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Projects & Proposals > Queens > Forest Hills Printer Friendly Version
Special Forest Hills District - Approved!
Overview
Overview | Existing Context & Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

  Update March 24, 2009:
On March 24, 2009, the City Council adopted the Special Forest Hills District Rezoning with modifications**. The zoning changes are now in effect.

Existing C4-2 at Queens Boulevard and 71st Road
Existing C4-2 at Queens Boulevard and 71st Road

For the past two years, the Department of City Planning has worked closely with Community Board 6, local elected officials and property owners to provide a much needed zoning update to the commercial core of Forest Hills. The proposal aims to revise current zoning rules to better reflect current uses and development patterns in the area and provide the tools necessary to foster orderly and predictable growth and development.

The ten-block rezoning area is generally bounded by Queens Boulevard to the north, the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to the south, Ascan Avenue to the east and Yellowstone Boulevard to the west.  The area is currently zoned C8-2, C4-2, and R7-1.  This zoning has been in place since 1961.  The area is well served by mass transit.  The LIRR Station is located at 71st  Avenue/Continental Avenue just south of Austin Street. The E, F, V, G, and R subway lines  stop at Queens Boulevard and 71st Avenue/Continental Avenue,  and  several buses to various locations in Queens and Manhattan serve the area.  Additionally, the area is located just south of Queens Boulevard, a major east-west thoroughfare

In 1961, the area primarily was zoned C8-2 and C4-2, recognizing the prevalence of automotive uses including repair shops and gas stations in the western portion of the rezoning area and commercial and mixed use buildings in the eastern portion. An R7-1 zone was designated generally to the north of the rezoning area, but this zone included three block portions in the eastern portion of the rezoning area along Queens Boulevard and Austin Street.  C4-2 and R7-1 zoning districts allow buildings with no fixed height limits.  However, over time many of the auto-related uses have been replaced with successful retail businesses and restaurants.  This land use evolution has transformed the area from a secondary shopping area to a vibrant commercial hub serving both local residents of Forest Hills and neighboring communities with much of the activity concentrated along 71st Avenue and Austin Street.  The proposal which reflects the department’s continued consultation with Community Board 6, elected officials and property owners, seeks to:

  • Foster new development with a predictable building envelope that is consistent with established contexts
  • Provide a transition in scale and density from south (Austin Street) to north (Queens Boulevard)
  • Support a broad and vibrant mix of commercial and residential uses throughout the area
  • Promote ground floor commercial/retail development along Austin Street and Queens Boulevard

Existing C4-2 at 71st Avenue (Continental) and Queens Boulevard looking south
Existing C4-2 at 71st Avenue (Continental) and Queens Boulevard looking south
Existing C4-2 at 71st Road and Austin Street looking west
Existing C4-2 at 71st Road and Austin Street looking west
Existing C8-2 at 70th Road and Austin Street looking east
Existing C8-2 at 70th Road and Austin Street looking east
Overview | Existing Context & Zoning | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

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