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Projects & Proposals > Bronx > Webster Avenue/Bedford Park/Norwood Printer Friendly Version
Webster Avenue/Bedford Park/Norwood Rezoning - Approved!
Context & Existing Zoning
Overview | Context & Existing Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review


Neighborhood Context
Webster Avenue is a major north-south arterial road, originating in the Bronx neighborhood of Melrose and terminating in Woodlawn. The portion of Webster Avenue which passes through Bedford Park and Norwood runs parallel to the Metro North Harlem Railroad line, along the eastern boundary of the neighborhoods. Within the study area, Webster Avenue is classified as a ‘wide street’, averaging approximately 100 feet in width for this 1.75 mile stretch. The Third Avenue elevated train ran above Webster Avenue from E 194th Street to East Gun Hill Road until the line’s demolition in 1973. The area is well served by mass transit, including three Metro-North stations, access to the D, 4 and 2/5 trains, and multiple bus lines including the Select Bus Service along Fordham Road. Major institutions in the area include Fordham University to the east and Montefiore Hospital to the northwest. New York Botanical Garden, the Williamsbridge Oval, Bronx Park and the Mosholu Parkway represent some of the major open spaces in the area. Easy vehicular access is available from Webster Avenue to the Bronx River Parkway and Mosholu Parkway, which bisects the corridor.

Attached homes on Hull Avenue in Norwood
Attached homes on Hull Avenue in Norwood
Six-story apartment building on Bainbridge Avenue
Six-story apartment building on Bainbridge Avenue
Low-scale commercial and auto-related uses at the intersection of Webster Avenue and E Gun Hill Road, looking north
Low-scale commercial and auto-related uses at the intersection of Webster Avenue and E Gun Hill Road, looking north.


For the most part, the Webster Avenue corridor is developed with parking lots, gas stations, auto-repair shops, low-scale office uses, a supermarket, several public schools, public utilities and the 52nd Police Precinct house. The corridor has only a limited number of residential buildings, an inconsistent streetscape, and a dearth of regular pedestrian traffic. E 204th Street and East Gun Hill Road are local retail streets. The residential streets of Norwood and Bedford Park are developed with a mixture of 6- and 8-story apartment buildings and pockets of larger detached and attached homes dating from the early part of the 20th century.


Existing Zoning
Land Use and Existing Zoning Map
Land Use and Existing Zoning Map
PDF Document View a larger image
The study area is predominately zoned with C8-2, R7-1 and R8 districts. The C8-2 district covers much of the Webster Avenue corridor and has contributed significantly to the corridor’s existing development character. The neighborhoods of Bedford Park and Norwood are zoned R7-1, a medium-density residential district. Mosholu Parkway is zoned R8, a higher density residential district. Commercial uses in the R7-1 district are permitted where there is a C1-3 or C2-3 commercial overlay.Portions of two blocks in the southern portion of the study area are zoned C4-4. PDF Document View the zoning comparison chart.





C8-2
The C8-2 commercial district permits development with a maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 2.0 for commercial use and 4.80 for community facilities. Residential uses are not permitted in C8 districts. Characterized as a heavy-commercial district, typical uses include automotive service shops and light industrial facilities. Parking for typical low-volume retail use is 1 space for every 400 square feet of developed commercial space, although lots utilized for automobile-related uses generally reserve more space for temporary auto storage and repair work.

C8 zoning districts are often mapped along elevated train lines, where noise generated by the train and lack of light from the elevated structure itself make the area less desirable for residential uses and more acceptable for generally noisy heavy-commercial uses. The Third Avenue elevated line formerly ran above Webster Avenue until its demolition in 1973. Despite the dismantling of the El, no updates were made to the zoning map at the time. The resulting development character can be attributable to C8 zoning that blankets much of the corridor.

R7-1
The majority of Norwood and Bedford Park is zoned R7-1. The R7-1 district permits residential uses with a maximum residential FAR of 3.44 (4.0 when Quality Housing rules are utilized), unless mapped with a commercial overlay. Building heights are determined by the Sky Exposure Plane. Typical R7-1 buildings average 5-6 stories, although building heights can reach as high as 14 stories. Community facilities can be developed with a maximum FAR of 4.80. Buildings within R7-1 districts are required to provide parking for 60% of the dwelling units (50% when Quality Housing rules apply).

R8
Mosholu Parkway is zoned R8. The R8 district permits residential uses with a maximum residential FAR of 6.02 (7.2 when Quality Housing rules are utilized on a wide street), unless mapped with a commercial overlay. Building heights are determined by the Sky Exposure Plane. Typical R8 buildings average 8-12 stories, although building heights can reach as high as 20 stories. Community facilities can be developed with a maximum FAR of 6.5. Buildings within R8 districts are required to provide parking for 40% of the dwelling units even when Quality Housing rules apply.

C1-3 and C2-3 Overlay
C1-3 commercial overlay districts allow for local retail development within a residential district at a maximum FAR of 2.0. C2-3 districts permit a slightly wider range of retail and services with a maximum FAR of 2.0. Commercial uses in overlay districts must always be located below residential uses, and are limited to the first two floors of a mixed-use building. Both C1-3 and C2-3 districts require 1 accessory parking space for every 400 square feet of general retail or service uses.

C4-4

C4-4 districts are major commercial centers located outside of the central business districts. C4-4 districts allow department stores, theaters, and other commercial uses that serve a larger area. The commercial FAR is 3.4. Residential FAR ranges from 0.87 to 3.4. The community facility FAR is 6.5 (equivalent to R7). This district covers only portions of two blocks proximate to E Fordham Rd in the rezoning area.

Although some areas along Webster Avenue are mapped with R7 and R8 residential zoning districts, the preponderance of C8 zoning in the area has been a detriment to residential development. Current conditions include a substantial amount of vacant lots, little residential development, and an inconsistent streetscape. The absence of residential buildings contributes to both lack of density on Webster Avenue and lack of pedestrian traffic. Because Webster Avenue is a wide street, the corridor has a suitable layout to support more of both.



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Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by 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.
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