From the Queens Gazette:
For the first time since 1961, the Department of City Planning has begun a major effort to rezone 9,180 lots on 248 blocks in Astoria.
The area under study is generally bounded by 20th Avenue to the north, Steinway Street to the east, Broadway to the south, and the East River/Vernon Boulevard to the west. City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and community groups, concerned that current zoning does not adequately protect traditional row houses and single family homes, requested the zoning study in fall 2005.
"[Astoria] is the hottest neighborhood in the whole city," Vallone said. "We've seen two-family homes ripped down and replaced by eight story monstrosities. I've been trying to get this change done for five years."
"[DCP] have ridden every block of Astoria, as I have," Vallone said.
"Some people are going to like it, some people are not going to like it," former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. said. "But what we're going to try to do is make Astoria the nicest, most livable area."