Twenty-block Staten Island rezoning approved

Civic association proposed the rezoning to protect area’s low-density character and hilly topography. On April 14, 2010, the City Council approved the Clove Lake Civic Association’s proposal to rezone twenty blocks in the Grymes Hill and Sunnyside sections of Staten Island. The area, located near Wagner College, is generally bounded by Silver Lake Park to the north, Sunnyside Terrace to the south, Highland to the east, and Clove Road to the west.

The predominately residential neighborhood features narrow, steeply graded streets and is characterized by single- family, detached homes, with small pockets of attached and detached two-family homes and multi-family buildings. The civic association proposed the rezoning in response to recent out-of-character development that replaced single-family, detached homes with two-family homes on steep roads that cannot accommodate increased traffic. The majority of the area was downzoned from R3X to R2, which only permits single family, detached homes and reflects the area’s prevailing built character. A small portion of the area to the east was rezoned from R3X to R3-2 in order to match the existing attached townhouse buildings in that area. The plan also expanded the Special Hillsides Preservation District to include an area bounded by Victory Boulevard, Howard and Highland Avenues, and Clove Road. In 1989, the City created the preservation district to preserve northern Staten Island’s sloping topography.

During its review, the City Planning Commission unanimously approved the rezoning. It noted that the rezoning would reinforce the area’s existing character and that expanding the preservation district would create an additional level of review for future development. At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, the president of the Clove Lake Civic Association, MaryAnn McGowan, testified that the proposal would protect existing homes from potential hillside erosion and excess stormwater runoff stemming from overdevelopment. Council Member Vincent Ignizio, speaking on behalf of the Staten Island delegation, expressed support for the proposal.

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

Review Process Lead Agency: CPC, Neg.Dec. Comm.Bd.: SI 1, App’d, 23-0-1 Boro. Pres.: App’d CPC: App’d, 12-0-0 Council: App’d, 48-0-4

Council: Grymes Hill/Sunnyside Rezoning (C 100120 ZMR – rezoning) (April 14, 2010).

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