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February 19, 2013

Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning): (212) 720-3471

Public Review Begins for City Planning’s Bellerose, Floral Park, Glen Oaks Rezoning

February 19, 2013 – City Planning Commission Chair Amanda M. Burden today announced the beginning of the public review process for a 411-block rezoning of the Bellerose, Floral Park and Glen Oaks neighborhoods in northeast Queens. These neighborhoods are predominantly developed with detached, single-family homes, and this contextual rezoning proposal will protect the established low-density, suburban character of this area near the borough’s border with Nassau County. The proposal will also inhibit commercial encroachment onto residential streets. This rezoning proposal was developed in response to concerns from the community, local elected officials, local civic associations and the Land Use Committee of Community Board 13 that outdated zoning did not reflect the established neighborhood character and was resulting in denser new development inconsistent with the neighborhood. Since 2002, 43 neighborhoods in Queens have been rezoned encompassing 6,237 blocks.

Commissioner Burden said, “For the past decade, the Department of City Planning has been preserving the City’s many suburban-style neighborhoods. Streets in the Bellerose, Floral Park and Glen Oak neighborhoods in Queens are lined with low-scale, single-family detached homes developed primarily after World War II. This rezoning, which was developed in close consultation with the community, will protect the character of these communities and ensure they aren’t threatened with overdevelopment.”

City Council Member Mark S. Weprin said, "The Bellerose rezoning will combat overdevelopment and help maintain the character of this wonderful community.”

The rezoning area is generally bounded by Grand Central Parkway to the north, the boundary of the City of New York to the east, Jericho Turnpike and 93rd Avenue to the south, and on the west, by an irregular line north along Springfield Boulevard, 221st, 231st and 229th streets. 

Most of the area’s existing zoning (R2, R3A, R3-1, R3-2, R4, R4-1 and C8-1) has remained unchanged since 1961 and has resulted in new development that is substantially denser and larger than surrounding built contexts. Along the area’s major commercial and shopping corridors – Union Turnpike, Hillside Avenue, Braddock Avenue and Jamaica Avenue – commercial overlays (C1-2 and C2-2) are generally mapped to a depth of 150 streets, which has allowed commercial uses to encroach onto residential streets.

The proposed rezoning will generally replace outdated existing zoning with new lower-density and contextual districts (R1-2, R2, R2A, R3A, R3X, R3-1, R3-2, R4-1, R4) that will more closely match area building patterns on a block-by-block basis. The proposed zones will protect the low-density character and make new development more consistent by establishing height limits and requiring front yard depths to better reflect adjacent yards. Additionally, to protect residential blocks from commercial intrusion, depths of commercial overlay zones will be narrowed from 150 feet 100 feet, and some commercial overlays will be eliminated where only residential uses exist. In turn, commercial overlays will be mapped on certain block fronts to reflect and reinforce existing commercial uses found along Jericho turnpike, Braddock Avenue, Hillside Avenue, and Union Turnpike.

Community Board 13 now has 60 days to review the proposal, after which it will go to the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council as part of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). For more information on the Department’s zoning proposal or more details about ULURP, please visit the DCP website.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable communities in the City, in part by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts, as well as establishing policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, waterfront and public space.

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