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CB 13 backs Laurelton rezoning

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Community Board 13 unanimously endorsed the proposal to rezone 240 blocks of Laurelton at its monthly meeting Monday.

Liz Errico, the CB 13 city planner, said the rezoning plan is bounded by Montefiore Cemetery and 121st Avenue in the north, the Belt Parkway in the south, Springfield Boulevard in the west and Laurelton Parkway in the east.

She said the proposal, which would create eight different zones within Laurelton, is designed to protect the character of the neighborhood's housing stock. It was last rezoned in 1961.

The neighborhood also has a scattering of garden apartments and homes dating back to the late 19th century, Errico said.

"The whole area is a lovely, lovely low-density neighborhood," she said.

Errico said about 93 percent of homes in Laurelton are one-family detached dwellings, but there has been an influx of new construction of six-family homes and subdivided lots.

Current zoning in the area is mostly comprised of R2, which allows for single-family detached homes, and R3-2, where anything from one- and two-family homes to multi-dwelling apartments can be built.

The zoning plan proposes eight different zones.

Areas that are currently zoned R2 and R3-2 in the north and south portions of Laurelton would be changed to R2-A under the plan.

R2-A also allows for single-family detached homes, but restricts developers to building on 30 percent of a lot.

Laurelton Gardens, a neighborhood co-op, would see its zoning change from R2 to R3-2, which would bring the building into compliance with zoning regulations.

While the plan received rave reviews on the whole, CB 13 Chairman Richard Hellenbrecht said there was some contention about a planned R5-D zone for an area near Springfield Boulevard by 226th Street.

R5-D allows for mixed-use development and multi-family dwellings. The area is currently a commercial zone.

Bess DeBetham, a Laurelton resident and CB 13 member, said she had waited 37 years for the plan to come to fruition.

"Finally, finally we have gotten the work done," she said.

CB 13 unanimously voted for the proposal 35-0 with no abstentions.

The next step in the process is a public hearing scheduled to be conducted by Borough President Helen Marshall July 10 at Borough Hall.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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