Since 1950 a Polluting Gas Station in Heart of South Bronx Residential Neighborhood allowed to operate across the street from NYCHA and a Public School

Since 1950 a Polluting Gas Station in Heart of South Bronx Residential Neighborhood allowed to operate across the street from NYCHA and a Public School

Public Hearing Tuesday on this issue of a non-complying land-use

NYC Board of Standards and Appeals to hear application for extending a 77 year old variance for BP Gas Station on East 149th Street

The South Bronx has changed dramatically since 1950 when a gas station first obtained a variance to operate at 691/703 East 149th Street in the heart of a growing residential neighborhood. Inexplicably every decade the variance has been extended.


Since then the polluting non-conforming gas station has received repeated extensions to this original variance. The current variance, approved 12 years ago in 2005 expired in 2015 yet continues to operate.

Local residents are calling on the BSA to treat this residential community with respect and not extend the variance for one more day. The BP gas station is north across the street from two NYCHA residences, Monsignor Moore Houses two, 20-story buildings with 463 apartments and due east of Saint Marys Park Houses consists of six, 21-story buildings with 1,007 apartments. Besides the low rise houses of Jackson Avenue and new development sprouting up all along East 149thStreet.

“The South Bronx community is calling on BP Petroleum North America to let the South Bronx breathe. There are 12 gas stations already in Community Board #1 and just nearby along the highways. A gas station in the middle of a residential community is not needed or appropriate.” Said local resident Harry Bubbins.

The gas station operates directly across the street from PS5 that serves 722 students. Families and students have to traverse the ugly and dangerous traffic and breathe the fumes from the many cars and gas delivery trucks. It is a grossly out of context location for a gas station.

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“This East 149th Street site is also across the street from St. Mary’s Park and is an ideal location for a mixed-use green contextual development with deep levels of affordability that could be built with local union labor at a living wage.” Said Harry Bubbins.

The gas station is located in a C2-4/R7-1 zoning district which allows local diverse retail and residential use, a gas station is not allowed as of right.

According to NYC Zoning Regulation11-411 the BSA may extend the term of the variance in appropriate cases and prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards to minimize adverse effects of such use on the character of the neighborhood. The first variance n 1950 mandated trees and shrubs and grass, and yet in 2017 when the South Bronx has the highest rate of asthma in the nation, there is no green landscaping at all.

There is no automatic right to a variance extension and this is an inappropriate location for a gas station and the community demands the variance not be extended.

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