Council downzones 41 blocks in Forest Hills

Plan will preserve low-density character. On October 29, 2007, the City Council approved, City Planning’s plan to rezone 41 blocks in the southern portion of the Forest Hills neighborhood in Queens.

The plan, drafted in consultation with Queens Community Board 6, the Forest Hills Community and Civic Association, and Council Member Melinda Katz, aims to preserve the low-density character within the triangle-shaped area generally bounded by Union Turnpike, 69th Avenue, and Kessel Street. Although the old, R3-2 zoning allowed a range of housing types, the area is developed by mostly one-and two-family homes.

A new R3A zoning district will cover 31 blocks, some north of Metropolitan Avenue west of Ascan Avenue, and others south of Metropolitan west of 74th Avenue. A new R3X district, located on three contiguous blocks south of Kessel Street and east of Ascan Avenue, will also better reflect the dominant character of houses in the area, while accounting for larger lot sizes. Lastly, a new R3-1 district, consisting mainly of one block at the eastern edge of the district, will restrict development to one- and two-family detached homes but also allow for semi-detached homes.

To prevent commercial intrusion on the newly rezoned residential side streets, the City will rezone C1-2 and C2-2 commercial overlays along Metropolitan Avenue to C1-3 and C2-3 and reduce the overlay from 150 feet to 100 feet.

At the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises hearing on October 23, 2007, Council Member Katz, whose district includes Forest Hills, stated that the area needed rezoning to avoid “commercial creep” from Metropolitan Avenue. Barbara Stuchinski, president of the Forest Hills Community and Civic Association, also testified in support of the plan. No speakers testified in opposition. The full Council approved the plan without modifications on October 29, 2007.

ULURP Process:
Lead Agency: CPC,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: QN 6,App’d, 31-0-0
Boro.Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0
Council: App’d, 49-0-0

Council: Forest Hills South Rezoning (Oct. 29, 2007). CITYADMIN

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