When I was 10, my family moved to 185th Street south of Hillside Avenue. I now live just five blocks away, on the north side of Hillside Avenue. Over those decades I have personally seen the tremendous growth in development and population as well as the transportation and numerous other problems that have arisen. We all know very well the extreme conditions that plague us in terms of parking headaches, traffic congestion and overcrowded schools.
Now there is a rezoning proposal called the Jamaica Plan with very troubling prospects for Hillside Avenue. It could well increase the local population along Hillside by over 38,000 people, including some 10,000 children. It would also permit apartment buildings, zoned R6A, R7A and R7X, of up to 13 stories along both the north and south sides of Hillside Avenue from the Van Wyck Expressway to 191st Street. Hillside Avenue would become a canyon with significant density increases, negatively impacting Hollis, Hollis Park Gardens, Holliswood, Hillcrest, Jamaica Hill and Jamaica Estates.
Local elementary schools are already above capacity. Parking space is also completely saturated. The infrastructure services, including sanitation, sewer and waterlines are now taxed to the limit. Our neighborhood police and fire departments are already understaffed, and response times to emergencies have increased significantly.
Since this plan is about to be taken up and voted on by the New York City Council, I strongly urge you to immediately contact your City Council member and express these concerns and your firm opposition to the planned overdevelopment of Hillside Avenue proposed in the Jamaica Plan.
State Sen. Frank Padavan
Padavan opposes Jamaica rezoning
Photo from NYS Senate