Vacca plans new downzoning in Pelham Bay, Westchester Square and Zerega

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Councilman Jimmy Vacca expects an important zoning amendment A new downzoning bill expected to pass thewin City Council approval within a monthbefore Christmas and thinks it should have an impact onwill concerns aboutcounter overdevelopment and lack of parkingparking problems in densemore densely developed areas of Community Board 10.

The new planamendment, which approved by the City Planning Commission approved on Tuesday, November 3, affects would apply to R-6 and R-7-1 zones throughout inthe Pelham Bay and, Westchester Square and part of Waterbury-LaSalle. It would require developers to offers one parking space spot for every two units of housinghousing units and would discontinues two zoning exemptions that have allowed bigger buildings on smaller lotsloopholes that have resulted in overdevelopment.

 “There is an expedited process and Community Board 10 is expected to vote on this issue at its next meeting,” Councilman Jimmy Vacca said recently at a recent Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association meeting. “Currently, contractors get an exemption from parking regulations if they have a small lot or are building two apartment buildings side-by-side. This [amendment] would discontinue these practicesthose exemptions.”

Vacca said that he began to work on changing the existing rules forthe R-6 and R-7-1 zones amendment after constituents in Pelham BayPelham Bay constituents came to him with concernscomplained, he said. Developers had erected multi-family buildings on lots formerly host to one or two-family houses, the constituents reported.about sites that formally had one or two-family homes being redeveloped with apartment buildings.

Because both Pelham Bay and Westchester Square have had apartment houses buildings and private homesprivate houses have existing existed side-by-side for many years, large areas of those neighborhoods were  largely and a sliver of Waterbury-LaSalle near Middletown Road were left out of the contextual downzoning taking place in the past five yearsdownzones approved in 2006. .The same for Waterbury-LaSalle near Middletown Road.

This change aims at correcting issues caused by developers using two different exemptions to reduce the amount of on-site parking required for new apartment buildings.

ForOn lots zoned R-7-1 zones, builders developers are currently must providerequired to offer parking spots for 60% of a building’s units, but can drop this number toare allowed to offer only 30% if the the lot is smaller than 10,000 square -feet. This would no longer be allowed if Vacca’s bill were signed into lawVacca’s amendment would eliminate that exemption.

 It also would disallow stop developers from the subdivision ofsubdividing lots to waive parking requirementsin order to avoid parking requirements. Currently, developers may subdivide to qualify for the exemption, when a single larger building with the same number of units would require more parking.

For three building being constructedunder construction in Pelham Bay, the amount of parking requiredamendment would be drastically increase ed if the bill were currently lawthe amount of parking required. 

At 1701 Parkview Avenue, where plans have been submitted to the Department of Buildings for 20 housing units of housing, the number of parking spaces spots required would would have to increase from 6 six to ten, Vacca said10.

If the new regulations were already in effectAt 3427 Bruckner Boulevard, where there are also 20 housing units under construction, 20 units being constructed at the amendment 3427 Bruckner Boulevard would require an increase of four parking spacesresult in an additional four spots, and at 3437 Bruckner Boulevard, an additional seven spots..

A building at 3437 Bruckner Boulevard, which is already rising, would need to add an additional seven parking spaces in the 34-unit development.

SinceHowever, the amendment won’t apply to thethe foundations for those two Bruckner Boulevard buildings, where foundations have already been dug have already been dug, they will not be required to abide by new zoning regulations.

Updated 5:26 pm, October 21, 2011
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