Protecting and Preserving
Natural Beauty and Neighborhood Character
in the Riverdale Area
Looking Ahead: Preservation in 2024
Our advocacy in 2024 will focus on key zoning changes coming forward which affect our area:
Department of City Planning (DCP) changes to the Zoning Resolution: Proposal allows for more residential construction in all five boroughs. DCP is now in its “listening” phase. This is a major effort by the City which deserves our full attention, and the Preservancy is prepared to join with CB 8 and community groups to respond.
Hebrew Home Permit Renewal and Modifications: Together with community groups which were a party to the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding signed by Hebrew Home, we will continue to advocate for development which respects the past agreement on preservation of green space, scale, and traffic controls.
Enforcement: Our monitoring of local development for compliance with zoning regulations which protect trees and other natural features is ongoing. We will continue to advocate with the community board and local officials to create effective incentives for compliance.
Hebrew Home Updates
Did you know parts of Riverdale, Fieldston and
Spuyten Duyvil are designated as a
SPECIAL NATURAL AREA DISTRICT (SNAD)?
Did you know parts of Riverdale, Fieldston and Spuyten Duyvil are designated as a SPECIAL NATURAL AREA DISTRICT (SNAD)?
This designation was made in 1975 through the New York City Zoning Resolution. It is an important part of protecting natural areas, guiding development to safeguard mature trees and plantings, steep slopes, and rock outcrops.
At present there are four SNADs in NYC, including the one in our neighborhood.
Why does NYC create
Special Natural Areas?
SNADs are mapped "only in areas where outstanding natural features or areas of natural beauty are to be protected. The preservation of such areas is important because they contain areas of special ecological significance, interesting geological formulations and rock outcrops, unique aquatic features such as tidal wetlands, unique topographic features such as palisades, valleys and hills, important plant life such as glaciated oak-chestnut forests or because they serve as habitats for native flora and fauna." (Section 7412-10 of the zoning text)
The NYC Planning Commission adopted Special Natural Area District (SNAD) zoning regulations in 1974. The Commission updated and strengthened the regulations in 2005
SNAD ProtectsNatural Features:
trees 6" caliper or greater,
topographic elements: steep slopes (incline of 25% or greater), existing natural topography (0 % to < 25 % slope), and topsoil,
rock outcrops and erratic boulders,
wetlands and surface water features, and
The SNAD in Riverdale covers much of Fieldston and Riverdale west of the highway.
Special Natural Area District (SNAD) Awareness Campaign:
Join us as we highlight ecologically protected
areas in our neighborhood!