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Projects & Proposals > Staten Island > S. I. Growth Management Printer Friendly Version
Staten Island Growth Management - Approved!
Commercial Regulation Changes

Overview
Residential Regulation Changes - Approved August 12th, 2004
Commercial Overlay Boundary Changes/Eliminations - Approved October 11th, 2005
LDGMA Follow-Up Text Amendments - Approved December 8th, 2005
Commercial Regulation Changes - Approved December 21st, 2005
Commercial Rezonings - Approved December 21st, 2005
Work in Progress




Background
On December 21, 2005 the City Council adopted the text amendments (N 060066 ZRR - PDF Document Read the CPC report) proposed by DCP to establish commercial zoning regulations that prohibit residential-only development in commercial overlays and districts. Only retail or mixed-use development (residential above commercial or community facilities) is now permitted in overlays and certain commercial districts; in regional commercial districts only non-residential uses are permitted as-of-right. In all commercial districts, street trees and landscaped buffers between residential and non-residential uses are required. The new regulations are applicable only in the Staten Island LDGMA. 
 
In New York City, residential development is permitted as-of-right in both commercial overlay districts and all other commercial zoning districts, except C7 and C8.

Commercial overlays are mapped in residential neighborhoods to serve local retail needs. They are generally mapped in narrow bands along a neighborhood's main thoroughfares and intersections. Residential development is governed by the regulations of the underlying residence district, with certain modifications. Since the overlays are intended for traditional sidewalk storefronts with on-street parking, no side yards or front yards are required. On Staten Island, one of the results had been a proliferation of attached houses with inadequate parking in commercial overlay districts.

Commercial districts not mapped as overlays provide for the full range of local and regional shopping and office needs. These districts are generally mapped in larger areas than the overlays, including full city blocks, and allow residential development subject to the regulations of an "equivalent" residential district. For instance, a C4-1 district has a residential equivalent of an R5 district.

Because of the demand for residential units, housing was being developed in areas zoned for commercial uses. Opportunities for future commercial development were lost and the new housing in these commercial zoning districts did not have to meet the new Lower Density Growth Management residential regulations.

Based on the recommendations of the Staten Island Growth Management Task Force, new regulations were enacted that are applicable throughout the Staten Island Lower Density Growth Management Area.



Summary of New Regulations

COMMERCIAL OVERLAYS – LOCAL SHOPPING AREAS (C1 and C2 Districts)
Issue: Townhouse development was permitted in commercial areas
Issue: Townhouse development was permitted in commercial areas
Prior Regulations
  • Residential uses, including townhouses, permitted
  • No front yards or side yards required
  • No buffers required between residential and commercial developments
  • loss of retail opportunities

New Regulations

  • Residential-Only Development is prohibited in C1 and C2 Districts (ZR 32-11). To encourage appropriate commercial and mixed-use development in commercial overlay districts, ground floor residential uses and solely residential developments are not allowed. Any new development is limited to retail, community facility or mixed-use development with residences above the ground floor. To ensure that ground floor space is not used for residential purposes, the ground floor must be no lower than two feet below curb level, ground floor uses must be at least 30 feet deep, and no more than 25% of the street frontage can be used for lobby or garage entrances for residential uses above.
Mixed Use Commercial Strip
Examples of neighborhood retail and local shopping areas
New regulations to apply to all C1, C2, C4-1 and C4-2 commercial districts and overlays
New regulations to apply to all C1, C2, C4-1 and C4-2 commercial districts and overlays
PDF Document View a larger image.
Encourage mixed-use development in commercial areas
Encourage mixed-use development in commercial areas


  • A Landscaped Buffer is required between Residential and Non-Residential Buildings/Uses (ZR 37-21). To prevent retail uses from being built up against existing homes, a five-foot landscaped buffer is required along the side lot line and rear lot line between residential uses and commercial or manufacturing uses. Previously, outside of the Special South Richmond District, buffers were required only along zoning boundary lines of commercial districts.
Commercial buildings were permitted to build to the zoning lot line in commercial areas, right up against neighboring residential buildings
Issue: Commercial buildings were permitted to build to the zoning lot line in commercial areas, right up against neighboring residential buildings
Solution: A 5-foot landscaped buffer is required between commercial and non-commercial buildings
Solution: A 5-foot landscaped buffer is required between commercial and non-commercial buildings


  • Street trees required in commercial areas
    Street trees required in commercial areas
    Street Trees are required (ZR 37-22). Prior zoning did not require street trees in C1, C2 or C4 districts. Under the new regulations, the LDGMA street tree planting requirements are applicable in those districts (one tree for every 25 feet along the street line). The exact number of trees and their placement is determined by the Department of Parks and Recreation to ensure adequate spacing for maintenance, public safety and viability of survival.

 

 



COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS – REGIONAL SHOPPING AREAS (C4-1 Districts)

Staten Island’s C4-1 regional shopping areas are characterized by two types of development: (1) shopping malls and big box stores with large parking areas, e.g., Staten Island Mall; and (2) mixed-use development along commercial corridors, e.g., Great Kills town center on Amboy Road. Under the old regulations, as-of-right residential construction often trumped commercial development because of the high demand for housing on Staten Island. The loss of commercial areas limits the choices of the borough’s shoppers, increases auto trips and reduces the economic viability of the remaining businesses. The new regulations reflect and support both types of development by preventing residential development from replacing successful commercial enterprises.

