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