DCP withdrew the proposed Staten Island Special Districts zoning map amendment (C 190429 ZMR) on June 10, 2019 and Bronx Special District zoning map amendment (C 190403 ZMX) and zoning text amendment (N 190430(A) ZRY) on Oct. 10, 2019.
This page provides archived material solely for informational purposes.
In the 1970s and 80s, the Department of City Planning (DCP) established a set of unique rules through the creation of three special districts (Special Natural Area District in the Bronx and Staten Island, Special Hillsides Preservation District and Special South Richmond Development District in Staten Island). These districts encompass more than half of Staten Island.
The rules were set to ensure that neighborhood development and preservation of environmentally sensitive resources are balanced. Over the past four decades, the rules have resulted in the treelined streets, the preservation of local wetlands (the Bluebelt Program), and forested parks that, today, exemplify these last remaining and extraordinary green New York City communities.
The challenge: The current system allows a property owner to remove or modify natural features through a site-by-site review by the City Planning Commission (CPC) without considering their relationship to the larger ecological context. Additionally, it is a one-size fits all approach for parcels of all sizes, land use or type of natural feature. Over time, this has resulted in inconsistent application of the rules and created unnecessary cost and time burden, especially for small homeowners.
The proposed solution (withdrawn): Codify best practices and streamline the special districts rules to reflect updated environmental science and a more holistic approach to natural resource preservation with clear development standards resulting in better and more predictable outcomes. DCP convened working groups in Staten Island and the Bronx, including representatives from local institutions, homeowners, landscape architects, elected officials, local civics and environmental groups, and City agencies to shape the proposal over the last three years and establish core principles to guide the update.
June 10, 2019: Withdrawn
DCP has been working with homeowners, architects and builders, environmentalists and elected officials on Staten Island for several years to make home improvement projects in the borough’s special natural districts less costly and burdensome for property owners. Based on input from the Staten Island community, advocacy groups and elected officials requesting further engagement, the application 190429ZMR, affecting Staten Island, was withdrawn on June 10, 2019.
DCP will continue to seek clarity on how to best achieve our shared goals of streamlining the rules and protecting the borough’s unique green neighborhoods. We look forward to continuing these conversations.
Earth Day | April 27, 2019
On Car Free Earth Day, the public enjoyed learning about the Special Districts Update. You can color in these natural features while also learning about them.
Public Scoping Meeting | Dec. 10, 2018
DCP published the Draft Scope of Work (DSOW) on Nov. 9, 2018 for the land use actions associated with the Staten Island/Bronx Special Districts Update. A Public Scoping Meeting was held in both boroughs and the written comment period was open until Jan. 14, 2019. View the scoping material.
Staten Island Open House | Oct. 3, 2018
DCP hosted an Open House at the Greenbelt Nature Center in Staten Island to share information about the proposed Special Districts Update. See the summary of the open house.
Staten Island Advisory Committee | April 2015 to April 2018
To create the proposal, DCP worked with stakeholders and conducted significant research since 2015. DCP held 15 working meetings with the advisory committee between April 2015 and March 2019.
Advisory Committee Members:
Ongoing Interagency coordination:
Community Updates | April 2015 to Sept. 2018
DCP engaged with Staten Island Community Boards and civic groups to keep them apprised of the draft framework and project updates. These included:
Notice of Completion of FEIS | Sept. 13, 2019
DCP, on behalf of the City Planning Commission as lead agency, issued a Notice of Completion for a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Bronx Special Natural Area District Update proposal. View the FEIS.
The zoning map ammendment pertaining to Staten Island had been withdrawn on June 10, 2019.
Notice of Completion of DEIS | May 3, 2019
DCP, on behalf of the City Planning Commission as lead agency, issued a Notice of Completion for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Staten Island and Bronx Special Natural Area District Update proposal.
DSOW Published | Nov. 9, 2018
DCP published the Draft Scope of Work (DSOW) for the land use actions associated with the Staten Island/Bronx Special Districts Update. A Public Scoping Meeting was held in both boroughs and the written comment period was open until Jan. 14, 2019. View the scoping material.