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Projects & Proposals > Queens > Astoria Rezoning Printer Friendly Version
Astoria Rezoning - Approved!
Proposed Zoning
Overview | Existing Zoning & Context | Proposed Zoning | Public Review


The rezoning’s main goal is to preserve Astoria’s scale through the mapping of contextual zoning districts to more closely reflect existing residential building types and development patterns that characterize the neighborhood on a block-by-block basis.

The proposed rezoning also would encourage new mixed-used, moderate-density development along some of the area’s wider streets, commercial corridors and at sites located close to transit hubs. The Inclusionary Housing Program would be applied in key locations to provide incentives for the development or preservation of affordable housing units.

Proposed modifications to the commercial overlay districts are intended to prevent encroachment of commercial uses onto residential blocks, and create new districts that would reflect existing commercial uses and provide new business location opportunities. PDF Document View zoning comparison chart.

Proposed Zoning Map
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PDF Document View map modified by CPC (4/28/10)
Proposed Commercial Overlays
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R4-1 (from R4, R5)
Semi-attached buildings in a proposed R4-1 district on 30th Road
Semi-attached buildings in a proposed R4-1 district on 30th Road
The proposed R4-1 districts include a) portions of 7 blocks facing 20th Road between 33rd and 38th Streets; b) portions of one block bounded by 14th Street, 21st Street, 30th Avenue, and 30th Road; and c) portions of one block bounded by Vernon Boulevard, 12th Street, Welling Court, and 30th Road. R4-1 districts permit one- and two-family detached and semi-detached residences, which is consistent with development patterns in these areas.

R4-1 allows an (FAR) of 0.9 (including a 0.15 attic allowance) and the maximum building height is 35 feet with a perimeter wall height limit of 25 feet.  Front wall lineup is required and the parking requirement is 100% (one space for each unit).

R4 (from R5)
Varying housing types in the proposed R4 district on 37th Street
Varying housing types in the proposed R4 district on 37th Street
The proposed R4 district includes portions of 4 blocks bounded by 33rd Street, 38th Street, 20th Avenue, and 20th Road. This area is characterized by attached two-story, single-family homes with relatively low lot coverage and FAR. The proposed R4 district allows a maximum building height of 35 feet, and a maximum perimeter wall height of 25 feet. The maximum FAR is 0.9, including a 0.15 FAR attic allowance. This maximum FAR more closely matches existing FARs and limits out-of character development on these blocks. One parking space is required for each dwelling unit. Since these blocks are partially within contextual zones, infill zoning provisions are not applicable.

R4B (from R6)
Two-story attached buildings in the proposed R4B district on 36th Street
Two-story attached buildings in the proposed R4B district on 36th Street
The proposed R4B district includes portions of 2 blocks facing 36th Street between 30th and 31st Avenues. This area is characterized by two-story row houses. R4B allows one- and two-family development of all housing types. The maximum residential FAR is 0.9.  The maximum building height is 24 feet. Front wall lineup is required, and parking must be provided at a rate of one space per dwelling unit, but front yard parking would be prohibited.

R4B would more closely match the low-scale character of this area and protect its planted front yards.

R5 (from R6B)
Small apartment building in the proposed R5 district
Small apartment building in the proposed R5 district
The proposed R5 district includes portions of 3 blocks facing 14th Place between Astoria Park South and 27th Avenue. This area is characterized by a mix of housing types and mostly two- and three-story buildings. The proposed R5 district allows all housing types including detached, semi-detached, attached and multi-family residences.

The maximum FAR for all housing types is 1.25, which is consistent with existing development. . The maximum building height is 40 feet, with a maximum perimeter wall height of 35 feet, and this scale would also more closely match the built fabric. Off-street parking is required for 85% of the dwelling units. Since these blocks are partially within contextual zones, infill provisions would not be applicable.

R5B (from R5, R6)
Three-story attached buildings in a proposed R5B district
Three-story attached buildings in a proposed R5B district
The proposed R5B districts include all or portions of 125 blocks located throughout the study area. These blocks are characterized by two- and three-story attached and semi-detached buildings.

