During the highly emotional debate over the rezoning, residents at the June 20 meeting shouted at Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and officials from the Department of City Planning expressed anger over a variety of issues - including illegal building and a spike in foreclosures - they said were plaguing southeast Queens.
Comrie and Spigner at odds over zoning
As in other neighborhoods across Queens, one-family homes in St. Albans and Hollis are constantly replaced by three or four housing units because of out-dated zoning rules.
Most of the area included in the rezoning will be downzoned, but commercial corridors along portions of Hollis Avenue and Farmers, Merrick and Linden Boulevards will be upzoned to allow for greater residential density.
Then they went to the borough president:
Hollis residents slam rezone
Residents of St. Albans and Hollis told aides to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall last Thursday they are concerned that a city proposal to allow seven-story buildings to be built along Linden Boulevard will put added stress on the area's already overburdened schools and transportation infrastructure.
"We see a lot of people and a lot of cars," said Cardinal Sandiford, chairman of Community Board 12's Land Use Committee. "We don't think we can possibly tolerate 70-foot buildings on our main corridors."
Meanwhile, Laurelton still awaits their rezoning:
Young brought a letter from Amanda Burden, the city planning commissioner, to Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) that stated the city's intention to finish a review of the area's zoning by the end of 2007.
But residents were not mollified.
"By that time we could have the Empire State Building out here," said Vernell Bennett, the president of the 224/225 Block Association.
Spigner, Comrie spar over zoning
Laurelton Residents Confront City Planning On Zoning Delay
In other area land use news, CB12 voted in favor of a variance in order that Thomasina's may expand.
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