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Projects & Proposals > Citywide > Special Natural Area District Printer Friendly Version
Special Natural Area District Rezoning - Approved!
Summary Table
Overview | Land Use | Proposed Text Amendments | Summary Table

Summary Table of Proposed Changes


The goals of the proposed changes to the Special Natural Area District are to focus preservation efforts on significant natural features and to base review on the presence of natural features rather than the date of a homes development.

Grandfathered: When the Special Natural Area District was adopted and mapped in 1975, any zoning lot of less than 40,000 square feet containing a residential building was grandfathered to allowed site alteration and building enlargement as-of-right. New buildings on grandfathered lots require City Planning Commission Review. Under the proposed text amendment, the grandfather provision will be removed. Some formerly-grandfathered lots will be able to develop or alter the site as-of-right; others will require certifications or authorizations.

As-of-Right site alteration or development (new building or enlargement) does not require review by the City Planning Commission. However, as-of-right development is limited to smaller lots and must meet certain standards such as tree preservation, erosion control, etc. prior to the issuance by the Department of Buildings of any permit for development or site alteration.

Certification is required when it is not necessary for the applicant to apply for authorization or special permit. The City Planning Commission certifies to the Department of Buildings that no authorization or special permit is required and the the proposed plan meets Special Natural Area District standards for tree preservation, erosion control, etc. Under the proposed text, certifications are available only when there are no significant natural features on the site. Certifications are also available for subdivision of zoning lots and restoration plans (required when natural features are altered without CPC approval). The applicant must prepare a survey and site plan for the certification.

Authorization is required when the applicant seeks to modify a significant natural feature such as steep slope topography, rock outcropping, or to exceed lot-coverage limitations, etc. The City Planning Commission may authorize the actions if it finds that certain conditions have been met. For the Special Natural Area District, these conditions or findings are specified in the Zoning Resolution, Article X, Chapter 5. The applicant must prepare a survey, site plan, etc., and prepare a "Statement of Findings" to explain to the Commission how the proposed development satisfies the required conditions or findings. Authorizations do not require full review under the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).

Special Permit is required when the applicant seeks to modifiy select underlying district regulations. Under the proposed SNAD regulations, there are two special permits: (1) modification of use regulations (allow semi-detached or attached single-family residences in R1-2 Districts where only detached residences are normally permitted) and (2) natural area dedicated for public use (the applicant may dedicate portions of a site that have exceptional natural features for public use but count the area toward zoning lot computations, e.g. floor are or other bulk computations). The City Planning Commission may grant the special permit if it finds that certain conditions have been met. For the Special Natural Area District, these conditions are specified in the Zoning Resolution, Article X, Chapter 5. The applicant must prepare a survey, site plan, etc., and prepare a "Statement of Findings" to explain to the Commission how the proposed development satisfies the required conditions or findings. Special Permits require full review under the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP).


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