CB7: ‘Wait’ on Mosholu Parkway downzoning

CB7: ‘Wait’ on Mosholu Parkway downzoning
Community members pushing for the downzoning of Mosholu Parkway may have to wait a little bit longer following a Wednesday, January 18 Community Board 7 meeting.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

Residents pushing for the downzoning of Mosholu Parkway may have to wait a little bit longer following a Wednesday, January 18 Community Board 7 meeting.

Adaline Walker, chair of CB 7, said she appreciated the many residents who came out to the meeting to call for the downzoning.

However, she said, the board is currently focusing on downzoning a portion of Bedford Park.

Walker said the board has already hired a consultant to conduct a study on how they can downzone that area.

The board then plans to meet with the NYC Planning Commission on the matter.

Walker added that the board tried to see if they could add the entire Mosholu Parkway to the study but it was not possible.

Instead, the board encouraged residents who support the Mosholu Parkway downzoning to meet with elected officials and community members to garner support.

Supporters of the downzoning believe keeping the current zone will destroy the aesthetic of the neighborhoods along Mosholu Parkway, allowing developers to build taller buildings.

They are hoping to convince city planning to downzone Mosholu, which is currently an R7/R8, to an R5 which allows buildings no taller than six stories.

Anthony Rivieccio, president of the Northwest Bronx Democrats, has been adamant that city planning is looking at Mosholu Parkway the wrong way.

“City planning sees Mosholu Parkway as a north/south corridor,” he said.

Therefore, said Rivieccio, it would make sense to zone the southern half of the parkway differently from the northern half of the parkway.

Currently, the southern half of Mosholu Parkway is at an R8 – which allows buildings as high as 10 stories.

The northern half of the parkways is zoned R7.

This zoning encourages smaller apartment buildings on smaller lots and – if a building is on a larger lot – taller apartment buildings with less lot coverage.

Rivieccio is hoping to get city planning to view Mosholu Parkway from an east to west development perspective.

He believes if they do, they will see it as one stretch of land that can be designated as one zone.

“I have lived off Mosholu for over 30 years,” said Rivieccio. “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 added. “I would love to keep that preserved.”

At the meeting, residents also discussed specific projects they feel could impact the “country-type atmosphere” of the parkway.

For example, Rivieccio said, the meeting’s attendees expressed concern about the new 13-story, 163 unit building by Stagg Development that is coming to Van Cortlandt Avenue.

Despite the board’s decision, Walker said the board is not opposed to downzoning Mosholu.

“We live here, we eat here, we sleep here,” Walker said of the community board. “We are volunteers in this community.”

However, she said the board must see how the study on Bedford Park goes before they can focus on Mosholu Parkway.

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

More from Around NYC