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City review of Rosedale rezone starts

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The city unveiled its proposal to save the character of Rosedale Monday and community leaders and elected officials said they will work swiftly to make the plans a reality.

The Department of City Planning has begun the public review process for the 193-block rezoning proposal aimed at reducing the number of large, out-of-character buildings that have been popping up in the neighborhood over the last few years, according to City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton).

The current zoning designation, R3-2, has not been changed since 1961 and it allows for one- and two-family detached homes to be demolished and replaced with massive, semi-detached, multi-family buildings that have bothered longtime residents, the councilman said.

“Today we have sent a bold message to unscrupulous developers that their days of tearing down one-family homes and building three and four homes on one lot are over,” he said in a statement.

The plan will halt such properties from legally being built in the area.

The rezoning will affect the homes located within a triangular area boarded by the city’s limit with Nassau County on the east, by Hook Creek and Idlewild Park to the south and by Huxley Street, 235th Street and the Cross Island Parkway to the west.

The R3-2 zones in that location would be replaced with the R2 designation, which permits only single-family detached homes, and R3A and R3X, both of which allow single- or two-family detached homes. The new designations have less area than R3-2, according to the DCP.

City Planning will also create new commercial overlays, which allow commercial properties to exist in residential zones, ´╗┐on the side of Hook Creek Boulevard at 148th Avenue and along North Conduit Avenue between 243rd Street and Hook Creek Boulevard. Those streets have either C1-1 and C2-1 overlays, which allow larger overlays for small businesses, and the plan will replace them with C1-3 or C2-3, which have less depth for the overlay.

The city has rezoned several areas over the last three years, including parts of Laurelton and St. Albans.

“Since 2002, City Planning has been protecting low-density, residential communities in Queens by removing old zoning that was threatening them with out-of-character development and establishing contextual zones that reinforce distinct neighborhood building patterns,” City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said in a statement.

“With this rezoning proposal, the beautiful blocks in Rosedale that are lined with one- and two-family detached homes will be preserved, and any future development will have to complement its built character.”

The proposal will now be reviewed by Community Board 13 for the next two months and, if approved, will go onto the Borough President Helen Marshall for the next step. CB 13 District Manager Lawrence McClean said he will be reviewing the proposal with various civic groups and work to make sure it fits their needs.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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