Bronxwood down zoning needed: Vacca

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With the recent surge in new building projects, many who live in low-density neighborhoods are concerned about maintaining their area’s character. Now, in what has become an ongoing rite of passage, another east Bronx community is requesting a downzoning.

After contacting Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office about a one-family home that was torn down and is being replaced with two-, four-story buildings, longtime Bronxwood Avenue resident Dorris Plaza is pleased to hear the Department of City Planning is looking into the matter.

Zoned as a R-5 and R-6 parcel, Plaza’s home is located in an area that permits the construction of low-rise apartment buildings, but possibly not for long.

Vacca wants the entire area west of Williamsbridge Road, south of Arnow Avenue, north of Mace Avenue and east of White Plains Road downzoned to R-4, eliminating any allowance for new apartment buildings.

“At our request, the Department of City Planning has agreed to conduct a rezoning study in the part of Pelham Parkway North surrounding the intersection of Williamsbridge and Boston roads,” confirmed a Vacca spokesperson.

Plaza has lived on a block of one and two-family homes for the past 26 years, and was upset when she noticed two, four-story apartment buildings rising down the block at 2543 and 2545 Bronxwood Avenue.

The developer is Ciosa Organization.

“When Ciosa first purchased the one-family home and tore it down, I had just assumed that he was going to construct a new home just like it,” Plaza said. “I was shocked when I saw a picture of what the buildings would look like on the side of the work fence.”

Unfortunately, since the zoning for the area allows for small apartment buildings, not much can be done about this project.

However, Plaza is determined not to let this happen again. She feels the community’s infrastructure can’t support the new buildings’ eight families.

“These buildings are totally out of place, and now the neighborhood looks terrible.”

Plaza predicts additional problems, including with parking. 

But help may be on the way. 

While little can be done to stop the construction already taking place, in March, DCP told Vacca they were working to maintain the character of various east Bronx neighborhoods.

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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