The brief article below makes it clear that the City’s down-zoning in Woodhaven and Richmond Hill will prohibit private developers from building new apartment complexes for low-income and immigrant families. This is just the latest of numerous down-zonings across the City that preclude private un-subsidized development of affordable housing. At the same time, the City is spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to produce subsidized affordable housing. Why not let the private sector produce that housing at no cost to taxpayers?
— Jack Freund, Executive Vice President, Rent Stabilization Association
(Views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the RSA.)
Queens neighborhoods rezoned to fight off multi-family developers
August 03, 2012 05:30PM
In an effort to preserve the suburban character of the area, City Council voted to approve the rezoning of approximately 200 blocks in Woodhaven and Richmond Hill – the first zoning changes to the neighborhoods since 1961 – to limit multi-family construction, the Queens Chronicle reported. Pressure to rezone the area came after developers had begun demolishing freestanding homes and replacing them with apartment complexes to appeal to the many low-income and immigrant families moving to the area. However, the council did modify the proposal to allow larger-scale development on the block between 135th Avenue and Van Wyck Expressway north of Liberty Avenue.
The City Council also approved an upzoning, along Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven and Atlantic Avenue between 104th and 121st streets, to encourage multi-family development over commercial buildings and meet the demand for housing near mass transit. According to the Department of City Planning, rezoning this area will ensure that the densest neighborhoods exist near mass transit, while keeping businesses confined to that area and off of residential blocks.
“After the council’s vote, residents of Woodhaven and Richmond Hill will finally see an end to development that destroyed the neighborhoods’ characteristic one- and two-family homes,” Council member Elizabeth Crowley said. “The new zone also encourages economic growth along Jamaica and Atlantic avenues.” [Queens Chronicle] – Christopher Cameron