CB10 controls growth

At its general monthly meeting on Thursday, November 19, CB10 voted overwhelmingly to include parts of Pelham Bay, Zerega and Waterbury-LaSalle in Lower Growth Density Management amendments that would close loopholes that currently allow developers to build less parking. The amendments, put forward by Councilman Jimmy Vacca and others, apply to R6 and R7-1 zones that possess a mix of one and two-family homes and apartment buildings.

“This zoning change is going to go a long way to solving one of the biggest problems our community has with overdevelopment, which is the inadequate amount of parking many of these new developments provide,” Vacca said. “I have been working with the DCP for over a year to come up with a plan to close many of these loopholes, and the community board’s support was pivotal. Now we have to make sure the City Planning Commission and City Council act as quickly as possible so this change can take effect.”

The amendments would require that all new construction of multiple-family dwellings include parking for at least 50 percent of the units. It also closes a loophole that has allowed developers to subdivide their properties to waive parking requirements in both R6 and R7-1 zones.

Under current rules, developers in these zones with lots smaller than 10,000 square feet are allowed to provide parking spaces for only 30 percent of apartments. This has led many builders to subdivide lots, Vacca said. If the zoning amendments are passed, developers who subdivide lots will no longer be able to waive parking requirements, regardless of the size of the lots created.

The CB10 vote came after a presentation from the DCP and represents the culmination of months of work by Vacca and DCP, starting in October 2008. That’s when Vacca, in response to community discontent over the development of 3030 Middletown Road, wrote a letter to DCP asking for the rezoning of portions of CB10. Senator Jeff Klein and CB10 also wrote letters in support of amendments.

In March, Vacca hosted a tour of Pelham Bay with DCP, targeting specific corridors along Bruckner Boulevard, Roberts Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue. Vacca and DCP subsequently decided to focus on amendments that deal with parking concerns. DCP certified the amendments in November.

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