2016-04-06 / Front Page

Developer Seeks Zoning Merge

By Liz Goff

An Astoria developer has filed plans to build a five-story apartment building at 30-70 38th Street, between 30th and 31st Avenues.


According to the plans, the parcel is split between two zoning districts – each with a different height requirement. So developer George Elliott is taking his case to the City Planning Commission (CPC,) asking the panel to rezone the whole site in the higher zone, which allows a 50-foot height limit.


If CPC approves the unusual rezoning request, the building will feature five stories with 26 units on 27,450-quare-feet of residential space. The average unit would measure 1,055-square-feet and the building would feature a 13-car garage in the cellar.


If the request is denied, the developer will build a smaller building with six fewer residential units.


Real experts say the developer is asking for the rezoning without including affordable housing in the package, a move that may be impossible to achieve.


The City Council last month approved Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), which requires builders who want a private rezoning to rent at least 25 per cent of their new apartments at below-market rates.


Under MIH, projects must make their way through the public approval process, the local community board or the borough president, both of whom must now demand that affordable housing units are included in the plans, experts said.

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