Today’s news:

Rosedale rezone proposal passes Planning Dept.

Plans to rezone Rosedale and prevent out-of-character properties from going up in the residential neighborhood are one step closer to becoming a reality.

Last week, the city Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal to downzone 260 blocks of the southeast Queens neighborhood. The area, which is filled with one- and two-family houses, has had the same zoning since 1961 and large, out-of-character homes have been constructed by developers over the last few years, according to leaders and the Department of City Planning.

“By applying new zones that more closely match and reinforce local building patterns, we will preserve the beautiful blocks in Rosedale that are lined with one- and two-family detached and semi-detached homes, and protect the appealing suburban-style character that is cherished by its neighborhood residents,” Planning Commission Commissioner Amanda M. Burden said in a statement.

The plans will be presented at the City Council where it needs approval from both the Council Land Use Committee and the full Council before the new zoning rules can be instituted. Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton), who sits on the committee, said he was confident his fellow Council members would give their approval on the plan and it could be approved by the end of the year.

“You can’t take a fine, one-family estate, cut it into slivers and put in four or five horrible homes. This zoning protects against those things,” he said.

The plan affects an area surrounded in the west by 235th Street, Brookville Boulevard and the Cross Island Expressway; in the south by 149th Avenue, Huxley Street and Craft Avenue; in east by Hook Creek Boulevard; and in the north by the Belt Parkway.

The streets south of the Belt in the neighborhood are designated with R3-2 zoning, which allows for multiple dwellings on a property. Those streets will be rezoned R3A, R3-1 and R3X designations, which only permit single- and two-family houses.

The plan also calls for commercial overlay districts, which would prevent businesses from encroaching on residential neighborhoods, at Francis Lewis Boulevard at Brookville Boulevard and 247th Street, North Conduit Avenue between Francis Lewis and Brookville boulevards and Merrick Boulevard between Hook Creek and Brookville boulevards.

Nearby streets in Laurelton and Brookville were downzoned in recent years. Sanders said several community groups, including the Rosedale Civic Association, worked hard to make sure the plan fit the needs of the neighborhood.

“Now that we are using our time wisely, we will create contextual zoning,” he said.

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

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