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Liu seeks deal on Queensboro Hill rezoning

Last month City Planning proposed changing five pockets within the rezoning area from R2A and R3X to R4A, which would allow residents to more easily expand their homes or convert them to two-family dwellings. Under city zoning laws, homes in an R2A zone can only be single-family detached residences, while homes in an R3X or R4A zone can include two-family detached residences. R3X and R4A zones are similar, although the minimum lot size for an R3X home is 35 feet in width while it is 30 feet for R3X, according to the New York City Zoning Handbook. Liu said his compromise on the five pockets of the plan City Planning proposed to be changed will more closely resemble the original plan, while still keeping the recommendations of the commission in mind."This approach will allow us to keep intact the integrity of this beautiful residential neighborhood," Liu said Tuesday. "It has been a long and thorough process undertaken here. Although not everyone will be happy with my plan, it reflects the concerns that people have voiced and I am especially happy to have seen that voice emerge." Liu's plan would incorporate he changes made by City Planning from the proposed R3X to R4A, but would change the originally proposed R2A areas to R3X, instead of the R4A as passed by the City Planning Commission."I have every expectation that what I recommend to the council will be approved," Liu said. Liu said it was ill-advised for City Planning to make such changes after Borough President Helen Marshall and Community Board 7 had already approved the original plans. The rezoning plan was scheduled to head Tuesday to the City Council's Land Use Committee, which was expected to issue its recommendation by Friday. Liu said a full City Council vote on the plan could occur as early as Feb. 28. The area up for rezoning includes 105 blocks generally bounded by Kissena Park and Kissena Corridor Park to the north, St. Mary's Cemetery to the east, the Long Island Expressway, Queens College and Mount Hebron Cemetery to the south, and College Point Boulevard to the west.Most of the neighborhood exists within a R4 general residence zoning district that permits all building types, including row homes, detached and multi-family buildings.The original rezoning plan cut the general R4 district into eight different zones, including commercial overlay zones along busier Main Street and Kissena Boulevard areas for larger density and commercial uses.Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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