer Subdistrict, thus eliminating the need for a special permit for stores greater than 10,000 sq.ft. under the M1 zoning.

The Food Industry Subdistrict would buffer food-related businesses located in the Hunts Points Food Distribution Center from incompatible waste-related and heavy-industrial uses. The buffer is also intended to encourage additional food-related businesses, which in turn would provide more jobs for local residents.

Bronx Community Board 2 will vote on the rezoning February 27th.

CPC: Application – Hunts Point Special District (N 080 247 ZRX – map amend., N 080 248 ZMX – text amend.) (Jan. 7, 2008).

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