Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Department Of City Planning Proposes Ozone Park Rezoning To Preserve Area's Character

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A new zoning proposal for a quiet Queens neighborhood is hoping to help the community keep its character. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

Ozone Park is a neighborhood known for its quiet streets with one and two family homes.

But out of context, development in Ozone Park is threatening the area’s character, so a new rezoning proposal is on the table to help preserve the neighborhood.

"Today, the neighborhood’s zoning does not differentiate between the residential blocks and the main streets, and development isn’t occurring in the most appropriate locations," says John Young from the Department of City Planning. "We're seeing one and two family housing torn down and replaced by housing, which is much denser than the surrounding context, and yet very little investment for new commercial and mixed use buildings on the main streets."

In response to these issues, the Department of City Planning recently introduced a plan to rezone 530 blocks, bounded roughly by Rockaway, Atlantic and 101st Avenues to the north, the Van Wyck and Lefferts Boulevard to the east, the Belt Parkway to the south and the Brooklyn borough line to the west.

The proposal seeks to set guidelines for land-use patterns, so that one and two family homes can’t be replaced with higher density buildings.

It also calls to prevent commercial encroachment in residential areas.

On the shopping streets, the zoning would provide incentive for commercial and mixed use development to help stir economic growth and allow neighborhood businesses to expand.

"The benefit of this rezoning for homeowners and property owners and businesses is that the zoning will be more predictable," Young says. "They will know more carefully how to build development on the residential blocks that will match the character of those blocks, and they will know on the main streets that the zoning will actually create more development of multi-family and mixed-use buildings under an envelope that's very predictable."

The proposal is already in the public review process and is currently in the hands of the community board.

It will then go to the borough president's office by the end of October and then back to the Department of City Planning, before it is voted on by the City Council Early next year.

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