Astoria Rezoning Gets Nod
At the Stated Meeting of May 25, the City Council voted to preserve the character of and encourage business and affordable housing in Astoria by giving its approval to a Department of City Planning proposal to rezone 238 blocks in Community Board 1, intended to preserve the Astoria neighborhood’s scale and character. The rezoning provisions will ensure that future residential development will be more consistent with the building patterns of surrounding neighborhoods, and encourage new development along some of the neighborhood’s wider streets, commercial corridors and the transit hubs near the N train.
Working with a wide range of stakeholders, including Community Board 1, neighborhood residents and local elected officials, the Department of City Planning developed a comprehensive planning and rezoning strategy to replace outdated zoning that does not adequately address Astoria’s current and future housing and economic needs. The Inclusionary Housing Program would be applied to provide incentives for the construction or preservation of affordable housing units.
Through numerous community meetings, there was a broad consensus to achieve the following goals:
• Respect and enhance Astoria’s unique character;
• Spur development for residential, business and community activities; and
• Encourage the provision of affordable housing.
“I am thrilled to see the Council voting on this proposal to preserve Astoria, Queens,” Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn declared. “New York City’s character comes from every single one of its neighborhoods across the five boroughs. We are nothing without our diversity and Astoria is a great example of a neighborhood that embraces and encourages so many cultures. Whether it’s walking down Ditmars Boulevard and sampling Greek food or strolling in Astoria Park, Astoria has blossomed into one of the most prized neighborhoods in the city. That’s why this rezoning is pivotal to not only preserve its character but also to ensure that this neighborhood will continue to flourish with new businesses and economic development in the years to come. I want to thank Councilmember Peter Vallone for all his work on this.” See page 37