|Existing Neighborhood Character
The Department of City Planning proposes zoning map and text amendments affecting approximately 70 blocks in the central Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica Hill and Hillcrest, including several block fronts on the eastern edge of Briarwood, in Community District 8. The rezoning area is generally bounded by Union Turnpike to the north, 170th Street and 168th Street to the east, 86th Road and Highland Avenue to the south and Parsons Boulevard to the west.
The proposed rezoning from R2, R3-2, R4 and R5 districts to lower-density or contextual districts aims to preserve the area's predominant low-rise character and ensure that future residential development is consistent with its surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, to address the need for new housing at a scale in keeping with neighborhood character, the proposed rezoning would establish a new moderate-density residential district – R5D -- along Union Turnpike, Parsons Boulevard and 164th Street.
Jamaica Hill and Hillcrest are located in central Queens, just north of Downtown Jamaica. As their names imply, the dominant geographic feature of these neighborhoods is their topography. Located on a terminal moraine, they are situated on a hill rising from Hillside Avenue. Residential development began in this area in 1909, and continued into the 1930s, aided by the opening of the Jamaica Avenue elevated line in 1918, the Grand Central Parkway in 1933 and the IND subway along Hillside Avenue in 1937. Several significant institutional uses are adjacent to the rezoning area including Queens Hospital, St John's University, Jamaica High School, Hillcrest High School and Edison Vocational School. The area is served by mass transit with the F line subway station at the intersection of Parsons Boulevard and Hillside Avenue, bus service to the E subway line at Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard and express bus service to downtown Manhattan along Union Turnpike.
On February 21st 2006, the Department of City Planning certified the application for the proposed Jamaica Hill / Hillcrest rezoning as complete, commencing the public Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.
Community Board 8 held a public hearing in response to the proposal on March 28th, 2006 and recommended approval with conditions regarding the proposed density on Parsons Boulevard, Union Turnpike and 164th Street.
The Queens Borough President recommended approval of the application on May 9, 2006 with the condition that the Department review the concerns of Community Board 8 and refine the rezoning proposal to address any potential negative impacts.
On May 10, 2006 the City Planning Commission (CPC) held a public hearing. On June 7, 2006 the CPC approved the proposed zoning text changes and the proposed zoning map changes with modifications. The Commission's modifications, in response to concerns raised during the public review, retained the existing R4 zoning district along 164th Street from 82nd Road to 81st Avenue and changed the proposed R5D to R4 on the portion of 164th Street between 81st Avenue up to a line 100 feet south of Union Turnpike.
Read the CPC Reports: N 060338(A) ZRY and C 060337 ZMQ.
On June 29, 2006 the City Council adopted the zoning changes which are now in effect.
View a color map illustrating the adopted zoning map change.
For more information about the Jamaica Hill / Hillcrest rezoning, please contact the Queens Office of the Department of City Planning at (718) 286-3170.
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