RESPECT PROTECT & PRESERVE RIVERDALE PETITION. 20th Jan 2018
* WE SUPPORT THE HEBREW HOMES RESIDENTIAL SCHEME TO BUILD COTTAGES ON THEIR R1 PROPERTY.
*WE OPPOSE APARTMENT BUILDINGS BEING BUILT ON THEIR R1 (SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL) PROPERTY, OTHERWISE THE ZONING IS MEANINGLESS AND WILL LAUNCH A DOMINO EFFECT LEADING TO THE ULTIMATE DEMISE OF ALL LOW-DENSITY ZONING IN RIVERDALE AND CITYWIDE .
We the undersigned petition Councilmember Andrew Cohen, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz and All Members of Bronx Community Board 8, to reaffirm and respect the sanctity of the constraints and goals established by Bronx Community Board 8 when it successfully implemented its “River to Reservoir Preservation strategy” on November, 2003. We request that you oppose the construction of any apartment buildings, in Riverdale’s R1 and R-2 low-density areas. Due to the changes to the zoning law set forth in the Mayor’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability amendments (ZQA), Continuing Care Retirement Communities CCRCs may now be built within R1 and R2 districts, subject to a special permit. We believe that ZQA has opened a loophole, and the possibility now exists for apartment buildings to be built in R1 and R2 districts.
We are aware that RiverSpring Senior Living, Inc, an affiliate of the Hebrew Home, has preliminary plans for a massive 385-unit development spanning two contiguous zoning districts R1 and R4, both located within the Special Natural Area District, which has further restrictions on development that should limit the effects on the open space and natural features of both sites, including the design and location of new access roads. Plans show it would be comprised of three apartment buildings, (two apartment buildings of six and four floors on property zoned R1 (single-family residential) and the other a 12-story apartment tower on an adjacent R4 property, both of which do not conform to zoning, and are out of scale with the nearby structures.
Since 1961, the NYC Zoning Resolution has excluded apartment buildings from R1 and R2 single-family detached residence districts. They may be built in most other residential districts, but are not allowed in the lowest density areas because they are basically incompatible with the low-rise character and fabric of such neighborhoods. The plans for the massive CCRC on the shores of the Hudson in North Riverdale is essentially for multi-unit apartment buildings (styled as CCRCs).
Development in Riverdale is at a critical turning point. Decisions made with regard to this CCRC development will be precedent setting, and any multi-story apartments permitted in R1 districts will set a precedent for the domino effect and the ultimate demise of all single-family R1and R1-2 low density zoning areas here and Citywide.
We urge that any plans for CCRCs approved in R1 and R2 are more consistent with:
- the existing single- family residential homes found throughout Riverdale’s R1 single-family residential areas.
- Community District 8’s 197A plan.
- the Special Permit’s requirement that the new development be compatible with the surrounding uses.
- We urge that this development and any future CCRCs planned, in R1 and R2 low density areas be in architectural harmony with the single-family homes to the east and west and along the Hudson River.
We request that you stand with us to protect low–density zoning and the Special Natural Area District by denying any special permit that would permit multi-story apartment buildings in R1 which would render our zoning meaningless, and to deny a variance which would permit a building of 12 stories on R4 property, when the tallest building on that R4 property is 8 floors, already higher than what is standard for any R4 area. R3 and R4 are primarily row houses of one and two units, not multi-family. All eyes are on this project, the first of its type in NYC, what is done here will be perceived as the Gold standard of any future CCRC built within low-density areas, here in Riverdale and citywide. This in itself is a valid reason that any such development receives the utmost scrutiny. PRESERVE, PROTECT AND RESPECT THE SCALE OF THE R1 AND R4 ZONING DISTRICTS.