Housing for formerly incarcerated women approved

Not-for-profit requested rezoning in order to develop affordable housing for formerly incarcerated women and their children. On September 16, 2010, the City Council approved Hour Children Inc.’s proposal to rezone a one-and-a-half block portion of Ravenswood, Queens to permit residential uses. The rezoning area is bounded by 36th Avenue to the north, 37th Avenue to the south, 11th Street to the east, and a line midway between 12th and 13th streets to the west. The proposal included replacing the area’s M1-1 district with an R5D district.

Hour Children owns a 10,000 sq.ft. lot at 36-11 12th Street where it intends to build an eighteen-unit, four-story affordable housing development. The rezoning area consists of low-rise residential and community facility uses, including a church, child care center, and fire station. The proposal brings these legal nonconforming uses into compliance with the zoning resolution.

Hour Children’s project will provide permanently affordable two- and three- bedroom apartments for formerly incarcerated women where they might reunite with their children and re-integrate into the community. The 26,000 sq.ft. project will also include office space for staff, a conference room located in the basement, and a landscaped rooftop playground and seating area for residents.

Queens Community Board 1 and Borough President Helen Marshall supported the proposal. The City Planning Commission unanimously approved the rezoning.

At the Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing on September 13, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, whose district includes the project, applauded the efforts of Hour Children and said the building will be a “tremendous addition to the neighborhood.” The Subcommittee unanimously approved the rezoning, as did the Land Use Committee and the full Council.

ULURP Process:
Lead Agency: CPC, Neg. Dec.
Comm. Bd.: QN 1, App’d, 31-0-1
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0
Council: App’d, 48-0-0

Council: Hour Children Rezoning (C 100145 ZMQ – rezoning) (Sept. 16, 2010) (Architect: Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects LLP).

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