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Queens Chronicle

Rezoning for East Elmhurst proposed

City Planning Commissioner visits neighborhood and announces plan

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:40 am, Thu Jun 13, 2013.

City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden has announced the beginning of the official public review process for a 127-block rezoning of East Elmhurst and 14 block fronts along Roosevelt Avenue in Corona.

Existing zoning for residential areas has remained unchanged since 1961 and allow for a wide range of building types that may not be compatible with the “traditional built fabric” of the neighborhood, the city said.

“This rezoning, which was developed in close consultation with the community and local elected officials, will protect the cherished one- and two-family composition of this neighborhood,” Burden said in a released statement after visiting the community Monday. “It will also allow moderate growth along the area’s main commercial strips, Astoria Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, to strengthen their vibrant character by providing new opportunities for mixed-use and commercial development.”

According to the Department of City Planning’s website, recent building trends in the area “have resulted in the demolition of single-family detached wooden or masonry residential buildings” which are being replaced with substantially denser and “out-of-character” attached or multifamily developments.

The proposed zoning districts will replace the outdated ones with lower-density contextual districts that the DCP said will correlate more with existing housing patterns and ensure future developments remain consistent with those patterns.

For East Elmhurst’s commercial corridor on Astoria Boulevard, the city agency is looking to replace the current overlay zoning C1-2 and C2-2 with new C1-3 and C2-3 overlay zones.

In layman’s terms, the new zoning will allow for more mixed-use residential and commercial building.

The bustling south side of Roosevelt Avenue between Elmhurst Avenue and 114th Street will provide additional locations for retail and service uses without encroaching on the residential side streets, the city said.

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-Elmhurst) said the rezoning has been a long needed change for the neighborhood.

“The public review of East Elmhurst rezoning could not come at a better time,” she said in an email. “For several years, I have been diligently working with City Planning and community stakeholders to right zone East Elmhurst.”

She added that the proposed rezoning will do more than protect the neighborhood’s character.

“Not only will the latest version of the proposed rezoning go a long way in preserving the neighborhood character, but it will also help to reinforce the work I have been doing to better the commercial corridors in my district, such as Roosevelt Avenue and Astoria Boulevard,” Ferreras said. “I applaud City Planning for launching this public review and look forward to our continued collaboration with Community Boards 3 and 4 to fulfill the community vision my constituents and I have shared since I took office in 2009.”

Up next, the proposal will go before both CB 3 and 4 for approval.

Neither district manager for the community boards was available for comment on the matter.

Given their approval, it will go to the Borough Board, Borough President Helen Marshall, the City Planning Commission and finally the City Council as part of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

Information on the proposal and zoning specifics are available on the DCP website, nyc.gov/dcp.

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