|The Department of City Planning proposes to amend the Zoning Map on all or portions of 418 blocks in the northeast Queens neighborhoods of Auburndale, Oakland Gardens and Hollis Hills in Community Districts 7, 8, and 11. The rezoning aims to preserve the established lower-density character of these communities. The rezoning area is composed of two sub-areas, the Auburndale Sub-area and the Oakland Gardens-Hollis Hills Sub-area. The Auburndale Sub-area is generally bounded by Station Road to the north, the Long Island Expressway to the south, 166th and Robinson Streets to the west and Francis Lewis Boulevard, Rocky Hill Road and 208th Street to the east. The Oakland Gardens – Hollis Hills Sub-area is generally bounded by the Long Island Expressway and 56th Avenue to the north, the Clearview Expressway to the west, Alley Pond Park to the east and the Grand Central Parkway to the south.
This rezoning was undertaken by the Department of City Planning in response to requests from local elected officials, Community Boards 7 and 11 and local civic associations. The rezoning builds upon previous lower-density and contextual rezonings in the adjacent neighborhoods of Bayside, Kissena Park, and East Flushing adopted by the City Council in 2005, and North Flushing, which was adopted by the Council in 2009.
Today, the Auburndale, Oakland Gardens and Hollis Hills neighborhoods remain attractive residential areas composed of predominately lower density, suburban style housing. The neighborhoods are located in close proximity to large open space resources, such as Cunningham Park, Alley Pond Park and Kissena Park.
Over the last several years, the neighborhoods in the rezoning area have been experiencing development pressure largely due to outdated zoning, which has generally remained unchanged since 1961. The area’s R3-2, R4, and R5 zoning districts allow a variety of housing types and densities that are inconsistent with the prevailing scale and built character. In areas zoned R1-2 and R2 for single-family detached residences, new large homes have been constructed that are considerably out-of-scale with the surrounding context.
The proposed zoning changes would:
- Preserve the established lower-density character of portions of Auburndale, Oakland Gardens, and Hollis Hills;
- Ensure that future residential development more closely reflect the existing built scale and development patterns of one- and two-family, detached and semi-detached housing areas;
- Allow modest new multi-family residential development to reinforce the existing scale of the elevator apartments along major thoroughfares;
- Modify commercial overlays to reflect existing land use patterns and prevent commercial uses from encroaching onto predominantly residential streets.
Single family detached homes on 166th Street in an existing R2 district
Two-family detached homes along 57th Road in an existing R3-2 district