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About Us > Press Releases Printer Friendly Version

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2003

CONTACT: Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471

City Planning’s North Corona Rezoning Plan Enacted by City Council

September 17, 2003, New York, NY - Department of City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden announced today that the City Council has voted unanimously to approve the Department’s proposal to rezone 120 blocks in North Corona in Queens in order to balance future growth and preserve neighborhood scale. The Department's initiative is designed to accommodate the area’s growing population by encouraging the production of moderate density housing on certain wide streets with good transit and highway access. This carefully balanced zoning will also prevent out-of-character development on the area’s side streets.

"I am delighted that the Council has approved this zoning initiative to meet the needs of this rapidly growing and evolving community. In keeping with the mayor’s commitments to strengthen neighborhoods, this plan will help answer North Corona’s critical need for housing while preserving the scale of its residential areas," said Ms. Burden, adding, "The rezoning safeguards existing housing, capitalizes on the richness of transportation in North Corona and supports community retail uses."

She noted that between 1990 and 2000, Queens Community District 3 grew from 128,900 persons to 169,100. These 40,000 new residents represent the largest numerical increase of any district in the city, yet only 1,120 new housing units were added during that same period. The rezoning area comprises one-quarter of Community District 3. The housing shortfall in the district has contributed to increased pressure on existing housing stock caused by overcrowding and unchecked subdivision of single family homes into smaller multiple family dwellings.

Providing gradually increasing density along avenues leading to the No. 7 train will increase opportunities for new housing construction in appropriate locations, easing the strain on existing housing. The increased density along portions of Astoria, Northern and Junction boulevards is expected to encourage residential and mixed retail/residential development. At the same time, the Department’s plan provides for maintaining the established scale of development on neighborhood side streets.

The plan encompasses 120 blocks bounded by 32nd Avenue and Astoria Boulevard to the north, 114th Street to the east, Roosevelt Avenue to the south and a western boundary defined by a stepped line beginning at 89th Street at Roosevelt Avenue and ending at 93rd Street and 32nd Avenue.

Unlike the existing zoning, the Department’s new zoning plan better mirrors the way the North Corona has developed. For instance, the 1961 zoning designations did not distinguish between wide and narrow street contexts, potentially allowing high-rise developments on side streets between Roosevelt and 35th/34th avenues where lower rise buildings predominate. In addition, although commercial development is concentrated on Northern Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue, 37th Avenue and Junction Boulevard, stretches of these streets currently have zoning that does not allow new commercial or mixed-use buildings. On the other hand, the commercial overlays along Northern Boulevard and portions of 37th Avenue extend well into the residentially developed side streets and allow out-of-context commercial uses along these narrow streets. The new zoning corrects such mismatches.

To ensure that future development is compatible with neighborhood character, the Department’s plan provides for contextual and lower-density residential districts for side streets in this area. The additional development controls afforded by the lower density contextual zoning, such as building height limits, front building wall line-up requirements and restrictions on curb cuts, would prevent out-of-scale buildings allowed under the existing zoning and reinforce the established patterns of development.

Ms. Burden credited, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and her Zoning Task Force as well as Queens Community Board 3, which had requested a land use and zoning study in 1980 and 1991, for their cooperative work in seeing this project through the public review process to today’s approval.

For more information on this district or population and land use information on the city’s other 58 community districts, please visit the District Profiles.


About City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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