CB7 to consider a Mosholu Parkway downzone

Community Board 7 had an executive meeting on Tuesday, January 3 to discuss the possible recommendation for the downzoning of Mosholu Parkway.

Residents and community advocate groups, such as the Northwest Bronx Democrats and the Bedford Mosholu Community Association, have joined forces to convince CB 7 to recommend a downzoning for Moshulu Parkway.

As of right now, Moshulu Parkway is zoned for R-7/R-8, which allows residential buildings to rise to ten stories.

The two community organizations are asking for a downzoning to R-5 which would permit residential buildings of up to six stories.

According to a press release from the NWBx Democrats, community members are worried that Moshulu will be eaten up by developers hungry to take advantage of the current attractive zoning.

“I have lived off Mosholu for over 30 years,” said Anthony Rivieccio, president of the NWBx Democrats. “One of the things that keeps me here today is the same reason I fell in love with this neighborhood four decades ago – it has an almost country-type atmosphere.”

“Mosholu Parkway was known as ‘The Gateway to the Botanical Garden,” he continued. “I would love to keep that preserved.”

In 2011, CB7 recommended a rezoning of Webster Avenue from a commercial zone to a residential zone.

At that time the NYC Planning Commission said they would return to the area later to review Bedford Park including Mosholu Parkway.

Adaline Walker-Santiago, chair of CB 7 said originally the board had agreed to conduct a study on Kingsbridge Heights and Bedford Park to see if they could downzone those areas to maintain the residential qualities of those neighborhoods.

Walker-Santiago said CB7 has now agreed to add Mosholu Parkway to the study which began in December.

She said CB7 members will discuss Mosholu Parkway again at the general meeting on Tuesday, January 17 and added the board will later have to discuss the community’s desire to downzone the area with city officials.

Walker-Santiago also said it was important the community work together to retain the ambiance of the area.

“There are a lot of good people in the community and we need to stick together and limit the number of highrises in the community,” she said.

Rivieccio hopes that when considering rezoning for the parkway, officials take the proper view.

“Most city planning visionaries look at the parkway from a north to south standpoint and I would suggest, that’s wrong,” he said. “When you’re on the parkway, you drive east to west, or west to east.”

“When you’re on the ‘Mosholu Walkway’ you walk or ride your bike the same way – east to west and not north to south,” he continued.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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