Sunday, April 8, 2007

Upzoning Dutch Kills

The talk in Dutch Kills these days is not of downzoning, which would keep out bigger buildings. Instead, local residents want upzoning, a much less frequently requested designation, which would make possible larger structures, at least on certain specified streets.

Thinking Big at a Time Others Are Thinking Small

Residents of Dutch Kills have also seen the new residential buildings sprouting along the Long Island City waterfront, and they want their share. Working with the City Planning Commission, they have developed a plan that would allow buildings of 5 to 7 stories on the widest local avenues and 8-to-12-story buildings on Northern Boulevard, the area’s southern border. Buildings on the side streets would be restricted to three or four stories.

“I hate to use the word gentrification. But that’s the negative side of the upzoning, because the property becomes more valuable.”

Here's an account of the last meeting held about the proposal:

Dutch Kills Civic Hears Final Zoning Subdistrict Plans

Photo from NY Times


Anonymous said...

They'll be sorry...

Anonymous said...

What the article doesn't mention is this is the product of infamous CB1 Queens, the heart of darkness in neighborhood preservation, the home of the all but offical policy of illegal conversions, the community that fried its wiring last summer with overdevelopment, the bright lights that are turning their waterfront, a community resource being developed into parkland in the other boroughs, into a wall of racist towers for the rich that its own resident's can afford.

Anonymous said...

They will not be sorry. The general consensus is to bulldoze the neighborhood and take the cash and run.

Take a look at old Astoria, 150 year old homes where the residents are perfectly happy to tear them down for Fedders Crap.

Who cares if you make a strip mine. Move out of the neighborhood (after it did such a wonderful job for you and your family) and let the immigrants and yuppies try to put together the pieces.

Take a look at Tony Bennett. Grew up in Astoria, put a picture of his childhood home on an album cover, and has nothing to do with the community almost never appearing in it.

Myth trumps reallity.

Anonymous said...

Stamatiades is one of the top dogs in community board one, the community board from hell.

By contast, the people in Dutch Kills are wonderful regular nice folks.

The sad thing is they put their trust in the wrong people. The only thing they ever heard is develop develop develop. The politicians always find time to show up (George "Bricklayer" Onorato, Michael "Powerplant" Gianaris, etc) to reinforce the party line. The Western Queens Gazette, well a poll of their coverage of the SSG issue gives new meaning to 'fair and unbiased.'

Anonymous said...

The really sad thing about Dutch Kills is now they are the poster child for more development.

The surrounding areas are disorganized (Hunters Point, Astoria) and can never expect any help from the politicians or press. If they can organize it would be against extraordinary odds because remember, not only do they have to fight the local 'leadership,' but the rest of the borough opposes them (all that population shifted by downzoning has to go somewhere and better LIC than in my backyard.)

Sunnyside is waking up to the infamous wild west nature of development in Western Queens. It is an open issue that efforts to break their spirit will succeed.

So now they talk about roofing over the railyards, cutting off the waterfront to the community, and efforts at general mayhem that passes for community management in that part of the city, the newspapers have a built in prodevelopment mouth piece in Jerry Walsh, the well meaning but naive leader of their group.

Anonymous said...

I remember a few years ago Jerry gave a walking tour of his community. He was a nice guy. I liked him. Afterwards we got together at a restaurant to marvel at we just saw and heard.

Everyone was laughing at them.

'This was the deli I went to after school. Loved the place. They are going to bulldoze it for an 8 story building. Isn't that great?'

The whole tour was like that. The participants marveled that they never had a tour like that.

"This is my neighborhood.

I love this place.

We are going to destroy it to save it."

Unlike the others, I did not find it funny. For me, it was a painful experience. I felt sorry for them. I hate to see nice people taken advantage of by those they place their trust in.

Anonymous said...

Well, what you say may or may not be true, but the reason that they make this choice is the options that are placed in front of them.

If the presevation community makes no effort at public education, then by default others with more sinister ulterior motives will step in.

You cannot blame the people in Dutch Kills Civic. Sheep will be sheep. You cannot blame CB1 for doing the things that natually comes to them. Wolves will be wolves.

You have to blame this on the lack of public education in NYC on community preservation. Yes, this is squarely the fault of the preservation community.

But who cares? They don't live in Dutch Kills, CB1, or western Queens.

You are right. I hate people who have a responsibility to do the right thing either take advantage of others or passively let it happen when they can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What an eye opening thread this is. You never find this stuff in the newspapers.

Go Crappy!

Anonymous said...

I'll say. I hope the folks in Sunnyside Gardens reads this because one of the people that were involved in this fiasco was Prof Mickeljohn and her infamous Hunter posse.

A slick powerpoint presentation, her august professional credentials, all under the benign watchful eye of Stamatiades, and the group of local homeowners were swept off their feet with $ signs in their eyes.

Showed an 1860 house, mentioned the lot underutilized (it would cost so much to repair anyway not worth it to save).

When someone (not from Dutch Kills with a more critical eye) asked about little details as sewers, school desks, the professer said not to worry, those little details 'would be taken care of later.'

Again, Sunnyside, pass this thread around. This is your future without landmarking.

Anonymous said...

George Stamatiades?

Well isn't he is on that infamous library board with the beer distributor's son ... what was his name? ... that guy that tore down Astoria's 180 year old namesake, oh that's right, Demico something or another.

Queens is a small world with 2 million dots on the wallpaper, but 100 or so people that really matter.