Two Bronx neighborhoods down-zoned

Pelham Bay and Westchester Square residents concerned that developers would move in after adjacent neighborhood was down-zoned. After the City down-zoned Throgs Neck in September 2004, 1 CityLand 4 (Oct. 15, 2004), residents of Pelham Bay and Westchester Square complained that the new limits on development in Throgs Neck would send developers north and westward into their communities, spurring over-development. While both communities are predominately developed with detached housing, the current zoning permits large apartment buildings, with up to 12 stories in some cases. To eliminate this disparity, the Planning Department initiated down-zonings of both neighborhoods.

The Pelham Bay proposal calls for the rezoning of approximately 45 blocks. The majority of the area would be rezoned from R5, R6, or R7-1 to the newly created R5A district, limiting new construction to one- and two-family detached homes and setting a 35-foot height limit. The proposal also calls for reducing the depth of commercial overlays, from 150 to 100 feet, along Westchester, Crosby and portions of Buhre Avenues.

In Westchester Square, the proposal encompasses 36 blocks, the majority of which would be rezoned from R6 to R5A. The proposal also calls for reducing the depth of commercial overlays, from 150 to 100 feet, along East Tremont, Westchester, and portions of Castle Hill Avenues.

At the Commission’s January 11, 2006 public hearing, a homeowner spoke in opposition to the Pelham Bay application, stating that the rezoning would limit his ability to develop his property with attached multi-family homes. The Commission unanimously approved, finding that the rezonings would appropriately reflect the prevailing neighborhood character of detached homes and prevent commercial uses on residential side streets.

ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on both applications. Community Board 10 unanimously voted to approve and Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. recommended approval. City Council review is pending.

CPC: Pelham Bay Rezoning (C 060179 ZMX – map amendment) (February 8, 2006); CPC: Westchester Square Rezoning (C 060180 ZMX – map amendment) (February 8, 2006). CITYADMIN

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