Commission modifies North Corona rezoning plan

Modification allows businesses on portions of 37th Avenue to expand. On February 18, 2009, the City Planning Commission approved, with one modification, the Department of City Planning’s rezoning proposal for North Corona, Queens. The proposed rezoning impacts 100 blocks generally bounded by Roosevelt Avenue on the south, 89th to 95th Streets on the west, Northern and Astoria Boulevards on the north, and 114th Street on the east.

The current proposal is City Planning’s response to the out-of- character development that occurred after a broad rezoning of the area in 2003. To further limit the density of new construction, City Planning proposes to rezone portions of 68 blocks from R6B to R5 and R5A, and from R5 to R5A. The R5A contextual zoning district, which had not been created at the time of the 2003 rezoning, would limit new development to one- and two-family detached houses. The proposal would also create a contextual corridor along portions of Astoria and Northern Boulevards by rezoning these areas from R6 to R6A This action would encourage medium-density development and establisha fixed maximum building height of 70 ft.

At the hearing, several affected property owners expressed concerns about the proposal, including the owner of McGrath Funeral Home on 37th Avenue, who testified that the rezoning would hinder her ability to expand her business and stay competitive with larger funeral homes in the area. Eric Palatnik, representing a local developer, stated that his client had relied upon the 2003 rezoning when it decided to build along 110th Street and Northern Boulevard. Palatnik testified that the proposed rezoning would prevent the project from being built, and asked the Planning Commission to carve out the area from the proposal. A representative of Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall testified that Marshall supported the rezoning, but recommended that the Planning Commission reevaluate the rezoning of 37th Avenue and 92nd Street to ensure that businesses in this area, including McGrath Funeral Home, were not negatively impacted.

The Commission generally supported City Planning’s proposal, but modified it by carving out a portion of 37th Avenue generally between 90th and 92nd Streets. The area would retain its R6B zoning, allowing commercial businesses, including McGrath Funeral Home, to modestly expand. The Commission believed the modification would help maintain the balance between preventing out-of-character residential development and supporting commercial uses.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: QN 3,App’d, 28-0-4
Boro.Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0
Council: Pending

CPC: North Corona 2 Rezoning (C090112 ZMQ – rezoning) (Feb. 18, 2009). CITYADMIN



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