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Douglaston Hill on track for landmarking

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Residents of Douglaston Hill, the area around the Zion Episcopal Church off Northern Boulevard, have been anxiously awaiting a decision by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to "calendar" the community's application for historic district status.

The calendaring would officially put the area of turn-of-the-century homes on a timetable for consideration and would temporarily forestall demolitions in the area.

Padavan said Landmarks Commission Chairman Robert Tierney told him within the last week that "it has the highest priority of any application they're working on."

"All that data has to be put together in a form that is easily absorbed by the full body of the commission membership," said the senator.

The commission is currently discussing the boundaries of the proposed district. Residents of Douglaston Hill whose homes were not included in the smaller proposed outlines protested their possible exclusion at a meeting with the commission March 10.

Padavan said the commission was conducting a "full court press" and shooting for the earliest possible calendaring date of April 13.

Commission spokeswoman Diane Jackier said Douglaston Hill was not on the schedule for the next three weeks but could not rule out that it could be added.

"I think we're being strung out again," said Bill Sievers, vice president of the Douglaston-Little Neck Historical Society, which has been pushing for historic district status for Douglaston Hill since 1989.

Neighbors have been rallying in front of 240-35 43rd Ave., a 1901 Queen Anne home that was up for sale. But a house next door to the so-called "White House" is also for sale or rent, said Sievers, with many people attending an open house at 240-45 43rd Ave. Sunday.

"That part of the street there is really the heart of the historic district," said Sievers, who saw a newspaper advertisement for the sale of the house last weekend.

The homeowner could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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