|Existing R5, on 77th Avenue, west of 82nd Street
||Existing R4, on Penelope Avenue East of 75th Place
||Existing R5, on Myrtle Avenue
The Department of City Planning (DCP) proposes to rezone all or portions of 161 blocks in the western Queens neighborhoods of Middle Village and Glendale, Community District 5, Queens, from existing R3-2, R4 and R5 districts, to lower-density or contextual zones where appropriate. The rezoning area is generally bounded by Juniper Boulevard South, Dry Harbor Road, the Long Island Railroad tracks, Margaret Place, Myrtle Avenue and 69th Place, and an area bounded by Otto Road and 70th Avenue.
The proposed rezoning would preserve the area’s predominant low-density character and ensure that future residential development will be consistent with its surrounding neighborhood. The proposed zoning changes include establishing lower-density and contextual districts on the predominantly low-rise blocks that characterize most of the study area and, along a portion of Metropolitan Avenue, establishing a higher-density residential district to allow for new housing similar to existing multifamily buildings on that thoroughfare. Several changes are also proposed for commercial overlay districts to better reflect existing land use patterns and prevent the intrusion of commercial uses onto residential streets.
The neighborhoods of Middle Village and Glendale are located in western Queens, just north of Forest Park. Cooper Avenue is the boundary between the two neighborhoods, with Middle Village to the north and Glendale to the south. These neighborhoods, though adjacent, developed at different times. Middle Village, located to the north of the Long Island Railroad tracks, originated just after the opening of Metropolitan Avenue in 1816, serving first as a resting place for those traveling between Jamaica and Williamsburg. After the first of many cemeteries to be developed in the area opened in 1852, the town then catered to cemetery visitors. Only in the 1920’s did the neighborhood become primarily residential, and a great deal of this 1920’s housing stock remains today along with row houses built in the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. Glendale, which lies to the south of the Long Island Railroad tracks, was developed as a residential neighborhood in 1869. Farms were sold and laid out with blocks and lots after a rail line was extended to the area in 1867. Much of Glendale’s housing stock dates back to the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Today, Middle Village and Glendale are predominantly low-density residential neighborhoods characterized by one- and two-family detached, semi-detached and attached houses. Commercial uses are found along Myrtle and Metropolitan avenues. Two large public parks, Juniper Valley Park and Forest Park, serve the community. The final stop of the M subway line is located on Metropolitan Avenue one-quarter mile to the west of the rezoning area, and buses run along Metropolitan and Myrtle avenues and Dry Harbor Road.
The proposed rezoning, initiated by DCP in close consultation with Community Board 5 and civic associations in Middle Village and Glendale, addresses community concerns that recent residential development allowed under the current zoning is inconsistent with the established scale and character of the neighborhoods. The proposed zoning designations will permit housing types and densities that more closely correspond to each neighborhood’s residential context, but will not preclude new construction.
On September 26, 2005, the Department of City Planning certified the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure application for the Middle Village - Glendale Rezoning to begin the formal public review process. Community Board 5 held its public hearing on the proposal on October 27, 2005, and voted to approve the proposal with conditions on November 9, 2005. The Queens Borough President held her public hearing on the proposal on November 17, 2005. The City Planning Commission held its public hearing on January 11, 2006, and voted to approve the proposal with modifications on February 8, 2006. ( Read the CPC report.) The modifications include maintaining the existing R5 zoning district on Metropolitan Avenue between 69th Street and 73rd Place, and extending the C1-3/R5B district to 125 feet on Myrtle Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets. On March 22, 2006, the City Council adopted the zoning changes which are now in effect.
For more information on the Middle Village - Glendale Rezoning, please contact the Queens Office of the Department of City Planning at (718) 286-3170.
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