City Planning Hears Application for Senior-Tailored Housing in Queens

Rendering of 43-80 Douglaston Parkway. Image Credit: NYC CPC/ Akerman LLP

Thirty-four affordable apartments for seniors will be created if the project is approved. On December 5, 2018, the City Planning Commission heard an application for the construction of two buildings off Douglaston Parkway in the Douglaston section of Queens. If approved, the buildings will be constructed at 241-15 Northern Boulevard and 43-80 Douglaston Parkway. Lisa Orrantia of Akerman LLP presented the application on behalf of 241-15 Northern LLC and North Shore Realty Group Corp.

241-15 Northern Boulevard will be a five-story mixed-use residential building with ground floor commercial use. The building will have 59 residential dwelling units including 20 affordable apartments for seniors. This project site currently has a one-story structure that was used for an automotive service station and is currently an accessory parking lot for a restaurant across the street owned by one of the co-applicants.

43-80 Douglaston Parkway will be an eight-story residential building. The building will have 24 residential units with fourteen affordable units for seniors. The affordable units will be available to households at 80 percent AMI. This project site is currently vacant.

To facilitate the project, the applicants requested a zoning change to increase the maximum FAR from 0.5 to 3.9. The applicants requested a commercial overlay on one of the rezoned areas. The applicants also requested the creation of a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) area mapped for Option 1 and Option 2. Option 1 requires 25 percent of the floor area to be reserved for inclusionary housing at on average 60 percent AMI. Option 2 requires 30 percent of the floor area to be reserved for inclusionary house at an average 80 percent AMI. The applicants recommended Option 2 for the project sites.

Rendering of 241-15 Northern Boulevard. image credit: NYC CPC/ Akerman LLP

The buildings will be marketed to people aged 55 and over. Senior programming and services will be provided by HANAC Inc. According to Lisa Orrantia of Akerman LLP, HANAC will be responsible for marketing, processing rental applications and explaining eligibility and application requirements to seniors.

The rezoning covers six lots, two of which will be used for the development of the two buildings. Three of the other lots within the rezoning area currently have six and seven-story non-complying buildings. The remaining lot is an accessory parking lot.

On October 22, 2018, Queens Community Board 11 voted to disapprove of the application with 24 votes against and two abstentions. The Community Board was concerned about the buildings’ impact on traffic due to the proximity of the intersection of Douglaston Parkway and Northern Boulevard, two of the buisiest roads in the borough. Board members also expressed concern about the buildings’ effect on the bicycle lane on Northern Boulevard.

On November 26, 2018, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz recommended approval of the applications with conditions that the applicants commit to market all units to people aged 55 and over; that the applicants coordinate with the Department of Transportation for any potential mitigations for the intersection of Douglaston Parkway and Northern Boulevard; and that 43-80 Douglaston Parkway be reduced to seven stories instead of eight and that the applicant record a deed restriction that reflected the height limitation.

At the City Planning Comission public hearing, Commissioner Larisa Ortiz asked about the safety and traffic concerns raised by Community Board 11. Orrantia stated that the applicants were prepared to work with DOT to address any safety concerns. Kevin Williams of Equity Environmental Engineering also responded to Commissioner Ortiz’s question, stating that in the past three years, there has only been one pedestrian accident with one injury at the intersection of Douglaston Parkway and Northern Boulevard. There were 47 vehicular accidents over three years, but according to Williams that still fell short from qualifying as a “high crash zone” under DOT standards, which require 24 vehicular accidents over one year.

At the City Planning hearing, Silvia Ruiz, a resident in other HANAC housing, spoke in support of the project, noting that the neighborhood is in need of housing aimed at senior citizens. A few other speakers shared a similar sentiment, noting that affordable housing would allow seniors to age in place.

Several people also spoke in opposition to the project, citing concerns about the effect on traffic.

The City Planning Commission will vote on the application at a later date.


By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2018.)


2 thoughts on “City Planning Hears Application for Senior-Tailored Housing in Queens

  1. I will appreciate it very much if you give information about housing project and how can I get the housing application (43-80 Douglastion parkway ) and etc.

    thank you!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.