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June 7, 2010

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


Proposal would reinforce the neighborhood’s low-density residential character

June 7, 2010 – City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden today announced the beginning of public review for a 193-block rezoning of the Rosedale neighborhood in southeast Queens. The proposed rezoning would protect the low-density character of the neighborhood, ensuring that future residential development will more closely reflect the existing built scale. Commercial overlays would also be updated along retail corridors to better match the surrounding area and prevent commercial uses from encroaching onto residential streets. The rezoning proposal responds to requests from Council Member James Sanders, Jr., the Rosedale Civic Association and Community Board 13 who expressed concerns about out-of-character residential buildings that were eroding the appealing character of the neighborhood.

“Since 2002, City Planning has been protecting low-density residential communities in Queens by removing old zoning that has threatened them with out-of-character development, and establishing contextual zones that protect distinct neighborhood building context,” Commissioner Burden said. “With this rezoning proposal, the beautiful blocks in Rosedale that are lined with one- and two-family detached and semi-detached homes will be preserved, and any future development will have to reflect its built character.”

“I am elated that we are moving forward with the process of finally rezoning the beautiful Rosedale community. Today we have sent a bold message to unscrupulous developers that their days of tearing down one family homes and building three and four homes on one lot are over. In the weeks to come, I look forward to working with the community and the Department of City Planning in fighting to preserve our community,” said Council Member James Sanders, Jr.

The proposed rezoning area is triangularly-shaped and generally bounded by Hook Creek Boulevard and the boundary line of the City of New York to the east; Hook Creek and Idlewild Park to the south; and by Huxley Street, 235th Street and the Laurelton (Cross Island) Parkway to the west. Merrick and Francis Lewis Boulevards and 243rd Street are Rosedale’s main commercial streets, providing local convenience shopping, and John F. Kennedy International Airport is less than two miles from the proposed rezoning area.

The current zoning in Rosedale has been unchanged since 1961. South of the Sunrise Highway, which bisects the Rosedale neighborhood, outdated R3-2 zoning has allowed one- and two-family detached homes to be demolished and replaced with new semi-detached and multi-family structures that are out-of-character with the surrounding area. The pace of development in the area has increased, raising concerns in the community of overdevelopment.

The proposed rezoning would build on the success of three contextual rezonings west of Rosedale adopted by the City Council in recent years: the Brookville, Cambria Heights and Laurelton rezonings. This proposal would replace the existing R3-2 zoning district, which allows all building types, with R2, R3A, R3X or R3-1 contextual zoning districts to protect the blocks lined with detached or semi-detached homes.

In addition, commercial overlays will be eliminated or reduced on blocks with predominately residential and community facility uses, such as the east side of Hook Creek Boulevard at 148th Avenue and along North Conduit Avenue between 243rd Street and Hook Creek Boulevard.

Existing C1-2 and C2-1 overlay districts will be replaced with C1-3 or C2-3 districts, which would reduce the overlays’ depth from 150 feet to 100 feet. And a new C1-2 overlay district is proposed to be mapped along 147th Avenue between 235th Street and Brookville Boulevard, where commercial uses exist.

The community board 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 specifics of the zoning proposal or more details on the ULURP time line, please visit the DCP website.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth and development in the City, in part, by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts. 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 and public space.

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