Existing Context and Zoning
The neighborhoods of Maspeth and Woodside are characterized by a mix of row houses, two-family detached and semi-detached homes, multifamily walk-up buildings and apartment buildings, and one- and two-story local retail and automotive service buildings particularly along Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside Avenue and Queens Boulevard. A number of detached single-family homes are interspersed among other low-density residences in the interior blocks; higher-density apartment buildings line the area’s wider thoroughfares, Woodside Avenue and Queens Boulevard. The northernmost section of the rezoning area between Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt and Woodside avenues is well-served by the elevated #7 train line along Roosevelt Avenue. Although the remainder of the rezoning area is served by several bus lines,
private automobile use is widespread.
Land Use and Existing Zoning
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View Zoning Comparison Chart for key regulations of existing and proposed zoning districts.
R4 is the most prevalent zoning district within the rezoning area. Large portions of the area, primarily in Maspeth south of Queens Boulevard and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, are zoned R4 which permits a wide range of housing types including multifamily buildings and row housing. The maximum floor area ratio (FAR) in R4 districts is 0.9 which includes a 0.15 attic allowance. On blocks that are predominantly developed, however, a maximum FAR of 1.35 is allowed with the R4 Infill provisions which were originally intended to encourage development of much needed housing. Most blocks zoned R4 in the rezoning area meet the R4 Infill criteria and the greater permitted density has resulted in out-of-scale development throughout Maspeth and Woodside.
Out-of-Character Development in Proposed R4-1 district
Rezoned in 1993, an R4-1 zoning district encompasses the southernmost portion of the study area in Maspeth. The R4-1 district in Maspeth is characterized by one- and two-family detached and semi-detached homes on narrow lots. Like the R4 zone, the maximum FAR in R4-1 zones is 0.9, which includes an attic allowance for structures with pitched roofs, but infill zoning is not applicable in R4-1 districts.
Typical new development in existing R4-1 district
Other residential zoning districts in the study area south of Queens Boulevard include the moderate-density R6 (2.43 FAR) and R6B (2.0 FAR) zones. The R6 district, a non-contextual district, includes the Big Six apartment complex located on Queens Boulevard between 58th and 62nd streets as well as blocks to the southwest of the complex. In addition, an R6B district with a C1-2 overlay was established in 1993 on the frontages of Grand Avenue between 69th and 74th streets to better reflect the mixed-use context along the avenue.
Much of the area north of Queens Boulevard was rezoned in 1992 to reduce out-of-character development and encourage new development of a scale and density more typical of the prevailing built form. This 22-block area in Woodside comprises three contextual zoning districts: R5B (1.35 FAR), R6A (3.0 FAR), R6B (2.0 FAR). A C2-3 overlay spans frontages on Roosevelt Avenue.
An R5 district, in the northeastern portion of the study area, permits the same variety of housing types as R4 but at a higher density. The maximum FAR of 1.25 (the attic allowance does not apply) typically produces three-story row houses and small apartment buildings.
Several residential and non-residential zoning districts are mapped along the Queens Boulevard Corridor from 50th to 74th streets. Frontages along Queens Boulevard between 57th and 64th streets were rezoned from R6 to R7X with a C2-2 overlay in 1994 and 1996 to facilitate development compatible with nearby buildings exhibiting R7X bulk characteristics. R7X districts permit residential and community facility buildings with a maximum FAR of 5.0 and height up to 14 stories.
M1-1 (1.0 FAR) and C8-1 (1.0 FAR) districts at the easternmost and westernmost portions of Queens Boulevard allow the one- and two-story light industrial, automotive-related and commercial buildings and uses that characterize much of the boulevard along the study area’s eastern and western edges.
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