Council approves Commission modification demapping two street portions but not a third. On September 24, 2008, the City Council approved GTJ Co., Inc.’s plan, as modified by the City Planning Commission, to rezone its property from C4-2 and R3-2 to C4-1, and demap portions of abutting mapped streets.
GTJ owns Lot 34 of Block 1082 and the entirety of Block 1083, where it operates a Budget Rent-a- Car business. The property is roughly bounded by 23rd and 24th Avenues between 87th and 89th Streets in Elmhurst, Queens, just south of Grand Central Parkway and LaGuardia Airport.
GTJ proposed several actions to expand and improve its business operations. In order to make use of the currently vacant R3-2 portion of its property, GTJ requested a zoning map change for a C4-1 district. The change would allow GTJ to use the land for its car rental operation, whereas the present R3-2 district does not. GTJ also submitted an application to demap several portions of two streets that appear on the City Map: 24th Avenue between 88th and 89th Street, 24th Avenue between 89th Street and 90th Place, and 88th Street, a two-way street, between 23rd and 24th Avenues.
The City Planning Commission approved the rezoning, finding that the change would allow GTJ to expand its car rental business, an enterprise that serves LaGuardia Airport. The Commission also approved the demapping of 24th Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets and the demapping of 24th Avenue between 89th Street and 90th Place, finding that these sections were either unimproved, not open to traffic, or developed with residences. However, the Commission declined to approve the demapping of 88th Street between 23rd and 24th Avenues. The Commission felt that curb cuts along 88th Street would provide sufficient access.
At the September 16 hearing before the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises, Stuart Beckerman, attorney for GTJ, requested that the Subcommittee reconsider the demapping of 88th Street because it would create an appropriate buffer between commercial/ industrial areas to the north and residential areas to the south. Chair Tony Avella stated that the Subcommittee would not approve the demapping of 88th Street, and was also concerned that GTJ had not incorporated Queens Community Board 3’s recommendation that GTJ install security lighting and metal slat fencing. Avella asked Beckerman to confer with GTJ before the Subcommittee voted, and the meeting closed without a vote.
The Subcommittee reconvened the next day, and Avella stated that GTJ had agreed to both of CB3’s recommendations. The proposal, as modified, was sent to the Land Use Committee which also approved. The full Council followed suit later that month.
CITYLANDCorrection: In the September 15, 2008 issue at page 120 we incorrectly listed the address for The Whitehouse Hotel as 338 Bowery, Manhattan. The correct address is 342 Bowery, Manhattan. We also failed to note in the same report that the Sustainable Manhattan Society remained opposed to designation of the NoHo historic district extension when the proposed designation reached the Council.