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Thread: City Plans to Rezone Queens Neighborhoods

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    Default City Plans to Rezone Queens Neighborhoods

    June 16, 2004

    City Plans to Rezone Overdeveloped Neighborhoods in Queens

    By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

    More than a dozen neighborhoods in Queens will be rezoned to curb overdevelopment in the most ambitious rezoning of the borough in more than 40 years, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced yesterday at Queens Borough Hall. By tinkering with these neighborhoods - a process that began for some of the areas in 2002 - developers will be prohibited from building multiple-family dwellings on lots that have traditionally served single-family homes.

    "Overdevelopment changes the character, overdevelopment changes the traditional appearance of neighborhoods," said Mr. Bloomberg, who was joined by Borough President Helen Marshall and severalCity Council members from Queens.

    Since the 1960's, neighborhoods that are far from mass transportation have tended to remain what is known as "low-density" residential neighborhoods, which were dotted with mostly one- and two-family homes. But over the last decade, multifamily homes and large tenement buildings began to crop up around Queens and Staten Island.

    Between 2000 and 2003, there were about 3,460 new housing permits issued in Queens each year, a roughly 150 percent increase over the number issued each year between 1995 and 1999, according to the mayor's office.

    The new buildings often loom over their small neighbors and change the look of the neighborhood, critics say. And local leaders say residents are concerned about overcrowding.

    "Developers are buying up fairly large lots that may have had one home on them and then building maybe three two-family homes," said Gary Giordano, the district manager of Queens Community Board 5, which covers two neighborhoods - Middle Village and Maspeth - where zoning laws will change.

    "When you start compounding that on numerous different lots, your neighborhood is getting a lot more crowded," Mr. Giordano said.

    The rezoning would force developers to have their projects fit in with the scale of surrounding structures. The revisions would be reviewed by the local community board, the borough president, the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

    Overdevelopment has been a hot political issue in Queens and Staten Island for years, but Mr. Bloomberg learned of the problem only when he was running for mayor in 2001, he has often said. He became fascinated with the idea that some neighborhoods in New York wanted less, rather than more, development.Since then, he has tried to work on rezoning areas of Queens and Staten Island, areas where he hopes to redevelop his political base as well.

    The City Planning Department plans to rezone Bayside, College Point, parts of Flushing, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Whitestone and Richmond Hill, and portions of Woodside, Maspeth, Middle Village and Springfield Gardens. In addition, rezoning has also been proposed for Bellerose, Brookville, Jamaica Hill and Royal Ranch, where the plans are already under public review.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    "Developers are buying up fairly large lots that may have had one home on them and then building maybe three two-family homes," said Gary Giordano, the district manager of Queens Community Board 5, which covers two neighborhoods - Middle Village and Maspeth - where zoning laws will change.
    Well I dont see anything wrong with that. NYC needs to follow what other cities are doing in the world. create muliple homes in one lot and build less one family homes in new open land. :?

    I think mother nature will thank us for that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime
    "Developers are buying up fairly large lots that may have had one home on them and then building maybe three two-family homes," said Gary Giordano, the district manager of Queens Community Board 5, which covers two neighborhoods - Middle Village and Maspeth - where zoning laws will change.
    Well I dont see anything wrong with that. NYC needs to follow what other cities are doing in the world. create muliple homes in one lot and build less one family homes in new open land. :?

    I think mother nature will thank us for that.
    I agree, but these area have no trains, really, and not much bus service. I think it makes sense to downzone some areas, and upzone others, where there is mass transit. Plus, I do like the idea of having some more "suburban" areas within the city so some people could move there and not the burbs (keep it in the city). NYC has to have diverse areas to live for diverse tastes. All cities have it.

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    QNS. POLS HAIL DEVELOPMENT CURBS

    June 16, 2004

    There was no champagne, but the mood at Queens Borough Hall was clearly celebratory yesterday as Mayor Bloomberg and several elected officials announced that more than a dozen Queens neighborhoods have been or are being rezoned to curb overdevelopment.

    "Let people continue to develop. Nothing wrong with building a new house. But [do it with] zoning so that the new houses fit in with those before," the mayor said.

    City Councilman Tony Avella, who's led the fight against overdevelopment in Whitestone and College Point, was invited to the announcement, even though he's a candidate for mayor in 2005.

    But Avella had only praise for Bloomberg and City Planning chief Amanda Burden.

    "What you're doing today is a big step in [restoring] peace and tranquility to our neighborhoods in Queens," he said.

    The affected neighborhoods already in the zoning review process include Bellerose, Brookville, Jamaica Hill and little-known Royal Ranch in Glen Oaks.

    Zoning studies are under way in Bayside, College Point, East Flushing, portions of Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Whitestone, Richmond Hill and portions of Woodside. David Seifman

    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    IMO, this is stupid, cities need to have large apartment buildings, not single houses, save those for Long Island! Why not build more apartments that are affordable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ILUVNYC
    IMO, this is stupid, cities need to have large apartment buildings, not single houses, save those for Long Island! Why not build more apartments that are affordable?
    NYC does, and so does Queens. It also has townhouses, brownstones, 2-family houses, single family detached houses, etc.

    It's the beauty of NYC. Each area has it's own feel and developed differently. That's what makes NYC great and that's what allows everyone to find every form of housing to suit their tastes (other than a farm).

    Besides, no one wants NYC to look like some Asian city of 12 story shit buildings covering ever square inch.

    Do you think having park space fits in a city setting? Same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC
    Besides, no one wants NYC to look like some Asian city of 12 story shit buildings covering ever square inch.
    Tragically, that's exactly what has happened to Main Street- Flushing. I remember growing up in an area that wasn't high-class but at least had its charms. That whole area today cannot easily be distinguished from Chinatown today, with garbage in the streets, bland 4-6 floor buildings with illegible store signs cluttered up all over, and this fetid smell on Main Street even I can't explain. The apartment buildings surrounding it (some as tall as 20 floors) are probably the best thing about Flushing. I really hate what's become of it (and yes I'm Asian American).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agglomeration
    Quote Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC
    Besides, no one wants NYC to look like some Asian city of 12 story shit buildings covering ever square inch.
    Tragically, that's exactly what has happened to Main Street- Flushing. I remember growing up in an area that wasn't high-class but at least had its charms. That whole area today cannot easily be distinguished from Chinatown today, with garbage in the streets, bland 4-6 floor buildings with illegible store signs cluttered up all over, and this fetid smell on Main Street even I can't explain. The apartment buildings surrounding it (some as tall as 20 floors) are probably the best thing about Flushing. I really hate what's become of it (and yes I'm Asian American).
    Thats why there's a master plan (www.downtownflushing.com) and a new BID. It will be much improved over the coming years.

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