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Projects & Proposals > Bronx > 161st Street/River Avenue Printer Friendly Version
161st Street/River Avenue Rezoning - Approved!
Proposed Zoning
Overview | Existing Zoning & Context | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

The Department proposes zoning map changes within the three nodes described previously. In addition DCP proposes amendments to the Zoning Resolution to establish a new zoning district (C6-3D) to facilitate development along the elevated rail and to employ the Inclusionary Housing Program in the 161st Street area to encourage development of affordable housing. View the PDF Document zoning comparison chart.

Proposed Zoning Map
Proposed Zoning Map - PDF Document View a larger image.


Transit Node
In the Transit Node, the proposed commercial zoning would facilitate greater residential and commercial development surrounding the high-profile transit-rich intersection of East 161st Street and River Avenue. Current C8-3 zoning prohibits residential uses. Portions of three blocks generally located along River Avenue south of East 161st Street and north of East 153rd Street would be rezoned from C8-3 to C6-3D and portions of three blocks generally located along East 161st Street between River Avenue and Walton Avenue, south of East 162nd Street and north of East 158th Street would be rezoned from R8/C1-4 to C6-3D.

C6-3D
A zoning text amendment would establish a new C6-3D zoning district. PDF Document View the proposed text amendment.

The proposed C6-3D district would allow high-density residential, commercial and community facility uses with a maximum permitted FAR of 9.0. The 161st Street rezoning proposal would apply the Inclusionary Housing Program to the proposed C6-3D rezoning area. Under the Inclusionary Housing Program, the maximum base residential FAR in the C6-3D would be 7.52; however, developments utilizing the Inclusionary Housing Program bonus could achieve a maximum FAR of 10.0.

Building Form: The C6-3D bulk regulations are designed to facilitate tower development adjacent to an elevated train. To allow light and air below the elevated train and reduce street-level noise, the building base would be limited to 15 to 25 feet on sites that front the elevated train; although a secondary base would be allowed to reach a total height of 60 to 85 feet.  Both the secondary base and the unlimited height tower would be required to set back a minimum of 20 feet from the lot line that fronts the elevated train (for sites less than 110 feet deep, the setback would be reduced to between 10 to 19 feet). Where an existing building with windows is located within 30 feet of an adjacent lot line, a minimum 15-foot setback would be required. PDF Document View the C6-3D massing diagram.

Pedestrian Improvements: On corner sites that front an elevated train, a corner setback at the ground level would be required to create additional pedestrian circulation space (a corner setback would be optional on other corner locations). In addition, if a subway station entrance is located along the frontage of a property, new development would be required to improve and relocate the subway entrance inside the building. Sidewalk widening requirements would apply along all wide streets within the rezoning area.

Parking: Parking would be required for 40% of the residential units. There would be reduced parking requirements for public, publicly-assisted and government assisted housing. There would be no parking requirement for commercial or community facility uses.

Civic Node
In the Civic Node, zoning changes would facilitate development of retail uses and office space, allow residential development, and prevent the development of light industrial and automotive uses in the heart of the civic center.
C6-2
Portions of three blocks within the Civic Node would be rezoned to C6-2:
  • A portion of one block generally located along the south side of East 161st Street between Concourse Village West and Concourse Village East would be rezoned from C8-3.
  • A portion of the  block located at the northeast corner of East 161st Street and Sheridan Avenue would be changed from C4-6.
  • A portion of the block generally located at the southeast corner of 161st Street and Concourse Village West would be rezoned from R8.

The C6-2 district would allow high-density residential, commercial and community facility uses with a maximum permitted FAR of 6.02, 6.0 and 6.5, respectively.  C6-2 is an R8 residential equivalent district. There is no maximum building height, and the building envelope is regulated by the sky exposure plane. Because C6 districts are mapped in areas well served by mass transit, no parking is required for commercial and community facility uses. Off-street parking is required for 40% of the residential units.

The optional Quality Housing regulations allow residential development a maximum permitted FAR of 7.2 on a wide street and 6.02 on a narrow street.  Under Quality Housing rules, the base height of the building at the street may rise between 60 to 80 feet then must set back from the street before rising to a maximum building height of 120 feet.

Residential Node
In the Residential Node, zoning changes would facilitate development of retail and residential uses and expand the commercial uses allowed in an area of the 161st Street corridor that connects the civic heart of the Bronx with the Melrose Metro-North station and Melrose Commons to the east.
R8A
One full block bounded by East 161st Street, Morris Avenue,  Park Avenue/Teller Avenue and  East 162nd Street, would be rezoned from R7-1 to R8A.  The R8A zoning designation would allow higher-density development with a contextual envelope that would match existing and proposed buildings in the Melrose Commons area.

The Inclusionary Housing Program would be employed in the Residential Node. Under the Inclusionary Housing Program, the maximum base residential FAR in the R8A would be 5.4; however, developments utilizing the Inclusionary Housing Program bonus could achieve a maximum FAR of 7.2. The base height of the building at the street must be between 60 to 85 feet and the building then must set back from the street before rising to a maximum building height of 120 feet. Off-street parking is required for 40% of the residential units. The proposed R8A would allow high-density community facility uses up to a maximum FAR of 6.5.

Commercial Overlays
The existing C2-4 overlay, which is mapped on the southeastern corner and eastern block front of the Residential Node, would be extended to cover the entire block front along 161st Street and the entire block front along Morris Avenue, including the small area on the southwest corner of the block that is currently mapped C1-4. The proposed change would allow commercial uses along 161st Street where today such uses are prohibited and thereby activate the street level on a block that connects the civic center with the  Metro-North station and Melrose Commons.  The change from C1-4 to C2-4 would allow a greater range of uses, including local repair services. Commercial uses are allowed up to 2.0 FAR; however, in a mixed residential/commercial building, commercial uses are limited to the ground floor.


Inclusionary Housing
The 161st Street/River Avenue rezoning proposal would apply the Inclusionary Housing Program to the R8A and C6-3D districts within the rezoning area, establishing incentives for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in conjunction with development of new housing.

For residential development without an affordable housing component, the maximum FAR within the selected areas would be limited to a base FAR of 7.52 in the C6-3D and 5.4 in the R8A. Under the Inclusionary Housing program, developments providing affordable housing are eligible for a floor area bonus, within contextual height and bulk regulations tailored to this area. Developments could qualify for a maximum FAR of 10.0 in the C6-3D and 7.2 in the R8A by providing 20 percent of the residential floor area in the development as permanently affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households, or by constructing or preserving off-site affordable units for low-income households. Off-site units must be located within Community District 4, or within one half-mile of the bonused development if outside of Community District 4. Other city, state and federal housing finance programs may be used to provide further assistance in creating affordable units.


 


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Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.

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