The Department of City Planning (DCP) seeks to make home improvement projects less costly and burdensome for property owners in three areas of Staten Island: Special Hillsides Preservation District, Special Natural Areas District and Special South Richmond Development District.
The proposal would improve rules that have guided development and environmental preservation in those areas since 1971. It is a collaboration between community boards, homeowners, builders, environmentalists, elected officials and DCP.
Based on feedback from Staten Island communities, including requests to simplify an earlier proposal, DCP re-started conversations with a working group of local stakeholders in the summer of 2019. Read our spring 2020 progress update.
With nearly 50 years of experience with the existing district zoning regulations, DCP and local property owners and stakeholders saw a need to modernize and improve the rules, to make them easier to follow and fairer. Together, we have identified key strategies to improve the rules. These include:
Homeowners in the Special Districts have asked:
We’ve heard from homeowners, and agree, that the current regulations create an unnecessarily expensive and long process for City approval of home improvement projects.
For example, the current approval process can last a year and often costs homeowners more than the project itself. Meanwhile, development projects on sites that have a significant impact on Staten Island’s natural resources don’t currently provide enough opportunity for community input.
Due to the lack of clear parameters around existing rules and waivers, we’ve also heard from community members who are concerned about unpredictable development outcomes in their neighborhoods. We agree. By codifying five decades of best practices, we will get greater predictability.
We welcome your comments, ideas and questions about the Staten Island Special Districts Update.
For more information, to share your ideas or to ask questions, please contact the team at SISpecialDistricts_DL@planning.nyc.gov.
130 Stuyvesant Place, Suite 603
Staten Island, NY 10301
Telephone: (718) 556-7240