Area rezoned to preserve one and two family homes

Residents sought rezoning to halt subdivisions and out-of-character residential development. On March 22, 2006, the Planning Commission unanimously approved a rezoning impacting 82 blocks of the Bayswater and Far Rockaway neighborhoods in Queens. The rezoned areas are predominately residential and border the Far Rockaway commercial district. The rezoning was proposed in response to overdevelopment concerns caused by the subdivision of large lots and replacement of one- and two-family homes with multi-family homes.

Existing R2, R3-2, R4, and R5 districts will be rezoned R1-2, R3A, R3X, R4A, and R4-1 to ensure that new development will match existing density and housing types. The new zoning restricts residential development to one- or two-family detached residences with height limited to 35 feet (R3A, R3X, R4A, and R4-1) or based on the sky exposure plane (R1-2). Minimum lot size requirements within the rezoning are 5,700 sq.ft. (R1-2), 2,375 sq.ft. (R3A and R4-1), 3,325 sq.ft. (R3X), and 2,250 sq.ft. (R4A).

At the Commission’s February 22, 2006 public hearing, speakers in favor of the rezoning, including neighborhood associations and residents, addressed the need to curb out-of-scale construction and prevent demolition of sound one- and two-family detached homes. Blaming over-development and increased density, the Bayswater Civic Association reported traffic and sewer problems in the area. The Far Rockaway Neighborhood Association expressed concern over unreliable evacuation routes. Speaking in opposition, the owners of 13-50 Norton Drive testified that the new R1-2 zone unfairly included their lot and reduced its value.

The Commission unanimously approved the rezoning without modifications on March 22, 2006, finding that the rezoning will preserve the area’s low-density character and ensure consistent development in the future.

ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration. Community Board 14 and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall approved. City Council review is pending.

CPC: Bayswater Rezoning (C 060259 ZMQ) (March 22, 2006). CITYADMIN

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