For Immediate Release
May 6, 2019
Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – email@example.com (212) 720-3471
Clear guidelines and a streamlined process will better protect beloved natural features and homeowner interests
Video shows need for updates
NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced the launch of public review for a new Special Natural Resource District that will strengthen and streamline decades-old rules to better protect New York City’s greenest neighborhoods, in the Bronx and Staten Island – while also offering clear rules for home construction projects.
"From Staten Island’s wetlands teeming with birds to stunning rock outcroppings along the Hudson River in The Bronx, New York City can boast of remarkable green neighborhoods. These strong, clear new rules will better safeguard the existing natural beauty, while also eliminating expensive and unnecessary red tape that homeowners, for 40 years now, have had to sift through to make even the most minor renovations,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.
The new rules will apply to neighborhoods covering roughly half the land area of Staten Island, and sections of Riverdale, Fieldston and Spuyten Duyvil in The Bronx.
For more information, view a video describing the natural resource regulations that exist in the two boroughs today, DCP’s proposed changes and why they are needed.
First established in the 1970s and 1980s, the rules protecting these green areas are in dire need of modernization. As they stand, the rules take a one-size-fits-all approach – treating small alterations to a single-family home the same as a multi-acre campus development. After extensive community engagement, with homeowners, architects and construction firms, and environmental advocates, the proposed rules are more streamlined than the current rules and take advantage of advances in environmental science.
The proposed rules:
“For more than forty years, Protectors of Pine Oak Woods has struggled to preserve open space on Staten Island during an age of prolific over-development. We welcome the Department of City Planning's proposed text amendments and recognize that many of the changes will better protect the trees, escarpments and natural corridors of Staten Island,” said Clifford Hagen, an Eltingville resident, president of Protectors of Pine Oak Woods and a member of the Staten Island Special Districts Update Working Group.
“I support the Department of City Planning’s proposal to amend the SNAD regulations. The amendments provide the right balance of environmental protection with regulatory relief to homeowners, namely: more certainty for smaller lots; more protection for larger parcels and more incentive to institutions for creating long-term plans for open space protection,” said Chris Rizzo, resident, member of the Bronx SNAD Working Group, and Partner, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP.
The new rules would fix many outstanding issues:
Curious if any special rules apply to your home? Search the interactive map!
The next steps in the formal public review process are a 60-day review by Community Boards 1, 2 and 3 in Staten Island and Community Board 8 in The Bronx, followed by a 30-day review period for the respective Borough Presidents and Staten Island Borough Board, before returning to the City Planning Commission and then going to City Council.