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Projects & Proposals > Bronx > City Island Rezoning Printer Friendly Version
City Island Rezoning Proposal - Approved!
Zoning Proposal
Introduction/Proposal Summary | Neighborhood Character & Existing Zoning | Zoning Proposal
Zoning Map Changes

Rezone sixteen blocks and portions of nine blocks from R3-2 to R3A.
The area proposed to be rezoned is characterized by one- and two-family detached houses. The R3A zoning district, which permits only one- and two-family detached houses on lots with a minimum 25-foot lot width, will ensure that new residential development is compatible with existing development patterns.

Rezone portions of two blocks on King and Minneford avenues from R3-2 to R2. These blocks contain large detached houses on larger lots. The R2 district, which permits single-family detached houses on larger lots with a minimum 40-foot lot widths, will ensure that new residential development will be in keeping with the existing development patterns in this area.

photo of typical home in proposed R2 district
Typical home in proposed R2 district

Remove C1-2 and C2-2 commercial overlays from five blockfronts. These blockfronts are predominantly developed with residential uses along with some vacant lots or vacant commercial storefronts. Eliminating the commercial overlay will reflect existing development patterns and may help concentrate local service and retail uses in the village core (between Bay and Carroll streets), thereby strengthening its retail/commercial character.

Rezone a portion of a block from M1-1 to C3 and R3A. This area, located on the Long Island Sound waterfront at the south side of the foot of Schofield Street, contains a condominium development and an accessory marina. This residential conversion of a manufacturing building was permitted by Board of Standards and Appeals variance. The rezoning will bring the existing use into conformance.

Zoning Text Amendments

City Island Avenue Village Core
The mid-section of City Island Avenue, between Bay and Carroll streets, contains a pedestrian-oriented mix of residential and commercial uses. Within the core, at least three blockfronts have older attached buildings, ranging in height from one to five stories, with ground-floor glazed and transparent storefronts and apartments or offices above. Buildings like these could not be replicated today, because they exceed the maximum allowable FAR. Under the existing zoning (R3-2/C1-2 and R3-2/C2-2), which allows a maximum commercial FAR of 1.0, new development tends to be a one-story commercial establishment with adjacent parking.

photo of current character of City Island commercial area
Current character of City Island commercial area.
rendering of typical development under existing FAR
Typical development under existing FAR.
rendering of expected development under proposed text
Expected development under proposed text.

The following provisions would be added to the City Island Special District zoning text to facilitate mixed-use buildings with ground-floor commercial and one or two floors of residences above.

• Require ground floor commercial uses within the village core

• In all commercial overlay districts on City Island Avenue:
- no longer count ground floor commercial floor area in mixed-use commercial/residential buildings that front on City Island Avenue, effectively increasing the maximum allowable FAR to 1.6
- require parking for residential uses but waive parking requirements for restaurants that require fewer than 15 spaces, similar to the existing parking waiver for other commercial uses
- require glazing for at least 50 percent of the total surface area of the ground-floor wall for commercial and mixed-use developments
- require that security gates be at least 75 percent open

Urban Design Regulations for Residence Districts
Residences on City Island are predominantly one- and two-family detached houses, the majority with pitched roofs. Detached garages in the rear of the side lot ribbon are also typical on the island. In several areas of City Island small bungalows or cottages are clustered together on a single zoning lot, a higher density development pattern that respects neighborhood character but that is not permitted under existing zoning. The following text amendments would allow for continuation of these prevailing building forms.

• Increase minimum roof pitch to seven (7) inches vertical for every foot of horizontal on detached residential buildings. This proposal will ensure that new roof pitches would be consistent with existing ones, and create more useable interior space in the attic.

photo of pitched roof with usable attic space
Pitched roof with usable attic space
photo of shallow-pitched roofs on new semi-detached development
Shallow-pitched roofs on new semi-detached development

• Provide a 100 square-foot floor area bonus for a detached garage in the rear of the side lot ribbon.

• By City Planning Commission authorization, allow for the clustering of one- or two-family detached houses with shared parking and shared private open space on existing large zoning lots (25,000 sf or greater).

photo of homes with detached garages
Many homes have detached garages
photo of Cluster developments
Cluster Developments

Urban Design Regulations for Parking Lots
The City Island Special District zoning text contains screening requirements for parking lots accessory to commercial uses. The Department proposes to tighten the requirements in order to create more attractively screened and landscaped parking lots and to provide for appropriate buffering between parking lots and adjacent uses, especially residences. In addition, the proposal would prohibit front yard parking on City Island Avenue and would encourage consistent building streetwalls and a pedestrian-friendly environment.

Parking and Screening Regulations
Current Parking and Screening Regulations for Seafood City Restaurant
Current (enlarge graphic)
Proposed Parking and Screening Requirements Seafood City Restaurant
Proposed (enlarge graphic)

Proposed Parking and Screeing Requirements Seafood City Restaurant
Proposed (enlarge graphic)

• Prohibit front yard parking on all non-waterfront lots for all uses on City Island Avenue.

• Require enhanced landscaping and screening for all parking lots containing ten (10) or more parking spaces. Depending on whether a parking lot fronts a street, adjoins a residential use, or adjoins a commercial use, the requirements will vary with regard to fencing and shrubbery. In most cases chain link fences will not be permitted unless they are located in a planting strip and are screened with shrubbery.

Community Access to the Waterfront
New requirements for large waterfront properties would enhance waterfront public space and strengthen east/west access to the waterfront, a particular benefit for the many island residents who do not live on the waterfront and who now have limited opportunities for direct access to it.

• Require a modest public access and waterfront sitting area for new residential developments on lots 65,000 square feet and over with a minimum 100 feet of shore frontage. This proposal is in keeping with the original intent of the Special District, to strengthen City Island’s connection to the water and water-related uses.

Introduction/Proposal Summary | Neighborhood Character & Existing Zoning | Zoning Proposal

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