PLACES

Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study

Southern Boulevard
 Neighborhood Planning Study
Update

Summer Events Outreach Update

DCP’s Bronx Office has been out at many events in the community so far this summer, collecting input from community members around Southern Blvd. Look for us at your local event! Learn More.

June 28, 2017: Housing-Focused Roundtable Hosted by Council Member Salamanca

On June 28, 2017, Council Member Salamanca, together with the Department of City Planning Bronx Office (DCP Bronx Office) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), convened a roundtable discussion with local affordable housing developers and housing advocacy organizations working directly in the areas around Southern Boulevard. Learn More.

What is the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Planning Study?

The Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Planning Study aims to engage community residents and stakeholders in a ground-up comprehensive neighborhood study around Southern Boulevard in the Bronx. The study will be an opportunity to build upon existing planning efforts and create a unified vision through a collaborative process.  The study will identify opportunities to protect and increase affordable housing, strengthen retail and local businesses, increase pedestrian safety and walkability, and improve community resources, all of which will support the long-term sustainability of the area.

The Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Planning Study aims to include strategies for:

The study area encompasses the Crotona Park East and Longwood neighborhoods and in general flanks Southern Boulevard between the Cross Bronx Expressway and East 163rd Street including the Bronx River and Crotona Park.  The study area covers more than 130 blocks and spans parts of Community Districts (CD) 2 and 3, and a small area of CD9 (one block of the western shore of the Bronx River). The area is home to almost 60,000 residents, of which 67% are of Hispanic origin, according to the 2010 Census. There are approximately 17,000 existing residential units within the Southern Boulevard study area.  Almost two-thirds of these units were constructed before 1976, mostly between 1910 and 1939, but with renewed reinvestment in the area, there’s been a growth in housing, and 13% of all units (2,300) were constructed between 2005 and 2014.  

In recent years, the neighborhoods surrounding Southern Boulevard have participated in a number of planning processes and have seen public investments, specifically in affordable housing, which have had a significant positive impact on the community. However, there are still a number of gaps and opportunities remaining in addition to the need for a comprehensive approach to the area. The Southern Boulevard planning process will be an opportunity to build on past plans, implement previous recommendations, identify additional needs, and create a unified vision for the area.

Past Plans include:

Local organizations, community boards, and elected officials serve as planning partners for the Southern Boulevard study. Planning partners are committed to:

  1. Knowledge sharing: These stakeholders have done a lot of planning work and studies in the area. They, the experts, will share what they know about the Southern Boulevard area.
  2. Outreach: These stakeholders know the neighborhoods around Southern Boulevard very well and have extensive networks in the community. They will drive outreach, attendance, and participation at the many public events of the study.

If you are interested in becoming a planning partner organization for the study, email us at SouthernBlvd@planning.nyc.gov.

What is a neighborhood study?
A neighborhood study is a way to bring city investments, services, and improvements to meet current and future needs of the area that you, your neighbors, city agencies and other stakeholders have identified together through a public process. A study results in a broad plan for a defined area such as a corridor, neighborhood or series of neighborhoods. The plan identifies strategies to meet needs for things like schools, parks, streets, sidewalks, lighting, transit, services, programs, safety, job training, affordable housing, and growth.

Why would a neighborhood want a study?
A neighborhood study gives you an opportunity to work with your neighbors and city agencies to collectively develop a plan for your community’s future. The city is changing – populations are growing, rents are rising, infrastructure is aging - and the planning process gives you a way to affect those changes for the betterment of your neighborhood. An effective neighborhood plan allows community members to prioritize needs and advocate to ensure the city is making the right investments in their neighborhoods.

Why study Southern Boulevard?
The study is an opportunity to support the many assets around Southern Boulevard, especially its people, culture, and musical heritage and help address long-term challenges including health, safety, poverty, vacant storefronts, and limited access to parks, jobs, and community services. As part of the Sheridan-Hunts Point Land Use and Transportation Study (2013), stakeholders agreed that the areas around Southern Boulevard, other key corridors, and the Bronx River waterfront deserve a more detailed plan that looks beyond the expressway.

How can I participate and voice my opinion?
Your participation is important so please sign up for regular updates and to learn about upcoming public events. The planning process will include a wide range of public events, public workshops, online tools, surveys, focus groups, and small-group discussions. Outreach will
be conducted in English and Spanish.  A public open house and visioning session is expected in fall 2017. Following that there will be public workshops on topics such as housing, jobs & local businesses, public space & access, and health & community services including arts & culture.

Will rezoning be part of this study?
No proposals have been developed or decisions made regarding zoning, except that DCP will not rezone the entire study area. Through the neighborhood study process, you, your neighbors, and city agencies will come together in an open public process to identify needs and goals for the Southern Boulevard area. Then we will identify tools to meet those goals, which could include changes to the zoning, City investments, new services, and other strategies.  Rezoning is just one strategy or tool to help meet local needs, for example, for more housing, to control growth, or to develop local retail, jobs, and community services in specific areas. One such area that will be discussed as part of the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study is the Bronx River waterfront; as part of the Sheridan study, stakeholders agreed that with improvements to the Sheridan, the Bronx River waterfront area should be reconsidered to foster a mix of uses along the waterfront and target growth and job opportunities.

How will the city prevent displacement and harassment?
Making sure residents can stay in their homes through the preservation of existing rent-regulated units and tenant protections is a cornerstone of the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Plan.  The study will allow the city to coordinate across all agencies and use every tool at its disposal to protect tenants.  The city will work closely with local organizations to conduct extensive landlord outreach to keep existing homes affordable and make repairs.  The city will make targeted code inspections to identify and address distressed properties.  The city will knock on doors to reach tenants directly to educate them about their rights and services available to them.  And for those who do end up in housing court, the city is already offering free legal resources for tenants.

To engage the diverse communities surrounding Southern Boulevard effectively, the planning process will include a range of events such as visioning and goal-setting sessions, surveys, small group discussions, mobile office hours, workshops, and focus groups.  

Sign up for the email list to receive updates about the study and upcoming events.

Sign up for the email list to receive updates about the study and upcoming events.

For more information, contact the DCP Bronx Office at 1-718-220-8500 or SouthernBlvd@planning.nyc.gov.