Queens community rezoned at request of residents. On July 27, 2005, the City Council approved a 103-block rezoning in East Flushing. The proposed rezoning was initiated by the Planning Department in response to requests of the East Flushing Civic Association, the Off-Broadway Homeowners’ Association, Community Board 7 and a zoning task force created by Borough President Helen Marshall’s office. The groups raised concerns that the 1961 zoning did not reflect building patterns in the area and encouraged out-of-character development.
A majority of the rezoned areas, from 149th Street to 166th Street, had allowed as-of-right construction of large multi-family buildings in streets generally developed with single or two-family homes. These areas were down-zoned to districts restricting density to one and two-family structures (R2, R4-1 and R4A). Along East Flushing’s major thoroughfares, Northern Boulevard and Crocheron Avenue, the new zoning (R6B) would allow mixed-use development. The existing commercial overlay was extended to 159th Street, but its depth of coverage was decreased to prohibit commercial uses from encroaching on established residential streets.
The Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and the Land Use Committee approved the application on July 26, 2005. The full Council approved on July 27, 2005.
ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on January 31, 2005. Community Board 7 approved with conditions to increase the area zoned R2, reduce the commercial district, and change portions of the R6B zoning to R5B. Borough President Helen Marshall approved, echoing the Community Board’s conditions, however Marshall submitted her comments after the 30-day review period.
At the Commission’s May 25, 2005 hearing, residents expressed concerns that the new R6B district along Northern Boulevard and Sanford Avenue would encourage overdevelopment with insufficient parking. Three private homeowners opposed, saying that the rezoning was not justified.
On July 11, 2005, the Commission unanimously approved the application, finding the rezoning necessary to prevent over-development and provide a range of housing choices to the city’s residents. The Commission changed the R6B zoning along portions of Northern Boulevard and Sanford Avenue to R5B and reduced the commercial overlay districts.
Council: East Flushing Rezoning (July 27, 2005); CPC: East Flushing Rezoning (C 050277 ZMQ) (July 11, 2005). CITYADMIN