R5B allows all housing types. The maximum residential FAR is 1.35, and buildings are limited to 33 feet in height, with a 30 foot maximum perimeter wall. In the areas where R5B is proposed, the FAR and height regulations would typically allow modest horizontal or vertical expansion of residential buildings while maintaining the two- and three-story scale of these blocks. Front wall lineup is required. Parking must be provided for 66% of dwelling units. Front yard parking is prohibited, thereby protecting the planted front yards that are typical in the proposed R5B districts.

R5D (from R5, R6)
Four-story buildings in a proposed R5D district
Four-story buildings in a proposed R5D district
The proposed R5D districts include all or portions of 60 blocks located primarily in the northern portion of the study area. These proposed districts are predominantly developed with three- and four-story attached buildings and some small apartment buildings. Many proposed R5D districts correspond with main corridors in the northern portion of the rezoning area.

R5D allows all housing types. The maximum FAR for all development is 2.0, which is generally consistent with existing buildings in the proposed districts. Buildings are limited to 40 feet in height. Front wall lineup is required and parking must be provided for 66% of dwelling units.

R6B (from R5, R6)
Four-story buildings in a proposed R6B district
Four-story buildings in a proposed R6B district
The proposed R6B districts include all or portions of 48 blocks located primarily in the southern portion of the study area. These proposed districts are typically developed with three- to five-story buildings. They would reinforce the typical scale of development on many of Astoria’s streets in the southern portion of the rezoning area.

R6B allows all housing types. The maximum FAR for all development is 2.0 and buildings are limited to 50 feet in height, with a base height ranging from 30-40 feet above which a front setback is required. Front wall lineup is also required. Parking must be provided for 50% of dwelling units, but this requirement is waived if 5 or fewer spaces are required.

R6A (from R5, R6)
Five-story buildings with high lot coverage in a proposed R6A district
Five-story buildings with high lot coverage in a proposed R6A district
The proposed R6A districts include all or portions of 65 blocks located primarily in the southern portion of the study area. These proposed districts would include many of the avenues in the southern portion of the rezoning area, including Astoria Boulevard, Newtown Avenue, 28th Avenue, 30th Avenue, 31st Avenue, and Broadway.

R6A allows all housing types. The maximum FAR for all development is 3.0 and buildings are limited to 70 feet in height, with a base height of 40-60 feet above which a front setback is required. These requirements are consistent with the predominant built character of four- to six-story elevator buildings on large lots with high lot coverage. Front wall lineup is required. Parking must be provided for 50% of dwelling units, but this requirement is waived if 5 or fewer spaces are required.

R7A (from R5, R6)
Seven-story building in a proposed R7A district
Seven-story building in a proposed R7A district
The proposed R7A districts include a) portions of 12 blocks facing 21st Street between 28th Avenue and Broadway; and b) portions of 5 blocks facing Vernon Boulevard between Broadway and Welling Court. The proposed R7A districts would encourage development of new market rate and affordable housing on these wide streets. An associated proposed action (discussed below) would allow optional Inclusionary Housing Program provisions in the proposed R7A zones.

Under the Inclusionary Housing Program, the base residential FAR is 3.45, and the maximum FAR, achieved by designating 20% of units as affordable, is 4.6. The maximum Community facility FAR is 4.0. Buildings are limited to 80 feet in height, with a base height ranging from 40-65 feet, and front wall lineup is required. Parking must be provided for 50% of dwelling units, but this requirement is waived if 15 or fewer spaces are required.

C4-3 (from R5, R6)
Seven-story mixed-use building in a proposed C4-3 district
Seven-story mixed-use building in a proposed C4-3 district
The proposed C4-3 districts include a) all or portions of 20 blocks facing 31st Street between 21st Avenue and Newtown Avenue, and facing Astoria Boulevard between 29th Street and 35th Street; and b) portions of 7 blocks facing 31st Street between 30th Avenue and 34th Avenue. C4-3 is proposed along the 31st Street “spine,” which features the elevated tracks that currently carry the N and W trains.

C4-3 districts have similar bulk and height controls to R6, the residential equivalent. Maximum FAR is 2.43 for residential development and 3.4 for commercial development. Community facility uses are allowed a maximum of 4.8 FAR. Like R6, the proposed C4-3 districts also allow residential development pursuant to the Quality Housing program. This allows maximum heights of 55 and 70 feet, with maximum FARs of 3.0 and 2.2 on wide and narrow streets, respectively. Mixed use buildings may contain up to two floors of commercial uses with residential above. C4-3 districts also have flexible street wall location and setback regulations that would be appropriate for developments along this corridor.

