88 Blocks of Southeast Queens Down-Zoned

Council vote completes 4-year push to prohibit large apartment buildings. The City Council approved the Planning Commission’s comprehensive down-zoning proposal of 88 blocks in Brookville, north of JFK International Airport in Queens. The Council’s vote completes a four-year-long initiative, which started with a community letter to the Queens Borough President in 2000 and led to the creation of a joint Community Board, Borough President, and City Planning Department Task Force.

The Brookville residents, pointing to a rising number of out-of-character developments in the area, asked that steps be taken to prohibit large developments. Concern arose from construction of several as-of-right 12-unit apartment buildings and one 25-unit apartment building directly adjacent to Brookville Park at 145-33 and 145-37 232nd Street. Prior to these developments, Brookville was characterized by one and two-family homes and small semi-detached dwellings.

The zoning changed from R3-2 to R3-1 or R4B, with a small two-block manufacturing zone left unchanged. The majority of the rezoning will limit development to one and two-family buildings. Council approved the down-zoning on September 28th.

ULURP Process: City Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on May 10, 2004. Queens Community Board 13 held two public hearings, voting to approve on June 28, 2004 by 30 to 0 and Borough President Helen Marshall approved on July 20, 2004. The Commission approved on August 25, 2004, with Vice Chair Kenneth Knuckles and Commissioner Irwin Cantor noting that their tour of the area made it clear that out-of-scale development was threatening Brookville’s character.

Council: Res. No. 603 (September 28, 2004); CPC: Brookville Rezoning (C 040446 ZMQ rezoning) (August 25, 2004).

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