2005-12-23 / Community

Process For Rezoning Bayswater, Parts of F.R. Begins

By Miriam Rosenberg Contributing Editor

By Miriam Rosenberg
Contributing Editor

  • The Department of City Planning (DCP) announced on Monday that its director, Amanda Burden, had certified a proposal to rezone 82 blocks in Bayswater and Far Rockaway. The certification comes almost three months after residents of the affected neighborhoods gathered for a community meeting with representatives from the DCP on September 27 to discuss down-zoning their areas in the wake of, what they called, over-development.
  • Residents who came to the Bayswater Jewish Center in September were worried about lots with single homes being replaced with row houses, sub-division of homes and the fate of the 100 plus year-old mansions in the area.

    In a statement announcing the certification, the DCP makes clear that the rezoning addresses the concerns of the residents.

    “The proposed rezoning builds upon an earlier commitment by the Bloomberg administration to protect and preserve the built character of Queens by providing protections against out-of-character development,” said Jennifer Torres in the statement for the DCP. “The proposed rezoning will preserve the existing neighborhood context by ensuring that future housing more closely corresponds to prevailing one-or-two family residential character, and in certain locations, limit the sub-division of very large lots into smaller lots which increases the density in this low-density area.”

    The Bayswater area in line for rezoning lies along Jamaica Bay west of downtown Far Rockaway and bounded by Beach Channel Drive.

    The majority of the zoning is currently divided between R5 (which is ‘as of right’ for most any type of building) that allows for detached one or two family homes and R2 (which is for single family, detached housing). The area also has some R3-2 zoning where detached, semi-detached and attached houses can be built.

    The proposal calls for breaking up the zoning in Bayswater into R1-2 (single family detached); R3A, R3X, R4A (one or two family detached homes); R4-1 (one or two family detached or semi-detached houses); R2; R3-2 and R5.

    The Far Rockaway area is east of downtown Far Rockaway, adjoining Nassau County, and it is bounded by Brunswick Avenue to the north, Nameoke Street to the west and Empire and Cornaga Avenues to the south and the east.

    That rezoning area will go from being divided between R4 (general, semi-detached or attached housing) and R5 to being cut into four separate zonings. The new zoning of R3X, R4A, and R4-1 would be comprised of one to two family homes attached or detached. There would also be a section designated as R5.

    Councilwoman Melinda Katz, chair of the Land Use committee, told those at September’s meeting that the City Council will move on the proposal “as quickly as we can.”

    Meanwhile, John Young – the director of the Queens Office of the DCP – said the process could take up to seven months, but he hoped to expedite it at City Planning.

    The application now must go through four agencies, where public hearings and votes will be taken, before becoming law.

    After receiving the application from City Planning, Community Board 14 has 60 days to hold a public hearing and vote on it. The Queens Borough President’s Office has to make a decision within 30 days after receiving it from the community board. After the Borough President, the City Planning Review Commission has 60 days to hold a public hearing. Finally, it goes to the City Council, which has 50 days to review, hold a public hearing and vote on the matter.

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