At the March 11th Community Board 5 meeting, Smith, of the Queens office of the Department of City Planning (DCP), said the updated plans were altered after further dialogue between the DCP and CB5, and an environmental review.
"We made some small changes based on an Environmental Assessment Study," Smith said. "We feel very confident about it."
The plan calls for the rezoning of roughly 300 blocks in parts of Middle Village, Glendale, and Maspeth, and is so large DCP has divided the proposed affected area into four parts. The city plans to downzone the neighborhoods to preserve their existing community character and protect them from future out-of-context development.
Until 2006, existing zoning laws in west-central Queens hadn't been changed since 1961. Since then, DCP has passed three rezones there. If passed by the City Council, this latest one would be the fourth in as many years.
The city is planning to rezone large swaths of blocks currently zoned R3-2, R4, R4B, R5 (which allow for larger residential buildings) and M1-1 and M1-4 (which allow for industrial uses) with R3A, R 4-1, R4A and the like that would limit building height and density.
The city also plans to cut back commercial overlay zones slightly to reduce the intrusion of commercial establishments on residential blocks.
In Maspeth, the proposed area to be rezoned is bounded by 59th Street, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, the Queens-Midtown Expressway, and Admiral Avenue.
The Middle Village section would be bounded by the Queens-Midtown Expressway, Woodhaven Boulevard, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 80th Street, Juniper Boulevard, and Lutheran Avenue.
Glendale would be rezoned in two portions. The first, encompassing eastern Glendale, would cover the area bounded by Woodhaven Boulevard, 76th and 77th avenues, 80th and 88th streets, and Cooper Avenue.
The proposed rezone in western Glendale would be bounded by the Long Island Railroad, 70th Avenue, 69th Place, Myrtle Avenue, 73rd Street, and Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
"What we tried to do is put in-context zoning that really matches the neighborhoods in their built character," Smith said. He said DCP could complete the process by next month. "We're looking to certify at the end of April."