Saturday, September 1, 2007

One wants downzoning, other wants upzoning

Less than 12 hours had passed between the moment two City Council comm- ittees voted in favor of the city's plan to rezone Jamaica and the moment the developers approached Dr. Joan Donoghue in her office on 191st Street that same evening asking to buy the building.

191st St. homeowners tell developers 'no sale'

Donoghue's neighbor, Jocelyn Moncrief, who lives at the corner of Hillside Avenue and 191st Street with her daughter, said the developers' visits are a frequent occurrence that has only become more so as the date approaches for the City Council to vote on the so-called Jamaica Plan, which is to happen Sept. 10.

Neighborhoods Fear Rezoning

Kevin Forrestal, president of the Hillcrest Estates Civic Association, said the Department of Environmental Protection has already acknowledged problems with the city’s sewer system and said it won’t be able to correct them by 2030 –– or by the time a million people have been added to the city.

Leaders noted that the city has no immediate plans for expanding schools or improving subway service, a sign that it is not prepared for massive and rapid growth.

Bayside Councilman Tony Avella, chairman of the zoning subcommittee, said in a phone interview on Monday that despite the strong community opposition, the plan will most likely be approved without any more changes.

He explained that because City Council Speaker Christine Quinn supports the plan, the council will vote in its favor. He expects himself, Gennaro and Weprin to be the only opponents of the plan when the City Council votes on Sept. 10.

“There’s big money to be made,” he said, adding that he predicts the negative neighborhood impact will be “worse than people think.”

Jamaica rezoning plan draws yeas and nays

Meanwhile, further south:

Attendees at the town hall meeting, who were mainly Orthodox Jews, asked for more space to build homes for a section of Far Rockaway bounded by the city line to the east, Hicksville Road to the south, Beach 9th Street to the west and Empire Avenue to the north.

Orthodox Jews want Far Rock rezoning

The proposed zoning change, called R2X, would allow for only 20 feet of space between neighbors' backyards, compared to 30 feet under the current R2 zoning. R2X would also expand the floor-area ratio to .85 percent from the current .5 percent. Attic space would also be increased by 20 percent, although only brick homes would be able to convert that space into a bedroom.

Photos from Queens Chronicle


Anonymous said...

Once again the "black hats" insist on increasing
the density in some neighborhoods well beyond
the area's capacity to handle the growth.

Is all this to facilitate having larger than life families ?

As the rest of the world looks towards
more responsible levels of population growth....
some refuse to live in the present.

Now I invite all critics to brand me an anti-Semite!

Anonymous said...

Now this is interesting. Do you mean to tell me that the city council reps in areas that are closed to development (read landmarked) like the East Side and West Side and Village and Brooklyn Heights are in favor of crushing a community of black folks with a development project that everyone says they cannot handle?

If they do so, we should repay the favor, don't you think?

What can we do about overturning that landmarks law so those communities can get a bit of their own medicine?

This being said, what about the other communities in NYC that have voted for downzoning? Are they going to be in favor of this even knowing the community is against it?

By the same token, someone perhaps should take a look at those areas with spot downzoning. Heavily white? not many immigrants? wealthy?

Hmmm.... is only for development for communties of color and poor?
If so, then spot zoning is illegal and should be overturned, too.

Anonymous said...

I am Jewish and I think those people are living in the Middle Ages. but I believe there are other religions that also ban birth control.

georgetheatheist said...

The Roman Catholic Church bans birth control, but, according to polls and statistics, church members overwhelmingly use it anyhow.

georgetheatheist said...

And let me remind CM Sanders of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

Anonymous said...

well, everyone should use it. Especially now with this overpopulation. Look at the fanatical evangelical Duggar family

mazeartist said...

As an Orthodox Jew, my only criticism of my Far Rockaway brethren is their refusal to consider other places to live.

In nearby Rosedale, there is a struggling synagogue with only a handful of mostly elderly members. This synagogue would love to have younger families living nearby. This synagogue is praying for better days.

Spread out, look beyond Kew Garden Hills, Far Rockaway, and Jamaica Estates. Start a new Jewish enclave. And if all else fails, you still have a homeland in Israel waiting for you to return.

Anonymous said...

why does there have to be an "enclave" of any ethnicity? Diversity, anyone?

At some point every race and religion is going to have to realize that we are all one. We have to get beyond this tribalism. We are all just DNA.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for this truthful unabashed response.

A lot of Jews wouldn't consider living
in a neighborhood like Rosedale.....
too many "Blacks".

Bigotry cuts both ways!

Anonymous said...

You must mean "schwartzes".

georgetheatheist said...

"And if all else fails, you still have a homeland in Israel waiting for you to return" - Mazeartist

By making this comment, you open yourself and "your brethren" to the ancient charge of "dual loyalty". (BTW an ancient one at that, going back to the presidential election of 1884 when a supporter of the Republican candidate James Blaine referred to the Catholic supporters of Grover Cleveland as advocates of "rum, Romanism and rebellion.") What will it be, Mazeartist, as an Orthodox American, I'd like to know: bottom line, The United States or Israel?...Any Muslims out there who'd like to jump in, by all means do so: The Qu'ran or the Constitution?

P.S. Can Israel even exist without foreign aid from the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany?

Anonymous said...

But if you're going to go there, many people in the US have dual loyalty. Most immigrants send a lot of their money home, where they intend to retire. New York is 40% foreign born. You really can't rationally single out any one ethnicity for this.

Anonymous said...

Too much inbreeding in the "shtetl"
has produced rare diseases exclusive to certain groups
like the "Chassidim" .

This has also become a phenomena among the Amish.

A flush in the gene pool, from time to time,
is necessary for the vigor of any race of people.

Anonymous said...

There's just one race of people; the human one. That said, it's not a good idea to marry your sister. Especially if she's married to your father.

Anonymous said...

Those same "black hats" tried to take over Riverdale.

A historic district was , subsequently, created
to prevent their destruction of some of the finest architectural gems along the Hudson River.

Andrew Muchmore said...

I'm all for preservation of historically significant buildings, but low density zoning does nothing but push up rents and encourage sprawl. Density is what makes NYC great; we don't want to turn it into another soulless parking lot like LA. If those people want downzoning so badly, they can start paying a portion of my artificially inflated rent.

Queens Crapper said...

Your rent is artificially inflated because of rent control.

Density is what makes Manhattan great; we don't want to turn Queens into another soulless borough like Manhattan.