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Rezoning Plan To Benefit Webster Avenue

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A rezoning plan on Webster Avenue could lead to more business and residential development opportunities in the Bronx.

In a hearing held before the NYC Planning Commission on Wednesday, January 5, city officials proposed the idea of rezoning approximately 80 blocks in the Bedford Park and Norwood communities. The rezoning plan would attract new affordable housing and new business ventures along Webster Avenue, which is currently home to many auto repair shops, litter-strewn lots and apartment buildings.

City officials want to see Webster Avenue transform into a vibrant, inviting and safe residential and commercial business area of the Bronx. The rezoning proposal was requested by Community Board 7. The final rezoning decision will be made by the City Council sometime in March. CB 7 district manager Fernando Tirado is excited about the plan and hopes it is approved by the city. He believes it will have a beneficial impact on the whole borough.

“The community board worked very hard on this for years now and we have built up a lot of support,” Tirado said. “We have received nothing but favorable support from the communities, as well as the office of Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. We are looking forward to the decision in March.”

The initial plan to rezone began with former CB 7 chairman Greg Faulkner back in late 2005.

His plan was led by the board’s Land Use and Long Term Planning committees. Together, the committees crafted two motions before the community board that promoted the idea of shaping Webster Avenue into a better environment for residents and developing a stronger business corridor. From that point on, the board continued looking into more ideas that could support their plan.

Ozzie Brown, CB 7’s chairman of the Land Use and Zoning Committee, was excited that the board was able to turn community issues into a plan to improve the Bedford Park and Norwood neighborhoods. The motions and ideas that he and other members of the board over the last five years have lead to the current rezoning proposal.

“There are many issues in our communities that need to be addressed in order to improve the quality of life experiences for our residents,” Brown said. “The need for affordable housing, sustainable economic development, job creation and business opportunities are just a few that would be vital.”

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