October 1, 2003
Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471
CITY PLANNING DEPARTMENT'S ZONING PROTECTION AGAINST OVER-DEVELOPMENT ON CITY ISLAND IS APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL
October 1, 2003, 2003, New York, NY – The Department
of City Planning’s rezoning plan for City Island,
designed to preserve City Island’s neighborhood
character and enhance access to the waterfront, has
been approved unanimously by the City Council, Department
of City Planning (DCP) Director Amanda M. Burden announced.
The eagerly awaited plan, approved last month by the
City Planning Commission, would preserve City Island’s
low-rise/low-density character, maintain the "village"
quality of City Island Avenue’s shopping district,
and enhance community access to the waterfront. Together
with the Mayor’s commitment to replace the overburdened
bridge to City Island, the rezoning exemplifies the
Bloomberg administration’s record of coordinated
action on issues of neighborhood preservation.
"City Island is one of New York’s treasures.
The rezoning the Planning Commission has approved today
polishes this gem, preserving its unique village character
for future generations to live in, to visit and to enjoy,"
said Ms. Burden. "As part of the mayor’s
overall strategy to protect distinctive neighborhoods,
this plan will ensure that future development will be
in keeping with the character that distinguishes City
Island, and that access to its precious waterfront will
The narrow, mile-and-a-half long island, connected by
bridge to the eastern shore of The Bronx in Community
Board 10, is a residential haven of mostly one- and
two-family detached homes, dotted with marinas and boat
yards and popular seafood restaurants. A building boom
on the Island has resulted in construction of new attached
multifamily housing in place of its traditional detached
To ensure that new development is in keeping with
the existing built context, the Department’s plan
would rezone most of the existing R3-2 area on City
Island to R3A, a district permitting only one- and two-family
detached houses. A two-block area that is characterized
by single-family suburban-style homes on large lots
would be downzoned to R2.
Ms. Burden noted that contextual zoning is a powerful
planning tool requiring that new development relate
to the height, density and form of existing structures.
This type of zoning is being employed to preserve the
look and feel of City Island, and it has been effective
in ensuring appropriate development in other neighborhoods
with unique character throughout the city.
Additional requirements under the rezoning would require
creation of publicly accessible waterfront sitting area
in future large residential developments, a particular
benefit for the many Island residents who do not live
on the waterfront.
The City plan also calls for prohibiting commercial
uses in areas which are primarily residential and strengthening
the village core shopping district by facilitating mixed-use
buildings with ground-floor commercial uses and one
or two floors of residences above. Urban design regulations
governing landscaping and screening of parking lots
are also a part of the plan to enhance the look and
feel of the Island.
The Bronx Borough President, after unanimous approval
by Bronx Community Board 10, had previously approved
the Department’s rezoning plan for City Island.
The department's web site has details
and diagrams of the rezoning plan, pictures of existing
City Island and a summary of City Planning’s
2001 City Island Maritime Heritage Preservation Report.
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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