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February 21, 2006

Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471

New R5D designation proposed for Queens and Bronx neighborhoods

February 21, 2006 – City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden today proposed creation of a new contextual zoning district, R5D, that would enable modest residential growth by allowing buildings of up to four stories and requiring off-street parking for two of every three new apartments. The Department of City Planning (DCP) is seeking to map the new R5D district in neighborhoods in two boroughs: Jamaica Hill and Hillcrest in Queens and Pelham Parkway/Indian Village in The Bronx. The new district and these rezonings reflect the Bloomberg administration’s commitment to facilitate growth where it is appropriate while limiting it where the infrastructure is insufficient and the character of lower density neighborhoods would be adversely affected.  The city’s public land use review process officially began today with certification of the proposals.

"Good planning requires that we recognize and accommodate the unique needs of varied neighborhoods.  In order to enable modest growth on the wider streets of some of our lower density neighborhoods, we must address the concerns of height and parking, which this new R5D district will do.  It is a targeted tool to enable us to house increased population within height limits that make sense for these communities," said Ms. Burden, adding, "And at the same time we are expanding the protections we have provided for more than 3,000 blocks of lower density neighborhoods through 42 rezonings approved to date throughout the five boroughs."

The R5D district would permit development at a maximum Floor-Area-Ratio (FAR) of 2 with heights capped at 40 feet.  On a typical 40 X 100 lot, this would result in approximately 10-12 apartments, depending on size.  Parking would be required for 66 percent of residential units.

In The Bronx, DCP proposes to rezone an area of approximately 58 blocks in the Pelham Parkway/Indian Village neighborhoods with contextual zoning to preserve the neighborhood’s low-density primarily detached and semi-detached homes. The Pelham Parkway and Indian Village study area is located in Community District 11 in the central Bronx and is generally bounded by Pelham Parkway South to the north, Rhinelander, Bronxdale, and Morris Park avenues to the south, Stillwell Avenue to the east and Esplanade to the west.

The proposed R5D and R6A districts would also provide for opportunities for new housing along Williamsbridge Road and Pelham Parkway respectively, both wide streets close to transit.  On Williamsbridge Road, a commercial overlay would be mapped to encourage new, slightly higher density mixed-used buildings, generally built as one floor of commercial with three to four stories of residential above.  In addition, a lot currently zoned for manufacturing and situated directly across from apartment buildings, would be rezoned to permit residential development in response to community concerns that a hotel currently planned for the site could bring undesirable activities to the neighborhood.

This proposal would be the third contextual rezoning in Bronx Community District 11 in the past year and is located just north of the Morris Park Rezoning which was approved by City Council on October 11, 2005.  DCP developed the rezoning proposal in close consultation with Community Board 11, Morris Park Community Association and the Bronx Borough President’s Office.

View the PDF Document existing zoning map of Pelham Parkway. View the PDF Document proposed zoning map of Pelham Parkway.

Similarly in Queens a carefully balanced rezoning proposal will protect 70 blocks in the central Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica Hill and Hillcrest, including 6 block fronts on the eastern edge of the Briarwood neighborhood, by changing existing general residence districts to lower-density or contextual zones where appropriate.  The rezoning area is generally bounded by Union Turnpike to the north, 170th Street and 168th Street to the east, 86th Road and Highland Avenue to the south and Parsons Boulevard to the west.  The new R5D zoning would provide for modest growth along eleven blocks fronting Union Turnpike, Parsons Boulevard and 164th Street.  It is anticipated that this mid-density contextual zoning will respond to demand for appropriate new housing in the area consistent with auto ownership patterns in the neighborhood.  The rezoning study was initiated by the Department of City Planning in answer to concerns of local civic associations and Community Board 8 about out-of-character development.

View the PDF Document existing zoning map of Jamaica Hill/Hillcrest. View the PDF Document proposed zoning map of Jamaica Hill/Hillcrest.

View PDF Document graphics depicting buildings that can be expected under the proposed new R5D district. See for more information on these proposals and the land use review process.

About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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