FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Ed Skyler / Paul Elliott (Mayor's Office) -- (212) 788-2958
Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471
Ilyse Fink (Buildings Dept.) -- (212) 566-3473
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES
ZONING IMPROVEMENTS FOR THROGS NECK
Measures will curb overdevelopment in densely populated neighborhood
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today
announced a comprehensive zoning proposal for Throgs
Neck. In announcing the administration’s efforts
to keep communities livable and vital, the Mayor is
delivering on a promise he made in July at a meeting
with the Throgs Neck Homeowners Association –
the same group the Mayor addressed today, only 120 days
after the initial meeting. The proposed changes will
ensure that new construction will better conform to
the size and form of existing buildings. The proposal
also aims to minimize obstruction of water views by
shoreline development and increase parking requirements.
Joining Mayor Bloomberg in announcing the pending zoning
improvements was Department of City Planning (DCP) Director
Amanda M. Burden and Department of Buildings (DOB) Commissioner
Patricia J. Lancaster, AIA.
"The residents of Throgs Neck are like the vast
majority of New Yorkers who want communities that are
safe and secure and viable places to raise families,"
said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today we are giving the
residents of Throgs Neck the tools to preserve the physical
character of their community. Housing expansion and
public transportation extension is crucial to meeting
the needs of our City’s ever increasing population.
However, the ability of a community to meet and support
the weight of such infrastructure development should
be considered carefully and in consultation with residents
"Many communities in the east Bronx are facing
major challenges associated with over-development which
has created tremendous overcrowding," said Congressman
Joseph Crowley. "I am pleased that Mayor Bloomberg
has announced a plan to ease this problem. While development
in the Bronx is positive, over-development many times
has negative consequences. Every resident of the Bronx
should have the quality of life they deserve and have
worked for, and this is a great first start."
Following a labor-intensive lot-by-lot analysis of
existing buildings in the area, City Planning proposes
to rezone neighborhoods with new designations that most
closely match the existing conditions. In many of the
areas to be rezoned, new townhouse development would
be prohibited. The study includes all the lower density
zoning districts in Community Board 10 that permit-attached
housing. Areas of the community district that already
prohibit attached housing, such as most of Country Club
and Spencer Estates or areas zoned for medium density
development, such as portions of Pelham Bay, were not
included in the current study.
Among the solutions offered in the proposal:
- Change the zoning in most of the study
area to prohibit townhouses, and permit only detached
housing in some of these areas, and detached and semi-detached
homes in others. Newly mapped districts would impose
new size, height, and yard regulations that are more
contextual with existing homes.
- Create a new waterfront-zoning district
for Throgs Neck that would continue to allow marinas
and other waterfront uses, but would limit new residential
development to detached houses.
- Increase parking requirements by 50 percent:
A one-family home would now require two spaces instead
of one, and a two-family home would require three parking
spaces instead of two.
- Close a zoning loophole to ensure that all
lots that are physically on the water are subject to
more stringent waterfront zoning regulations.
- For purposes of floor area calculations, waterfront
lots extend to the US Bulkhead Line, which is far from
the shore in parts of Community Board 10. By mapping
a new City Bulkhead Line closer to the shore, the City
will drastically reduce the under water lot area used
to calculate floor area, and therefore address the problem
of bulkier developments along the waterfront.
- New zoning guidelines will help reduce disparities
building heights caused by floodplain regulations.
While changes to the Zoning Resolution are underway,
the Department of Buildings will mandate that builders
and developers comply with existing regulations while
launching an effort to educate homeowners, developers
and builders about the pending zoning improvements.
Environmental reviews are scheduled to begin soon and
ready for certification by the summer 2004, beginning
the formal land use public review process.
"When you walk this neighborhood as I have, its
appeal is as apparent as the need to protect it from
out-of-scale construction that can overwhelm the capacity
of its infrastructure and threaten the quality of its
life," said City Planning Director Burden "we
are delighted to give this community real zoning solutions
to maintain its unique character and maximize its spectacular
views of the Long Island Sound."
"Two months ago, I toured the entire Throgs Neck
area with community representatives and was distressed
by some of the out-of character development. Two weeks
ago, I met with elected officials and civic group members
from Throgs Neck. It was the beginning of what I hope
will be a partnership between the community and the
Department," said DOB Commissioner Lancaster.
"Together, we can preserve the unique character
of this neighborhood, which is what attracted people
to it in the first place."
All professionally certified new building applications
in Bronx Community Board 10 will be audited for zoning
and applications in waterfront zoning areas will be
specially screened. In addition, the DOB is offering
workshops for architects, engineer, and builders on
flood zone regulations on December 10 and December 12.
And, to assist Bronx homeowners, the Department of Buildings
will hold an open house at its borough office at 1932
Arthur Avenue on January 17, 2004.
Under the existing zoning, which dates to 1961, a recent
surge in development has resulted in large rows of multi-family
attached townhouses, often with inadequate parking,
looming over the low density detached homes in the area.
The average number of building permits granted each
year since January 2000 in Community District 10 is
more than twice the average for the second half of the
1990. At the densities that the zoning currently permits,
parking shortages are becoming a pervasive quality of
life problem in this two-fare zone, located at the end
of East Bronx bus routes. Among the households typically
moving in to new housing in CD 10, car ownership is
among the highest (1.8 cars per household) of any community
district in the City except Staten Island, where parking
and development densities are also major issues. In
the coming weeks, the Mayor will release a comprehensive
report on curbing development on Staten Island, "Staten
Island Growth Management Task Force Report."
For details of the land use review process that must
precede its adoption, please visit the Land
Use Review Process.
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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