The Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation began the quest for our community to be rezoned seven years ago.
We approached the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, elected officials, Community Board 9 and the Woodhaven Business Improvement District for their support, which was so important to our rezoning plan. Then the Department of City Planning’s Queens office worked with us and CB 9 to formalize this plan.
We recruited volunteers for the necessary survey of structures in our ZIP code, one of whom, Richard Smith, then proceeded to complete the survey on his own. After that, the plan was formulated.
The goal was to preserve the zoning of the residential areas and to allow the upzoning of the commercial properties along Jamaica Avenue, thus increasing our property values throughout Woodhaven. In this way our large Victorian homes would be saved from being demolished and replaced by small apartment buildings, while building would be allowed above commercial properties. This plan was a balanced one and would for the first time in 50 years revise and positively stabilize the zoning here in Woodhaven for the next 50 years.
As I have stated before, the reason people have stayed or moved to Woodhaven is because we appreciate our homes, large or small, and the open space between and around us, as well as our vital shopping strip.
The unanimous yes vote from CB 9 was the first hurdle for the rezoning plan. This was a momentous vote, and Woodhaven thanks CB 9 for its support. Woodhaven and Richmond Hill (which is also part of the zoning change) are now on the path to secure our present character for perpetuity. This is an important first victory for all of our Woodhaven community.