The Department of City Planning (DCP) proposes a zoning map and zoning text amendment for an approximately 12-block area along East Fordham Road, a major east-west thoroughfare passing through the central Bronx, in the Belmont neighborhood of Community District 6, the Bronx. The rezoning area is generally bounded by East 187th Street to the south, East 191st Street to the North, Southern Boulevard to the east and Bathgate Avenue to the west.
The rezoning was undertaken in response to concerns raised by Community Board 6, local institutions, local elected officials, residents and property owners that the existing zoning does not reflect or support prevailing land use trends in the area or support appropriate development of a major east-west corridor in the Bronx. The Department of City Planning has been working in close consultation with all groups to create a proposal that facilitates new opportunities for growth and development in the area while reinforcing the established commercial character and preserves existing neighborhood character.
East Fordham Road is a major east-west thoroughfare which provides connections to the central Bronx as well as upper Manhattan. The rezoning area is located at the nexus of the neighborhood of Belmont, the Bronx Zoo, the Botanical Garden and Fordham University. In recent years the surrounding area has seen significant investment from both the public and private sectors. In October 2010 and March 2011, respectively the Third Avenue/Tremont and Webster Avenue city-sponsored rezonings were approved by City Council. The Fordham Plaza Redesign began in February 2013.
The rezoning area has seen new development limited to medical facilities, local retail, and facilities supporting Fordham University. Typical buildings are 1-3 stories in height. The existing zoning limits the types of uses permitted today. In addition, it does not leverage the assets of a wide street with good mass transit access or capitalize on recent investments made in the surrounding area.
The proposed rezoning seeks to:
- Create an attractive gateway to the central Bronx
- Establish height limits to unify look and feel of a major corridor
- Protect neighborhood character and ensure predictable future development
- Reinforce existing commercial character
- Stimulate revitalization through private investment
- Incentivize permanently affordable housing
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