The Briarwood Organization requested a rezoning in order to expand offices on adjoining property. On October 14, 2009, the City Council approved the Briarwood Organization LLC’s proposal to extend a C2- 2 commercial overlay within an existing R4 district on Bell Boulevard between 36th and 38th Avenues in Bayside, Queens. The C2-2 overlay had previously extended 200 feet north of the intersection of Bell Boulevard and 38th Avenue, stopping at a two-story building at 36-35 Bell Boulevard that is occupied by Briarwood’s offices. The underlying R4 district does not permit commercial and office uses, and Briarwood requested the rezoning in order to expand its offices by building an attached four-story structure north of its existing building on property currently owned by Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Briarwood originally proposed extending the C2-2 overlay’s boundary 300 feet north to the corner of Bell Boulevard and 36th Avenue. During its review of the application, however, the City Planning Commission limited the overlay extension to 50 feet. The Commission noted that this would be sufficient to allow Briarwood to develop its planned office and community facility building on the adjacent lots.
At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, Chair Tony Avella, whose district includes the rezoned area, said he agreed with reducing the overlay’s extension, but objected to the proposed building’s four-story height. Avella noted that during a preliminary meeting he had asked Briarwood to reduce the building’s height to match its existing two-story office building. Avella stated that he was “extremely disappointed” that Briarwood had failed to respond to his request, and he laid over the vote to allow further discussions.
When the Subcommittee reconvened on October 6, Briarwood’s representative said that it had agreed to reduce the height of its proposed office building from four- to three-stories. Avella said that he supported the modified proposal, and the Subcommittee approved the plan.
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: BK 11,App’d, 22-10-3
CPC: App’d, 11-0-0
Council: App’d, 48-0-3
Council: Briarwood Plaza Rezoning (C 060551 ZMQ – rezoning) (Oct. 14, 2009).