After neighborhood community leaders approached the Department of City Planning last fall with a plan to change the zoning - with a map in hand of what housing stock is in the area, its designation on the city's maps, and what they felt would be more appropriate zoning categories - the ball started rolling.Last Wednesday the City Council voted in favor of amending the zoning map wherever necessary on 39 blocks in Briarwood, between the Van Wyck Expressway on the west, Hillside Avenue to the south, Parsons Boulevard to the east and the Grand Central Parkway to the north. With the rezoning, Briarwood changes from the existing R3A, R4, R4-1, and R6A zones - which allow taller, high-density structures such as multi-family houses or apartment buildings - to designations that more closely reflect the neighborhood's one- and two-family houses of various sizes and styles, and some higher-rise apartment buildings.Briarwood was previously rezoned about 10 years ago. Last year City Planning agreed to revisit the area when the Briarwood Civic Association and other community leaders raised concerns that the 1996 rezoning did not adequately address the character of the neighborhood.Last year's Jamaica rezoning, approved by the City Council in September 2007, encompassed some 368 blocks of downtown Jamaica and adjacent areas but stopped at Hillside Avenue, south of Briarwood.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodo
©2008 Community News Group
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