Zoning text altered for Staten Island and the Bronx

Special rules seek to protect residential neighborhoods and encourage development of day care and medical facilities in commercial districts. On January 18, 2011, the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s amendment to the Lower Density Growth Management Area (LDGMA) regulations that apply to Staten Island and Bronx Community District 10. The amendment limits the development of out-of-context medical facilities and day care centers in low-density residential areas and encourages their construction in commercial districts. It also eases commercial regulations that restricted residential expansion and development in appropriate areas of Staten Island.

The amendment is the latest modification to the City’s LDGMA zoning regulations applicable to areas within Staten Island and Bronx CD 10 which are characterized by rapid growth, high vehicle ownership, and limited access to mass transit. 1 CityLand 4 (Oct. 15, 2004), 2 CityLand 164 (Dec. 2005). The City last revised the LDGMA regulations to close a parking requirement loophole in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx. 7 CityLand 37 (April 15, 2010).

The LGDMA regulations permitted developers to build large out-of-scale medical facilities and day care centers in low-density residential communities. This also led to increased traffic congestion due to off-street parking waivers for medical facilities and the lack of parking requirements for day care centers. New medical facilities in residential districts will now be required to comply with residential zoning regulations rather than community facility regulations. The amendment establishes minimum lot size and width and removes parking waivers. It also limits day care centers to the underlying residential district’s floor area ratio, reduces the permissible building envelope, establishes parking requirements, and requires a circular drop-off and pick-up driveway.

In order to encourage the development of medical facilities and day care centers in commercial districts, the amendment increases the maximum front wall height and allowable floor area in those districts, and reduces parking regulations to better match actual demand.

The City’s 2005 LDGMA commercial rules were designed to prevent the development of outof- context residential townhouses in Staten Island by restricting residential ground floor uses in certain commercial districts. Among the unintended consequences, existing residential homes became grandfathered non-conforming uses which limited owners’ ability to enlarge their residential ground floors. Planning attempted to resolve this issue by permitting existing residential buildings in commercial districts to enlarge their ground floor if all underlying bulk and parking regulations are followed.

No spoke in opposition at the City Planning Commission’s hearing. In response to a written recommendation from BSA, the Commission modified the amendment to create a separate special permit to expand the size of medical facilities and day care centers in areas covered by the LDGMA regulations.

There were no speakers in opposition at Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee’s public hearing, and the Subcommittee unanimously approved the plan. The Land Use Committee and full Council followed suit.

Review Process
Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: SI 1, 2, 3 & BX 10 App’d
Boro. Pres.: SI App’d
SI Boro Bd.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0
Council: App’d, 48-0-0

Council: Lower Density Growth Management Text Amendment and Commercial Corridor Rezoning (N 110070 ZRY – text amend.) (Jan. 18, 2011).


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