A 2010 proposal to develop three new houses in Fieldston, on the periphery of Indian Pond, was the most significant new addition to the historic district since its historic designation in 2006 and since approval of the strengthened SNAD regulations by the New York City Council in 2005. An application was made to City Planning for authorizations and an application was made to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for new construction.
The Preservancy was active in the development of the strengthened Special Natural Area District (SNAD) regulations and a vocal supporter of the designation of the Fieldston Historic District.
Our primary and historic role in the community is to work for compliance with historic designation requirements and zoning regulations. We identified concerns with the proposed development from the standpoints of both design and impacts on the water quality in Indian Pond.
In December 2010, we outlined our concerns to Bronx Community Board 8.
We also supported the Fieldston Property Owners Association in their request to the New York State to designate Indian Pond and its surrounding area as a freshwater wetland. Our letter to NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in February 2012 stressed the value of the pond to wildlife and the importance of the vegetation and soils surrounding the pond for erosion control and storm water management. The community’s request was, however, denied.
City Planning determined that the Bloomfield development will not have detrimental impacts on the environment and issued a negative declaration under CEQR in October 2014. City Planning subsequently determined that the application meets SNAD regulations.
The Community Board 8 Land Use Committee considered the applications at its meeting on February 5, 2015 and passed a resolution to disapprove them. In its statement, the Preservancy observed the limits of SNAD in preserving the environment as intended. The full Community Board voted on February 10, 2015 to disapprove the applications.
A week later, on February 17, the community turned out to speak at the hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Preservancy again objected to elements of the design and site plan, and expressed concern for future water quality in Delafield Pond. The Commission decided to delay action until commissioners have a chance to visit the site.