Jamaica Rezoning Plans Expected To Pass Today
By GRACE RAUH
Staff Reporter of the Sun
September 10, 2007
The Bloomberg administration's largest rezoning initiative, a 368-block area in the Jamaica section of Queens that is home to an airport transit hub, is expected to clear the City Council today, paving the way for the development of hotels, offices, and commercial space in downtown Jamaica.
The rezoning would allow for nearly 3 million square feet of commercial space, nearly 5,200 new housing units, and more than 9,500 jobs, according to the Department of City Planning.
There has been some resistance to the plans from Jamaica residents and local legislators.
Council Member James Gennaro, for example, said he would vote against the rezoning package today because he and others are "concerned about the density that the rezoning is going to bring" along Hillside Avenue, a street lined with shops and parking lots. The rezoning would allow for six- or seven-story residential buildings on Hillside. A council member of Queens and chairwoman of the land use committee, Melinda Katz, said the rezoning would boost Jamaica's economy. "It will have a hotel industry that hopefully will attract tourists and other people who are using the airport," she said. The rezoning also will make Jamaica "a more vibrant area for the community that lives there," she added.