|The Department of
City Planning proposes to rezone all or portions of 15
blocks in the northwestern Bronx neighborhood of Van
Cortlandt Village in Community District 8. The proposed
zoning changes aim to preserve the community’s
low-rise/low-density character by ensuring that new development
is compatible in scale, both with the one- and two-family
detached homes that prevail in parts of the neighborhood
and with the more diverse housing stock in others. These
recommendations are in keeping with goals delineated
in the CB 8 2000: A River
to Reservoir Preservation Strategy,
a 197-a Plan prepared by Bronx Community Board 8, and
approved by the City Planning Commission and the City
Council in late 2003.
Study Area Overview
The rezoning area is generally bounded by Van Cortlandt
Avenue West to the north, Fort Independence Park
and Sedgwick Avenue to the east, West 231st Street
and Albany Crescent to the south, and by Heath
Avenue, Fort Independence Street and Orloff Avenue
to the west.
The area is predominantly low-density residential,
with a significant number of one- and two-family
detached and semi-detached houses. Even the multifamily
apartment buildings in the area are seldom taller
than 70 feet. However, the existing zoning -- R6
to the south of West 238th Street and R7-1 to the
north -- allows for multifamily dwellings of all
types with little restriction on building height.
R6 and R7-1 districts are mid-density residence districts
with maximum floor area ratios (FARs) of 2.43 and
3.44 respectively. Buildings typically range between
three and 12 stories in an R6 district and up to
14 stories in an R7 district.
Recognizing this disparity between the existing
built environment and what is permitted under current
zoning, the community has raised concerns about the
impacts of potential overdevelopment on neighborhood
schools, parking, and social services. In its 197-a
plan, the Community Board has therefore recommended
rezoning the area to lower and mid-density contextual
districts, which would maintain the unique character
of this community.
Proposed R4A on west side of Cannon Place north of West 238th Street
Proposed R6A on west side of Sedgwick Avenue south of Giles Place
All or portions of eleven (11) blocks throughout
the study area would be rezoned from R7-1 and R6 to
R4A. All or portions of nine (9) blocks mostly bordering
Sedgwick Avenue would be rezoned from R7-1, R7-1/C1-3,
R7-1/C2-3 and R6 to R6A. The proposed R4A district
is a contextual district that would
limit development to detached, single and two-family
homes on lots that have a minimum width of 30 feet
and a minimum lot area of 2,850 square feet. The maximum
residential FAR would be 0.9. The R6A district, a contextual
district proposed for the area generally along Sedgwick
Avenue and a few higher density blocks to the west,
will permit multiple family dwellings no higher than
70 feet, which usually results in seven- or eight-story
buildings. The proposed R6A district has a maximum
FAR of 3.0 and regulations pertaining to the Quality Housing program, which are optional in the existing
R6 zone will become mandatory.
On June 21, 2004, the Department of City Planning certified the Uniform
Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application for the Van Cortlandt Village
rezoning to begin the formal public review process. Both Community Board
Borough President issued recommendations in favor of the application. The City
Planning Commission public hearing was held on August 11, 2004 and on September 8, 2004 unanimously approved the zoning changes. ( Read
the CPC Report). On September 28, 2004 the City Council adopted the zoning changes
which are now in effect.
For more information on the Van Cortlandt Village Rezoning, please contact Nestor
Danyluk at the Bronx Office of the Department of City Planning at (718) 220-8500.
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clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.