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Projects & Proposals > Queens > Sunnyside - Woodside Printer Friendly Version
Sunnyside - Woodside Rezoning - Approved!
Overview | Existing Zoning & Context | Proposed Zoning | Public Review

  Update July 28, 2011:
On July 28, 2011, the City Council adopted the Sunnyside - Woodside Rezoning with modifications to the zoning map and Inclusionary Housing zoning text. PDF Document View the adopted zoning map. PDF Document View the adoped sidewalk cafe text amendment. PDF Document View the adopted Inclusionary Housing text amendment. The zoning map and text changes are now in effect.

Locator Map
Locator Map
PDF Document View a larger image
The Department of City Planning proposes to amend the Zoning Map on all or portions of 130 blocks in the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside in Queens Community District 2, to protect the lower-density character of these neighborhoods while allowing for a moderate increase in residential and commercial density along main corridors such as Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue.

This rezoning effort would complement contextual zoning changes adopted in 2006 as part of the Maspeth-Woodside rezoning, including zoning incentives for the provision of affordable housing available on sections of Queens Boulevard, and the revised zoning regulations that were updated in 2009 for the Special Planned Community Preservation District that regulate development in Sunnyside Gardens. This rezoning was developed through close consultation with community members, civic organizations, local elected officials and Community Board 2 and directly responds to concerns raised by the community and local elected officials that the current zoning allows for out-of-character developments. 

The rezoning area is roughly bounded by the Sunnyside Rail Yard, 37th Avenue, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the NY Connecting Railroad, 72nd Street, Woodside, Roosevelt and 48th Avenues, and 39th Street. The rezoning area is served by the #7 train on an elevated line above Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Ave, the G, R, and V subway lines along Broadway and eleven MTA bus lines. The area also has several important commercial corridors, including Queens Boulevard, Greenpoint Avenue, and Roosevelt Avenue.

Sunnyside and Woodside are vibrant and diverse neighborhoods in western Queens stretching from 39th Street to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) from west to east and from Broadway to the Long Island Expressway/BQE from north to south. The opening of the Queensboro Bridge in 1909 and the extension of the elevated train line (which would become the #7 line) through the area in 1917 precipitated a great amount of residential development in the neighborhoods.  During the 1920’s and 30’s, numerous six-story, multi-family apartment buildings were built  in Sunnyside, while construction of one- and two-family homes and small apartment buildings predominated in Woodside.  It was also during this period that the City Housing Corporation constructed Sunnyside Gardens as a planned community with generous open spacesand a consistent low-rise scale.

Today the population of Sunnyside and Woodside continues to grow both in number and diversity.  The pace of development in Sunnyside and Woodside has increased in recent years, in large part due to its close proximity to Manhattan, attractive and well-kept streetscapes, and convenient commercial corridors. The area currently contains seven zoning districts: R4, R5, R6, R7-1, C4-2, C8-1, and M1-1. These zoning districts have remained unchanged since 1961.

One- and Two Family Semi Detached Housing, 65th Place
One- and Two Family Semi Detached Housing, 65th Place
One-and Two-Family Attached Housing, 50th Street
One-and Two-Family Attached Housing,
50th Street
Small Multi-Family Apartment Buildings, 48th Street.
Small Multi-Family Apartment Buildings, 48th Street
Large Multi-Family Apartment Buildings, 43rd Avenue
Large Multi-Family Apartment Buildings, 43rd Avenue

The area’s current zoning results in unpredictable building types that can lead to out-of-character construction.  Zoning updates for Sunnyside and Woodside would provide opportunities to channel new growth to appropriate locations near wide streets and transit, while more closely reflecting established built contexts and land use patterns that define portions of these neighborhoods. DCP has, through consultation with community stakeholders, produced zoning recommendations that achieve the following objectives:

  • Protect neighborhood character and reinforce existing development patterns.
  • Direct  new housing opportunities to major corridors and mass transit.
  • Provide zoning incentives for the provision of affordable housing.
  • Update commercial overlays to reinforce existing patterns of commercial uses.
  • Remove zoning restrictions for small, unenclosed sidewalk cafés along Queens Boulevard.
  • Allow only small unenclosed sidewalk cafés along Skillman Avenue.

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