    
C4-1 Districts Reflect Staten Island’s Regional Commercial Areas
C4-1 Districts reflect Staten Island's regional commercial areas
PDF Document View a larger image.
   
  Staten Island Mall
Staten Island Mall
   
  C4-1: Mixed-use corridor along Forest Avenue
C4-1: Mixed-use corridor along Forest Avenue

Prior Regulations

  • Residential uses permitted as-of-right with an R5 residential equivalency
  • No buffers required  between residential and commercial developments

New Regulations -
Regional Shopping Areas Located on Large City Blocks

Staten Island Mall, New Dorp Lane @ Hylan Boulevard, Forest Avenue (Mariners Harbor) and Forest Avenue (Barrett Avenue to Decker Avenue)

  • A City Planning Commission Special Permit is required for any project that includes Residential Uses (ZR 74-49). The new regulation requires developments that contain residential uses and that are located on lots of any size within blocks greater than four acres in C4-1 districts to obtain a special permit, requiring review of site plans by the CPC. This protects the character of major commercial centers, which usually consist of large stores and malls surrounded by parking lots, where it could be inappropriate to insert residential buildings without site review. To approve a development with residential uses, the Commission has to make a finding that there is a "superior" site plan that relates to the existing character of the neighborhood and responds to transportation concerns. An approved special permit can also be reviewed by the City Council.

New Regulations -
Regional Shopping Streets Lined with Retail/Mixed-Use Buildings

Forest Avenue (Hamlin Place to North Avenue), Great Kills

  • Mixed-Use/Residential Development on Zoning Lots of 20,000 Square Feet or Less is permitted As-of-Right (ZR 74-49). As in the C1 and C2 districts, no residential uses are permitted on the ground floor on lots of less than 20,000 square feet in C4-1 districts. On these relatively small lots that have traditionally accommodated ground floor retail with residential uses above, it is appropriate to allow this type of mixed use development to continue.  

  • A City Planning Commission (CPC) Special Permit is required for any Residential Uses on Zoning Lots Larger than 20,000 Square Feet (ZR 74-49).Only commercial or community facility uses are allowed as-of-right on these large lots. Any proposed development with a residential component requires CPC review of site plans to ensure compatibility with surrounding commercial uses.
  • New Regulations apply as of the Date of Adoption (ZR 74-49). The special permit requirement for residential development applies to all zoning lots greater than 20,000 square feet that exist as of the date the application was adopted by City Council, December 21, 2005; after that date any future subdivision does not preclude the special permit requirement.
  • Street Trees are required for All Developments and a Landscaped Buffer is required between Residential and Non-Residential Buildings/Uses (ZR 37-21 and 37-22). Street tree planting and landscaped buffer requirements for projects in C4-1 districts are the same as those proposed for C1 and C2 districts.


COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS – HISTORIC COMMERCIAL AREAS (C4-2 Districts)
     Infill parking can disrupt the retail neighborhood character
Infill parking can disrupt the retail
neighborhood character
.
  C4-2 Districts include Staten Island's historic commercial areas
C4-2 Districts include Staten
Island's historic commercial areas
 

C4-2 Districts are mapped predominantly in Port Richmond, St. George and Stapleton
C4-2 Districts are mapped
predominantly in Port Richmond,
St. George and Stapleton
PDF Document View a larger image.

Prior Regulations

  • Residential uses permitted with an R6 residential equivalency
  • No required buffers between residential and commercial developments
  • Townhouse-style development and towers permitted

Staten Island's historic commercial areas of Port Richmond, St. George and Stapleton make up the bulk of the C4-2 districts within the borough. Under the prior zoning regulations, new developments could be built that did not reflect the prevailing character of these areas where commercial buildings line pedestrian-friendly sidewalks uninterrupted by curb cuts.

New Regulations
Stapleton, St. George and Port Richmond

  • Residential-Only Development is prohibited in C4-2 Districts (ZR 32-11). To support the existing character of ground floor commercial uses, no residential uses are allowed on the ground floor. As in C1 and C2 districts, any residential development has to be above either commercial or community facility use on the ground floor.

  • The Quality Housing Program for Residential Development is mandated in C4-2 Districts (ZR 35-23)
    • Requires Continuous Street Walls
    • Prohibits Parking between Sidewalk and Building
    • Limits Building Height

    Any development that proposes to incorporate residential uses is required to meet the Quality Housing Program regulations which limit the height of residential and mixed-use developments within 100 feet of a wide street (at least 75 feet wide) to 70 feet. Projects located beyond 100 feet of a wide street are limited to a building height of 55 feet. At least 70 percent of the aggregate length of the building’s street wall has to be within eight feet of the street line, up to a height of 40 feet.

  • Street Trees are required for All Developments and a Landscaped Buffer is required between Residential and Non-Residential Buildings/Uses (ZR 37-21 and 37-22). Street tree planting and landscaped buffer requirements for projects in C4-2 districts are the same as those in C1, C2 and C4-1 districts.

 


Overview
Residential Regulation Changes - Approved August 12th, 2004
Commercial Overlay Boundary Changes/Eliminations - Approved October 11th, 2005
LDGMA Follow-Up Text Amendments - Approved December 8th, 2005
Commercial Regulation Changes - Approved December 21st, 2005
Commercial Rezonings - Approved December 21st, 2005
Work in Progress



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