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Projects & Proposals > Queens > Laurelton Printer Friendly Version
Laurelton Rezoning - Approved!

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

  Update September 4, 2008:
On September 4, 2008 the City Council adopted the Laurelton Rezoning changes as proposed. The zoning changes are now in effect.

Single-family homes on 236th Street north of Merrick Boulevard

Laurelton: Location Map
The Department of City Planning is proposing Zoning Map changes for approximately 220 blocks in the southeast Queens neighborhood of Laurelton in Community District 13. The rezoning area is located two miles north of John F. Kennedy International Airport, less than a half mile west of Nassau County and is generally bounded by Montefiore Cemetery and 121st Avenue to the north, Laurelton Parkway to the east, South Conduit Avenue and Belt Parkway to the south and Springfield Boulevard to the west.

The proposed rezoning and changes to the commercial overlay districts aim to protect Laurelton’s established lower density, one- and two-family character and ensure that future residential development reflects the context of the surrounding neighborhood. The proposed rezoning would also provide modest housing opportunities along a section of Merrick and Springfield boulevards by establishing a medium-density residential district where the existing zoning now does not permit residential development. In addition, establishing new commercial overlays on the area’s primary corridors and reducing the depth of existing overlay districts would match existing land use patterns and prevent commercial uses from encroaching on residential side streets.

The study was initiated in response to local concerns that recent residential development in the area was inconsistent with the scale and character of the existing neighborhood. The proposed zoning recommendations are the result of extensive consultation with the local City Councilmember, Laurelton’s civic and block associations and with Community Board 13.

Residential development in Laurelton began early in the 20th century in the southwest part of the neighborhood after the opening of a railroad station at the juncture of the Atlantic and Montauk branches of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). Replacing gristmills and farmland, single-family, detached homes were constructed. Post-World War II residential construction focused on providing housing for returning veterans and city residents looking for the suburban lifestyle and consisted primarily of single-family, detached homes and rental apartments in a garden apartment complex.

In recent years, new housing that has been constructed under the existing zoning is inconsistent with the established building patterns in the area. New development has begun to alter the one- and two-family detached character of this neighborhood. Lot subdivision has been common and sound single-family homes are being replaced with attached, semi-detached or multifamily structures. The existing zoning also allows alterations and new single-family homes that are out of scale with the predominant development in sections of Laurelton.

Laurelton: Out-of-character construction
Out-of-character construction on 224th Street near 138th Avenue

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

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