FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG PRAISES CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE APPROVAL OF THREE REZONINGS IN THE BRONX AND QUEENS TO PRESERVE LOWER DENSITY RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER
"The residents of three City neighborhoods can breathe easier knowing that help is on the way for their efforts to prevent out-of-character development. The City Council's Land Use Committee voted today to approve rezoning plans developed by the Department of City Planning to preserve the character of Pelham Gardens including Laconia and portions of Baychester in the Bronx, and Cambria Heights and East Flushing in Queens. This follows unanimous approval yesterday by the Zoning and Franchises Committee of the City Council. From one borough to the next, we are listening to the residents of neighborhoods that simply cannot accommodate additional density and do not want to see their quality of life eroded by crowded conditions and inappropriate new development. We are matching their passionate defense of their neighborhoods with action to protect them.
"No one who has seen Cambria Heights can doubt that this gem of a neighborhood, more than three-quarters of which is comprised of single-family detached homes, is in need of preservation. The unanimity on the approach to updating its zoning so that future development matches its existing character translated into a speedy approval from the local community board, Borough President, City Planning Commission and now the City Council Zoning Sub-Committee.
"In East Flushing, the community also expressed a vision for their future and, with the refinements enacted by the Planning Commission earlier this month, we were able to provide a rezoning that protects the character of that community and ensures that new development will better match established building patterns and be within the carrying capacity of that neighborhood.
"Our rezoning of the Pelham Gardens will maintain the low-rise detached and semi-detached character by preventing the replacement of one- and two-family homes with out-of-scale rowhouses and multi-family buildings. Because it is important to accommodate growth where the infrastructure can support it, the rezoning will also encourage new mixed residential/retail development near the subway station on East Gun Hill Road to further strengthen the East Gun Hill Road corridor.
"Together, these rezonings, and the many others completed or underway at City Planning, fulfill one of the key goals of our Administration: to actively seek out opportunities for housing, and facilitate the process when there is consensus that it will have a positive impact in a neighborhood. I hope these rezonings receive expeditious approval by the full Council."
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958