Staten Island shopping center rezoning approved

Small rezoning would facilitate expansion of Woodrow Plaza shopping center. On June 29, 2011, the City Council approved Ottavio and Leonello Savo’s proposed expansion of the Woodrow Plaza shopping center at the corner of Woodrow Road and Rossville Avenue in Staten Island. Woodrow Plaza was built in the early 1980s and includes two, one-story buildings and a surface parking lot accessible from Rossville and Alverson Avenues. The project site consists of two wooded, vacant lots located south of the parking lot along Woodrow Road. In 2001, the shopping center’s prior owner proposed building two, one-story buildings on the vacant lots, but the City Planning Commission denied the application.

The Savos plan to develop two, two-story commercial buildings totaling 37,200 sq.ft. and a 124-space parking lot facing the existing shopping center. They plan to improve circulation in the expanded parking lot by reconfiguring the driveways and adding a curb cut at an existing three-way intersection at Woodrow and Foster Roads. The Savos submitted multiple applications to facilitate the project, including a request to apply a C2-2 commercial overlay to the R3X-zoned project site and for a zoning text amendment to remove a portion of the project site from the Special South Richmond Development District’s designated open space boundaries. Pursuant to the special district’s regulations, the proposal also needed the Commission’s authorization to modify the site’s topography.

Staten Island Community Board 3 and Borough President James P. Molinaro supported the project, and no one opposed the proposal at the City Planning Commission’s April 27 hearing. Attorney Eric Palatnik, representing the Savos, testified that the C2-2 commercial overlay would permit a broader range of uses in the new buildings, including trade schools and dance studios. The project’s urban planner, Phil Rampulla, explained that the proposed circular parking lot would remedy problems associated with the current lot’s “awkward” diagonal grid and dead ends. The Commission unanimously approved the project.

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, local Council Member Vincent Ignizio stated that both he and the community welcomed the current proposal. Ignizio noted that he had been working to address parking issues at the site since he served as chief of staff to former Council Member Andrew Lanza.

The City Council unanimously approved the proposal.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC, Cond. Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: SI 3, App’d, 30-0-0
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 13-0-0
Council: App’d, 50-0-0

Council: Woodrow Plaza (C 080482 ZMR – rezoning); (N 080483 ZRR – text amend.); (N 080484 RAR – mod. topo.) (June 29, 2011) (Architect: Rampulla Associates).

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