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Projects & Proposals > Queens > Hunters Point Printer Friendly Version
Hunters Point Subdistrict Rezoning - Approved!
Proposed Zoning Changes
Overview & Public Review | Planning Framework  | Neighborhood Character | Industry
Existing Zoning | Proposed Zoning

The rezoning proposal embodies a flexible zoning strategy that will (1) remove restrictions on residential development and conversions; (2) retain light manufacturing businesses while supporting the growing entrepreneurial activities restricted by current zoning; (3) maintain the existing scale of three- and four-story residential buildings within the neighborhood midblocks; and (4) encourage new residential and mixed-use development at moderately higher densities along wide streets close to public transit and adjoining the LIC core and Queens West. The proposal would generally replace the current Hunters Point Subdistrict zoning regulations with the Zoning Resolution’s Special Mixed Use District provisions, and the changes would add certain adjacent areas to the Hunters Point Subdistrict within the Special Long Island City Mixed Use District.

The rezoning proposal would pair a light manufacturing district (M1) and a residence district (R) to regulate uses and building size for each zone within the rezoning area. These paired mixed-use contextual zones would include M1-4/R6B, M1-4/R6A, M1-4/R7A, M1-5/R7X, and M1-5/R8A. For these proposed mixed-use districts, regulations would generally allow a broad range of residential, community facility, commercial, and most light manufacturing uses as-of-right in most circumstances. These contextual zones would also be tailored to insure that new buildings will fit in with their surroundings.

Proposed Zoning Map

The west side of 11th Street between 45th and 46th avenues and most of the east-west streets or midblocks of the neighborhood – approximately 40 percent of the rezoning area – would be zoned M1-4/R6B. For this zoning designation, building bulk regulations for residential, light manufacturing and commercial uses would remain unchanged, and existing patterns of development on the midblocks would be reinforced. The allowable FAR for new residential buildings would remain at 2.0 with a height limit of 50 feet. This FAR generally leads to four-story buildings, perhaps with space above for duplex apartments, and yard space at the rear. For industrial and commercial uses, the allowable FAR would remain at 2.0.

The proposed zoning changes would also allow new residential and mixed-use development at moderately higher densities on wide streets and principal corridors close to public transit and as transition buffers to the adjoining Long Island City core and Queens West. For example, portions of two blocks adjacent to the planned commercial core of Queens West between 2nd and 5th streets and 49th and 51st avenues would be rezoned from M1-4 (2.0 FAR) to M1-5/R8A (5.0/6.02 FAR). Notably, this area contains the long-vacant Pennsylvania Railroad Power Plant and the underutilized Schwartz Chemical building with existing heights ranging from 85 feet to 116 feet. For residential buildings, the proposed M1-5/R8A district would require similar maximum street walls of 85 feet and maximum building heights of 120 feet. This change would insure a good transition from the high-rise residential and commercial development occurring at Queens West to the lower-scale development of the Hunters Point neighborhood. The FAR for industrial and commercial uses on these blocks would be 5.0 allowing similarly scaled six- to ten-story buildings.

Changes in use and bulk are also proposed for Jackson Avenue, a principal street that slices diagonally through the rezoning area. Presently, the westerly frontage of the Jackson Avenue corridor lies within an R7A zoning district (FAR 4.0) with a C2-5 commercial overlay; the easterly frontage of Jackson Avenue generally lies within M1-4 (FAR 2.0), M1-6 (FAR 5.0), and M3-1(FAR 2.0) zoning districts. An objective of the rezoning proposal is to allow similarly scaled development on both sides of the avenue with a mix of residential, commercial and light manufacturing uses on the eastern frontage that is compatible with the residential and commercial zones along the western frontage.

Accordingly, the existing R7A residence district along the westerly frontage of the Jackson Avenue corridor would be replaced with an R7X district, and the existing C2-5 commercial overlay would be retained. This would increase the permitted residential FAR to 5.0. Additionally, an M1-5/R7X (FAR 5.0) zone is proposed along the easterly frontage of Jackson Avenue and along part of Borden Avenue. The proposed M1-5/R7X and R7X/C2-5 zoning districts on Jackson Avenue would allow the tallest new residential and mixed-use buildings in the rezoning area: 10- to 12-story buildings with maximum street wall heights of 85 feet and maximum building heights of 125 feet. These changes would facilitate a strong, defining edge and a cohesive urban form along a wide avenue where such development is appropriate.

M1-4/R7A zoning districts (2.0 FAR for manufacturing and commercial uses, 4.0 FAR for residential uses) are proposed for other principal streets in the area - portions of 11th Street, 44th Drive and the section of 48th Avenue between Vernon Boulevard and 5th Street that is a “gateway” between Queens West and the Hunters Point neighborhood. To maximize the allowable floor area for residential development under R7A, builders are likely to produce six- to eight-story buildings with maximum street walls of 65 feet. For industrial and commercial uses, the allowable FAR would remain at 2.0 resulting in two-story buildings.

In other areas, the changes in zoning would result in more modest increases in allowable FAR and heights. In particular, an M1-4/R6A zoning district (2.0 FAR for manufacturing and commercial uses, 3.0 FAR for residential uses) is proposed for 5th Street and for the block fronts facing John F. Murray Playground. The allowable FAR for manufacturing and commercial uses would remain at 2.0 resulting in two-story buildings. For residential uses, the modest 1.0 FAR increase in bulk with maximum base heights of 60 feet and maximum building heights of 70 feet would lead to five- to seven-story buildings. This zoning recognizes 5th Street as a “transition zone” between Queens West and Hunters Point and complements the significant open space resource of John F. Murray Playground.

In addition, the zoning governing the midblock frontages along 45th Avenue comprising the Hunters Point Historic District and the westerly frontage of 23rd Street between 45th Avenue and 44th Drive would be changed from M1-4 to R6B. This zoning designation would not change the current FAR and height provisions for residential uses. The R6B district, however, would not allow light manufacturing uses and therefore would be more consistent with the exclusively residential uses characterizing the block fronts.

Potential Residential and Mixed-Use Development.

(R6B and M1-4/R6B Zoning Districts)

(M1-4/R6A Zoning District)

(M1-4/R7A Zoning District)
(R7X/C2-5 and M1-5/R7X Zoning Districts)
(M1-5/R8A Zoning District)

A zoning text amendment is also proposed that would allow food stores and supermarkets as-of-right with no limitation on floor area per establishment. This provision would support the needs of current and future residents in Hunters Point. A special permit is currently required for food stores and supermarkets exceeding 10,000 square feet.

PDF Document View pictorial display of Characteristic Building Types and New Residential Development for: Midblocks (1 mb) and Wide Streets and Edge Areas (1 mb)

Overview & Public Review | Planning Framework  | Neighborhood Character | Industry
Existing Zoning | Proposed Zoning

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