C4-2A (from R5, R6)
Six-story mixed-use building in a proposed C4-2A district
Six-story mixed-use building in a proposed C4-2A district
The proposed C4-2A districts include all or portions of 43 blocks facing 30th Avenue between 30th Street and Steinway Street, Newtown Avenue between 32nd Street and 33rd Street, Steinway Street between Astoria Boulevard South and 28th Avenue, Broadway between 31st Street and Steinway Street, and 31st Street between Ditmars Boulevard and the Hell Gate Bridge approach viaduct. C4-2A districts are characterized by mixed-use development including local and regional retail, office uses, and residential uses.

C4-2A has similar bulk and height controls to R6A, the residential equivalent. Maximum FAR is 3.0 for all types of development. Maximum building height is 70 feet, with a base height ranging between 40 and 60 feet. Mixed use buildings may contain up to two floors of commercial uses with residential above. The proposed C4-2A districts would allow a mix of commercial and residential buildings to strengthen the vitality of the locations where it is proposed.

C4-4A (from R6)
The proposed C4-4A district includes portions of 4 blocks facing Newtown Avenue between 30th Street and 32nd Street. Like the proposed R7A districts, the proposed C4-4A district would encourage development of new market rate and affordable housing at this transit hub. The optional Inclusionary Housing Program would be applicable with the same terms as proposed in the R7A districts.

C4-4A has similar bulk and height controls to R7A, its residential equivalent. The base residential FAR is 3.45, and can be increased to a maximum of 4.6 with the Inclusionary Housing bonus. Commercial and community facility uses are allowed at a maximum FAR of 4.0. Maximum building height is 80 feet, with a base height of between 40 and 65 feet. Mixed use buildings may contain up to two floors of commercial uses with residential above.

Commercial Overlay District Modifications
Ground-floor commercial uses in a proposed C1-3 overlay
Ground-floor commercial uses in a proposed C1-3 overlay
The proposal includes changes to certain existing commercial overlays within the rezoning area to more closely match existing land use and development patterns.

Several C1-2 and C2-2 overlays would be changed to C1-3 and C2-3 overlays and their depths would be changed from 150 feet to 100 feet to preclude commercial intrusion into residential mid-blocks. Changing the existing C1-2 and C2-2 commercial overlays to C1-3 and C2-3 commercial overlays would reduce the required parking from generally one parking space per 300 square feet of commercial floor area to one space per 400 square feet of commercial area. In the proposed C1-4 districts, most retail uses would require one accessory parking space per 1,000 square feet of commercial floor area.

The proposal also would establish new C1-3, C2-3, and C1-4 districts in order to recognize existing commercial land use patterns and provide new business location opportunities, and it would eliminate existing C1-2, C2-2, C1-4, and C2-4 overlay districts that overlap proposed C4-2A, C4-3, and C4-4A districts.

Proposed Zoning Text Amendment
A zoning text amendment is being proposed to make the Inclusionary Housing Program applicable in the proposed R7A and C4-4A districts along Vernon Boulevard, 21st Street and 31st Street to provide incentives for the creation and preservation of affordable housing in conjunction with the development of new residential units.

For residential development without an affordable housing component, the maximum FAR would be limited to 3.45. Under the Inclusionary Housing Program, developments providing affordable housing are eligible for a floor area bonus, within contextual height and bulk regulations tailored to the area. Developments could qualify for a maximum FAR of 4.6 (within the 40’-65’ base height limit and the 80’ maximum building height limit) in the designated districts by providing 20 percent of the residential floor area in the development as permanently affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. Affordable units can be provided either on-site or off-site. Off-site affordable units must be located within Community District 1 since no other community district is within a half-mile of sites that would be eligible for the floor area bonus. Other city, state and federal housing finance programs may be used to provide further assistance in creation of affordable units. The combination of a zoning bonus with housing programs would establish a powerful incentive for the development and preservation of affordable housing in the Astoria neighborhood.







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Brief explanations of terms in green italics can be viewed by clicking on the term. Words and phrases followed by an asterisk (*) are defined terms in the Zoning Resolution, primarily in Section 12-10. Consult the Zoning Resolution for the official and legally binding definitions of these words and phrases.
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