FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2003
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES ZONING AND ENFORCEMENT IMPROVEMENTS FOR STATEN ISLAND
Mayor’s Task Force Plan Will Protect Character of Borough Neighborhoods, Increase Required Parking and Hold Builders Accountable
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced a package of zoning changes and administrative actions to address over-development issues on Staten Island. These initiatives, the result of an intensive four-month effort by the members of the Mayor’s Staten Island Growth Management Task Force, will preserve and reinforce Staten Island’s quality of life and the character of its neighborhoods. The Mayor was joined by Borough President James P. Molinaro, and Task Force Co-Chairs Vincent La Padula and City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden, who detailed proposed new zoning rules that will ensure more appropriate residential development across Staten Island, as well as additional planning and zoning efforts to be undertaken in the upcoming months; Department of Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster outlined measures that will enhance customer service for homeowners and increase performance standards for builders to ensure accountability.
“Recognizing that over-development and inappropriate development were undermining many of our Staten Island neighborhoods, four months ago, I formed the Staten Island Growth Management Task Force and directed its members to quickly come up with legislative and administrative solutions to address these vital concerns,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Their substantial and creative solutions will ensure that future housing development does not overwhelm the borough and make it a less desirable place to live in the long run. Staten Island deserves well-thought out rules to guide new development that will complement this residential haven in our City.”
“I want to commend the Mayor for giving us the resources necessary to live up to his timetable of 120 days to introduce text changes that assure future homebuyers of an improved quality of life,” said Borough President James Molinaro. “These text change amendments would not have been possible without the dedication, hard work and cooperation of City Planning and the coordination of Vincent La Padula. These proposed text changes will enhance the quality of life of all Staten Islanders for many years to come.”
“Regulations often are seen as rules designed to stop some activity, and in this case, we are proposing regulations meant to preserve the character of our communities on Staten Island,” said Task Force Co-Chair Vincent La Padula, Senior Advisor to the Mayor. “The people of Staten Island had a legitimate concern about runaway building expansion and the Mayor heard their concerns.”
“Earlier this fall, the Department of City Planning expedited the approval of the Borough President’s six applications to rezone 40% of the borough’s residential lots to ensure that new development in these areas is a better fit with the prevailing neighborhood context,” said City Planning Director Burden. “Now, we are pleased to unveil the Task Force zoning proposals that will further improve the standards for residential development in all of Staten Island’s lower density residential districts. The proposed zoning changes will mandate that new developments provide more on-site parking, more yards and open space to increase distances between buildings, and amenities like sidewalks, landscaping, and street trees to reinforce the neighborhood character.”
The Task Force recommendations are intended to stop inappropriate development and manage future growth consistent with the capacity of the Island’s infrastructure. The proposed zoning changes cover yards and open space, parking and related changes, and private road developments:
The Department of City Planning, which is already at work on implementation, estimates that the public review process will start in June and that before this time next year, the new regulations should be in place. For details on the proposed zoning changes or the public review process, log onto www.nyc.gov.
To help ensure development that is appropriate, the Department of Buildings has strengthened its enforcement of codes by:
Department of Buildings is providing its services more efficiently and in a more customer friendly way by removing unnecessary administrative barriers and delays and educating those involved in construction of new homes. Examples include:
“New York City needs to grow in order to thrive, but development has to proceed in a rational way,” said Buildings Commissioner Lancaster. “The Staten Island Growth Management Task Force faced a difficult challenge: preserving the borough’s quality of life – the very reason that makes the borough such an attractive place to live – while devising a plan that leaves room for future growth. The Department of Buildings is committed to ensuring that this vision is fulfilled.”
The Mayor convened the task force in July 2003; members of the Task Force include Vincent La Padula, Senior Advisor to the Mayor, and Amanda M. Burden, Director, Department of City Planning, Co-Chairs; James Molinaro, Staten Island Borough President; Council Members James Oddo, Andrew Lanza and Michael McMahon; Patricia Lancaster, Commissioner, Department of Buildings; Iris Weinshall, Commissioner, Department of Transportation; Anthony Licciardello, Staten Island Director, Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit; Pamela Adamo, Vice President, Community Development, Keyspan, Inc.; Robert Englert, President, Staten Island Chapter of the American Institute of Architects; Lester J. Figueroa, Real Estate Attorney; Joseph E. Markowski, President, New Dorp Central Civic Association; Michael Morrell, Westerleigh, Improvement Society, Inc.; R. Randy Lee, Leewood Real Estate Group, Builder; Dr. Kenneth J. Saccaro, Former President, Staten Island Greenbelt Conservancy; James Scarcella, President, Natural Resources Protective Association; and Pablo Vengoechea, Architect, Zone Architecture.
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning)
Ilyse Fink (Buildings)
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