|The Department of City Planning (DCP) is proposing to rezone 17 full blocks and portions of 19 blocks in the northeastern Bronx neighborhood of Westchester Square in Community District 10. Additionally, DCP proposes to modify commercial overlay districts throughout the neighborhood.|
Most of the rezoning area is located north of Westchester Avenue, generally bounded by East Tremont Avenue and Castle Hill Avenue. The remaining portion is located south of Westchester Avenue, generally bounded by Seabury, Zerega and Waterbury avenues.
Neighborhood Character and Existing Zoning
Westchester Square, the first European settlement in what is now the Bronx, was founded in 1654 by English settlers from Connecticut. Among them were sea captains and crewman who lived and worked in the area as it developed into a river port along Westchester Creek. The role of Westchester Square as an important commercial hub grew with the arrival of the subway in the early twentieth century.
New out-of-character multi-family construction on Glebe Avenue
Westchester Square is characterized by low and mid-density residential development comprised of large one- and two-family detached homes on the inner blocks of the rezoning area and apartments buildings along the wider avenues. Detached homes constitute approximately 81% of the area’s housing stock; and 6% of the residential structures are semi-detached. Attached and multi-family housing comprise roughly 3% and 10% of the housing respectively.
The Westchester Square rezoning area is generally zoned R6, except for a small residential area south of Westchester Avenue that is zoned M1-1. Although the neighborhood consists primarily of large detached housing, R6 zoning also permits semi-detached, attached, and apartment buildings. The maximum floor area ratio (FAR) in R6 districts is 2.43. Building height is regulated by sky exposure plane and setback requirements. Parking, if grouped, is required for 70% of the dwelling units. (View the zoning comparison table).
East Tremont, Westchester and Castlehill avenues are the local commercial corridors of the Westchester Square neighborhood and are currently zoned R6 with C1-2 and C2-2 commercial overlays.
Westchester Square is located west of the Throgs Neck Area, which was rezoned in September of 2004 to contextual or low-density zoning districts when it was also designated a Lower Density Growth Management Area (LDGMA). It is the concern of the Westchester Square community that with this new zoning in place, future out- of-scale development might move westward into Westchester Square. The mismatch between the built form of the neighborhood and existing zoning creates an incentive to replace sound detached homes with rows of attached housing or out-of-scale multifamily apartment buildings.
On October 17, 2005, the Department of City Planning certified the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application (C 060180 ZMX) for the Westchester Square rezoning to begin the formal public review process. The application was sent to Community Board 10 for a 60-day review period. On November 17, 2005, CB 10 voted in favor of the application. The Bronx Borough President held its public hearing on December 15, 2005. The City Planning Commission held a public hearing on the application on January 11, 2006, and approved the application on February 8, 2006. ( Read the CPC report.) On March 22, 2006, the City Council adopted the zoning changes which are now in effect.
For more information, contact the Bronx Office of the Department of City Planning at (718) 220-8500.
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