As part of the Resilient Neighborhoods initiative, the Department of City Planning has been working with the community in Edgewater Park to ensure buildings can be made more resilient while maintaining the neighborhood’s built character. While the Bronx fared better during Sandy than other areas of the city due to the storm’s timing, Edgewater Park and other neighborhoods on the Long Island Sound face significant risks to future storms. It was selected for study due to the unique flood risk management challenges and opportunities posed by the community’s topography, existing housing stock, and governance structure.
View the summary report on Edgewater Park.
Visit the Edgewater Park Neighborhood Risk Atlas.
The Department of City Planning has worked closely with residents and other stakeholders in Edgewater Park to identify and explore resiliency issues facing the community, as well as develop a framework for retrofitting existing residential structures, rebuilding in the floodplain, and ensuring the safety of future development. This outreach included a series of meetings with the Edgewater Park co-op and leadership committee, workshops with the broader community and other agencies, and guided tours and working meetings with the co-op leadership to discuss a wide range of flood-related design and construction issues. This included how to calculate and measure required flood elevations as well as providing technical guidance on exploring site-specific reconstruction and retrofitting issues.
Several waterfront properties were identified for further examination and selected as model sites for targeted, community-specific guidelines for retrofitting buildings for flood risk. Through this process, DCP identified aspects of the co-op’s architectural guidelines that inhibited flood resilient investment or were not consistent with the City’s flood resiliency regulations, and has worked with the leadership to update the bylaws to allow for such retrofits and construction.
Edgewater Park is a small, private waterfront community located on the Throgs Neck Peninsula in Long Island Sound. Bounded by a fieldstone bulkhead and three sandy beaches, the neighborhood fronts a half-mile of shoreline to the north and east. True to its name, Edgewater Park is built out directly to the water’s edge, with a small concrete promenade separating the first row of homes from Long Island Sound. It is one of the few private cooperative communities existing in New York City today, spanning fifty-five acres and including 675 single-family residences that house approximately 3,000 residents.
With a substantial number of homes in the floodplain, Edgewater Park faces significant risk as the community is vulnerable to multiple kinds of flood hazards including coastal storm surge with wave action and high floodwater depths. The majority of homes within the community were built prior to the enactment of floodplain management regulations and are therefore not built to today’s codes for flood-resistant construction. Approximately 278 homes, or just over forty percent of all homes, in Edgewater Park are located in the 1% annual chance floodplain. A substantial number of these homes are located in the V Zone, where the most severe storm surge with high floodwater depths and wave activity of three feet or more could be experienced. Just fewer than 100 homes are within the Coastal A Zone, which is also characterized by considerable flood water depths and wave activity of three feet or less. The remaining 167 homes are in the A Zone, where wave activity is less of a concern, but water depths could still reach damaging levels.
DCP worked closely with residents and other stakeholders in Edgewater Park to identify strategies to address the community’s vulnerability to storm surge, coastal flooding and sea level rise while preserving the unique character of the neighborhood. Defined as a single zoning lot by the City, this private co-op community containing hundreds of homes has its own mechanisms for regulating the built environment that have not historically incorporated resiliency best practices. Exacerbating this difficulty is the density to which this historic waterfront community is built, as well as the kinds of risk it faces: coastal storm surge, wave action, and high flood elevations.
These issues were addressed in a layered approach that first examined the regulatory framework of Edgewater Park’s built environment, including the co-op’s architectural guidelines and the City’s rules, and then provided site-specific, building-scale case studies of retrofitting strategies that both meet the latest flood-resilient construction requirements and maintain the distinguishing qualities of the neighborhood.
The framework map depicts the study area and the extent of the floodplain within Edgewater Park. Building footprints outlined in yellow represent homes within the 1% annual chance floodplain where the Resilient Retrofitting and Rebuilding Guidelines developed by DCP and the community apply. The solid yellow footprints designate the five case study homes, which were selected to exemplify the range of retrofitting and resiliency investments homeowners can make to both protect their properties as well as reduce the financial burden of carrying flood insurance.
The Resilient Neighborhoods Initiative is part of a broad range of efforts by the City to recover from Hurricane Sandy, promote rebuilding and increase the city’s resilience to climate-related events, including coastal flooding and storm surge. Recommendations from this program will be developed in close consultation with area stakeholders and build on other initiatives, including ONENYC and the Mayor’s Office for Recovery and Resiliency.
This study has also been informed by other efforts including New York State’s NY Rising Community Reconstruction Plans. More info here.
For more information contact: ResilientBronx_DL@planning.nyc.gov