The Holliswood Civic Association has been working on the rezoning of its community to protect it from developers and homeowners who tear down one-family homes and build several houses on the lot. This changes the character of the community.
The area is zoned R2 for one-family homes. But the lots are large, so builders have been tearing down the existing fine homes and erecting more houses on the lots. This changes the special character of the community, which has winding roads and large stately trees on picturesque plots of land. The zoning change will be to R1-2. Any future construction of homes will limit builders to a 60-foot frontage and a 95-foot depth.
Zoning in New York City was stabilized with the passage of the 1961 Zoning Resolution. Holliswood, however, has larger lots, which is what developers look for when they want to build cookie-cutter houses.
To change the zoning of an area, one has to have a survey done of each piece of property in the area. The City Planning Commission either does the survey or assists with advice. The areas along Hillside Avenue that have garden apartments are being changed to R3-2 to reflect these structures.
Many people worked on this massive undertaking, including Holliswood Civic Association President Linda Valentine. At the Community Board 8 hearing, residents such as Kurt and Linda Hoppe, David Milne, Nancy Vickery, Kathy Hoppe, Audrey Minderman, Rose Fiore, Fran Lashinsky, Mary Milne and Fred Greenblat spoke for the rezoning of Holliswood. Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) gave testimony.
Borough President Helen Marshalls Zoning Task Force also sponsored this study. John Young, director of the Queens office of the Department of City Planning, explained that they are making sure the new zoning reflects the character of the neighborhood.
Natalie Eustache of the Department of City Planning explained how the new zoning will permit development only within the existing patterns of this neighborhood, which is really countrified with its winding streets, few sidewalks and areas of different elevations.
CB 8 unanimously approved the change. The proposal was accepted at a land-use hearing at Queens Borough Hall. With all this support, the change should be approved by the City Planning Commission.
Many members of the Holliswood Civic Association spent much time and energy to have their area rezoned. The civic association was the coordinator of this activity. This is why there are civic associations and this is why we have this column.
Civic association members are volunteers and they even pay civic dues to their association. They are the ones who preserve the quality of life in Queens County.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just signed a bill introduced by Weprin that prohibits posting advertisements on trees, under penalty of heavier fines. The new bill doubles the fine for illegal posting from $75 to $150. Posted signs are not only an eyesore, but the nailing and piercing of trees causes disease and death.
You can report violations to the quality-of-life number, 311, or Community Board 8 at 718-264-7895. Remember that you call 911 for crimes in progress.
©2003 Community News Group
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