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Projects & Proposals > Queens > Forest Hills Printer Friendly Version
Special Forest Hills District - Approved!
Proposed Zoning
Overview | Existing Context & Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review
Proposed Zoning Map
Proposed Zoning Map - PDF Document View a larger image.
The proposed rezoning is comprised of two components: a Zoning Map change which would replace C8-2, C4-2 and R7-1 zones with contextual zoning districts (R5D/C2-3, C4-4A and C4-5X) and map the proposed Special Forest Hills District (SFHD) on the ten rezoned blocks, and a zoning text change to establish the new Special Forest Hills District.  The special district text includes special regulations that would  modify the underlying bulk, use, parking, height and setback controls of the proposed zones to appropriately address the area's distinct context. These actions will reinforce the existing built context by providing predictable building envelopes, a broad and vibrant mix of uses and a transition in scale and density from north to south.
R5D/C2-3
Illustrative Building Form: R5D/C2-3
Illustrative Building Form: R5D/C2-3 - PDF Document View a larger image.
The proposed R5D/C2-3 zoning includes portions of 2 blocks on the south side of Austin Street between Yellowstone Boulevard on the west and Ascan Avenue on the east.  In this proposed zone all residential, commercial and community facility development would have a maximum FAR of 2.0.  R5D districts allow a maximum building height of 40 feet and typically produce 1-3-story buildings.  The bulk and envelope would reinforce the scale of existing buildings on the south side of Austin Street. Parking would be required for 66% of all dwelling units.  Most retail uses in the proposed C2-3 district would require one accessory parking space per 400 square feet of commercial floor area.  The range of allowed retail uses would be expanded to include regional retail uses by the proposed special district provisions listed below.



Typical commercial development on the south side of Austin Street (photo 1)
Typical commercial development on the south side of Austin Street
Typical commercial development on the south side of Austin Street (photo 2)
Typical commercial development on the south side of Austin Street
Typical commercial development on the south side of Austin Street (photo 3)
Typical commercial development on the south side of Austin Street
C4-4A
Illustrative Building Form: C4-4A
Illustrative Building Form: C4-4A - PDF Document View a larger image.
A C4-4A district is proposed for five block portions located on the north side of Austin Street between 70th Avenue and 72nd Road  In the proposed C4-4A district, commercial, residential and community facility development would have a maximum FAR of 4.0. The C4-4A is a contextual zoning district. As part of the special district regulations, maximum street wall height would be 60 feet and maximum building height would be 70 feet to reinforce the scale of 4-6 story buildings typically found in the midblock portions from 70th Avenue on the west and 72nd Road on the east.   Parking would be required for 50% of the residential units.  Most retail uses in the proposed C4-4A district would require one accessory parking space per 400 square feet of commercial floor area as part of the special district regulations.


Typical development on Austin Street and 72nd Avenue
Typical development on Austin Street and 72nd Avenue      
Typical development on Austin Street and 72nd Road
Typical development on Austin Street and 72nd Road
C4-5X
Illustrative Building Form: C4-5X Rendering
Illustrative Building Form: C4-5X - PDF Document View a larger image.

A C4-5X district is proposed for eight blocks or block portions from Yellowstone Boulevard to 72nd Road south of Queens Boulevard.  The C4-5X is a contextual zoning district. In the proposed C4-5X district residential and community facility development would have a maximum FAR of 5.0.  The special district regulations would also allow a 5.0 FAR for commercial uses  to support the area’s broad mix of uses, particularly regional commercial activities such as offices and hotels. The special district regulations would modify the underlying  C4-5X base height of 60-85 feet to be 40-60 feet for all zoning lots west of 70th Road.  The maximum height of buildings shall be 150 feet, except for buildings or portions of buildings within 60 feet of the northerly side of Austin Street between Yellowstone Boulevard and 70th Avenue, where the maximum height shall be 80 feet. These special regulations would reinforce the scale of existing 6- to 14-story buildings along Queens Boulevard and strengthen the mixed residential and commercial character of this portion of the rezoning area. Parking would be required for 50% of the dwelling units.  Most retail uses in the proposed C4-5X district would require one accessory parking space per 400 square feet of commercial floor area as part of the special district regulations.

72nd Road and Queens Boulevard
72nd Road and Queens Boulevard
71st Road and Queens Boulevard
71st Road and Queens Boulevard

Proposed Zoning Text Amendment

The PDF Document proposed zoning text amendment would create the Special Forest Hills District (SFHD) which would modify certain regulations of the proposed underlying zones pertaining to bulk, use, height, setback and parking.  It would include the following provisions:

  • In the proposed R5D/C2-3 district:
    • Allow the full range of C4 commercial uses to be consistent with the range of uses allowed throughout the rest of the proposed district. The additional allowed uses include larger clothing and department stores which would normally be limited to 10.000 square feet.

  • In the proposed C4-4A district:
    • The maximum base height would be 60 feet instead of 65 feet and the maximum building height would be 70 feet instead of 80 feet.

  • In the proposed C4-5X district:
    • The maximum FAR for commercial uses would be 5.0 instead of 4.0.

    • The base height for buildings west of 70th Road would be 40-60 feet instead of 60-85 feet.

    • The maximum building height will be 150 instead of 125 to allow a lower base for properties fronting Gerald MacDonald Park and on the north side of Austin Street as well as to accommodate commercial and office buildings which typically require taller floor to ceiling heights.

    Other district wide regulations:

  • To support a vibrant street character, ground floor commercial or community facility uses would be required on the portion of Austin Street between 70th Avenue and 72 Road and on 71st-Continental Avenue between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard.

  • To foster an inviting pedestrian environment, seventy percent of ground floor facades for commercial uses and fifty percent for community facility use (excluding schools) would be required to be glazed and transparent.

  • Special parking requirements to ensure adequate off-street parking for commercial uses larger than 16,000 square feet and reduce parking waivers and exemptions for residential uses. Most retail uses would require one accessory parking space per 400 square feet of commercial floor area as part of the special district regulations, but this requirement would be waived if fewer than 40 spaces are required.  For residential uses the required off-street parking would be waived if fewer than 5 spaces are required. 

  • Curb cuts for accessory off-street parking and loading in specified locations would not be allowed unless the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certifies that a curb cut in that location would not be hazardous to traffic safety.

PDF Document View the proposed zoning text modified by the Commission on January 21, 2009.

Overview | Existing Context & Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review




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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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