|New single-family detached homes
Powell's Cove Blvd. & 152nd Street
|Typical single-family detached homes
17th Road & 149th Street
|New semi-detached homes
22nd Avenue & 144th Street
The Department of City Planning proposes zoning map changes for approximately 310 blocks in the whitestone neighborhood of Queens’ Community District 7. The area proposed for rezoning is predominantly developed with one and two-family detached houses. The proposed rezoning to lower density and contextual zoning districts would preserve the existing neighborhood scale, preventing development that is inconsistent with the low-rise detached character of the whitestone community.
The area proposed for rezoning is generally bounded by the East River to the north, Little Neck Bay and the Clearview Expressway to the east, 25th and 26th avenues to the south and the whitestone Expressway and 132nd Street to the west. The Cross Island Parkway bisects the rezoning area.
whitestone is one of the oldest European settlements on Long Island, dating to the 1640’s. It was home to Francis Lewis, the famed patriot and signatory to the Declaration of Independence. whitestone incorporated as a village in 1869, the same year the railroad arrived, linking whitestone to New York City. This led to the development of homes and estates along the East River in whitestone, Beechhurst and neighboring Malba.
North of the Cross Island Parkway and west of Clintonville Street, the rezoning area is characterized primarily by one-family detached homes developed at the end of World War II. East of Clintonville Street it is characterized by older homes and, in the neighborhood of Beechhurst, by relatively large single-family detached homes. The LeHavre Houses, a development of apartment buildings typically eight stories in height, are located in the northeast corner of the rezoning area.
The community’s central shopping and business area, with local stores, restaurants and some light manufacturing, is centered around the intersection of Clintonville Street and 14th Avenue. A manufacturing district along the East River accommodates a stone crushing facility, a vehicle impound lot, and a small shopping center.
South of the Cross Island Parkway, the rezoning area consists primarily of one- and two-family detached homes on lots that are generally smaller than those in the north of the area. There are a series of semi-detached homes for one- and two-families, as well as the Clearview Gardens apartment complex, several blocks of two-story garden apartments, all of which were developed in the 1950’s.
Recently, detached single-family houses have been replaced with housing that is not consistent with the character of the existing neighborhood. In areas zoned for single-family detached residences, large new homes have been constructed that are considerably out-of-scale with the surrounding context.
The proposed rezoning would preserve the existing neighborhood scale by mapping new lower density and contextual zoning districts, preventing further out-of-character development. The proposed action would update zoning that has not been changed since 1961 to better reflect existing built conditions.
On August 22, 2005, the Department of City Planning certified the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application for the Whitestone Rezoning to begin the formal public review process.
Community Board 7 held a public hearing in response to the proposal on September 26 and recommended approval. The Queens Borough President recommended approval of the application on October 28, 2005 with the condition that the Department should review the boundaries of the proposed R1-2 districts to ensure that hardships are not created for property owners.
On November 2, 2005 the City Planning Commission held a public hearing and approved the rezoning with modifications on December 7, 2005. The Commission’s modifications retained the existing R2 zoning district on a block bounded by Powell’s Cove Boulevard, 154th Street, 9th Avenue and 157th Street, and the existing R3-1 on a property located at the intersection of Clintonville Street and 20th Road. (Read the CPC Report).
On December 21, 2005, the City Council adopted the zoning changes, and they now are in effect.
View a color map illustrating the adopted zoning map change.
For more information on the Whitestone Rezoning, please contact the Queens Office of the Department of City Planning at (718) 286-3170