Rezoning in southeast Queens approved

Local council member supported 193-block contextual rezoning in suburban Queens. On August 25, 2010, the City Planning Commission approved the Department of City Planning’s proposal to rezone 193 blocks in Rosedale, Queens. The triangular-shaped rezoning area is generally bounded by Merrick Boulevard to the north, Idlewild Park and Hook Creek to the south, Nassau County to the east, and Brookville Boulevard to the west. The plan seeks to preserve the neighborhood’s low-density character and builds on three recent rezonings in the nearby neighborhoods of Brookville, Cambria Heights, and Laurelton. The Commission certified the proposal in June 2010. 7 CityLand 91 (July 15, 2010).

Sunrise Highway bisects the rezoning area. The northern portion is zoned R2 and characterized by single- family detached homes. Rosedale’s southern portion is zoned R3- 2, which allows a variety of housing types, including low-rise attached houses, small multi-family apartment houses, and detached and semi-detached houses. This area is also characterized by single-family detached homes, but the flexibility of the R3-2 zoning has resulted in pockets of over development out of character with the area’s prevailing suburban nature. Planning would replace the majority of the R3-2 zoning with contextual zoning districts in order to better reflect existing development. The plan would rezone 146 blocks throughout the southern portion of Rosedale to R3X, thereby limiting building types to detached one- and two-family homes.

Planning would apply R3-1 districts to six areas encompassing 39 blocks, limiting new development to detached and semi-detached homes. Two small portions would be rezoned from R3-2 to R3A to match those areas’ existing narrow lot development. Planning would also extend the existing R2 district over six lots occupied by detached residences and modify commercial overlays to correspond with existing uses.

At the Commission’s public hearing, a representative for Council Member James Sanders Jr., whose district includes Rosedale, said that Sanders “wholeheartedly” supported the rezoning and that the area “has been inundated with over development for far too long.” Bill Perkins, president of the Rosedale Civic Association, testified that Rosedale would be the last neighborhood in southeast Queens to be rezoned, emphasizing that the community did not want to fall victim to over development when the economy rebounds. There were no speakers in opposition.

The Commission unanimously approved the proposal.

CPC: Rosedale Rezoning (C 100436 ZMQ – rezoning) (Aug. 25, 2010).

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