The Department of City Planning is proposing to change the Zoning Map on all or portions of 127 blocks in East Elmhurst, Community District 3 and 14 blocks in Community District 4. The rezoning area is located in northern Queens and encompasses much of the East Elmhurst neighborhood south of LaGuardia Airport, as well as a section of Corona at the northern boundary of Community District 4.
The East Elmhurst rezoning area is generally bounded by the Grand Central Parkway on the north and east, 32nd Avenue on the south and on the west by a stepped northwestward line beginning at 91st Street and 32nd Avenue and ending at the Grand Central Parkway and 80th Street. The Roosevelt Avenue rezoning area is comprised of blocks on the south side of the avenue that extend from Elmhurst Avenue on the west to 114th Street on the east.
The proposed rezoning was developed in close consultation with community boards 3 and 4, the Queens Borough President, local elected officials and area residents, and it responds to their concerns that the area’s existing zoning does not closely reflect established building patterns or guide development to appropriate locations. This rezoning is intended to protect the one- and two-family character typically found on East Elmhurst’s residential blocks while directing new residential and mixed-use development to locations along the rezoning area’s main shopping corridors and near transit resources.
The rezoning area is primarily zoned R3-2 north of Astoria Boulevard and to the south of the boulevard east of 94th Street. An R4 zone encompasses the portion south of Astoria Boulevard and west of 94th Street. These zoning districts have remained unchanged since 1961 when the current Zoning Resolution was adopted, and they do not closely reflect prevailing contexts of built scale, density, and housing types found within the East Elmhurst neighborhood. Also, block fronts on the south side of Roosevelt Avenue between Elmhurst Avenue and 114th Street are zoned R5, R6 and R6B, but do not have commercial overlay districts that closely match existing land use patterns.
The Department of City Planning produced these proposed zoning changes in order to achieve the following three objectives:
- Protect neighborhood character and reinforce existing development patterns.
- Strengthen the character of Astoria Boulevard and support mixed-use development on lots with commercial overlays.
- Prevent commercial encroachment onto residential blocks by reducing the depth of commercial overlays and match land uses patterns with new overlay zones.