Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dept of City Planning sets its sights on Woodside

From the Woodside Herald:

Joseph Conley, Chairman of Community Board 2, and two NYC Planning officials offered a “show and tell” with well-executed handouts and flip charts of proposed rezoning in Woodside and Sunnyside at the first public meeting on the topic, Wednesday night at Sunnyside Community Services.

Many of the approximate 50 attendees came because of a worried ‘buzz’ on the street that developers and private interests were working through the City to remove impediments and grass roots control standing in the way of over development. Conley assured questioners that it was the Community Board itself, which had initiated the rezoning study. “After the fires destroyed Butcher Block, Bloom’s and the Dae Dong Restaurant, we learned that the 1961 zoning laws allowed more rebuilding latitude than we thought and we needed to rezone to protect the area.” He explained that the overall intent to study rezoning was to allow inevitable growth to occur in a nondamaging way.

John Young, the Director of the Queens Office of the Department of City Planning, and his associate, Thomas W. Smith, ran quickly through existing zoning areas and preliminary rezoning to introduce the topic, using very clear block cluster illustrations and what amounted to before and after zoning maps. Because the study is preliminary, Conley suggests all interested parties become familiar with the intricacies of zoning and codes, so we can make informed suggestions ourselves from the beginning.

Community Board 2 will make available in its office the proposed changes, and put as much as possible online. Not all wanted to entertain a zoning discussion. “We need parks before we start talking about rezoning,” said lifelong resident Vincent diMartini.

Descriptions of possible changes on Greenpoint and Queens Boulevard sounded worth evaluating carefully. Donald McCallian of United Forties voiced concerns about parking. “We have residential buildings with 72 units and nine parking spaces. And along Greenpoint, few of the buildings were allowed to build underground which contributes to a lack of parking today.”

Most attended to get a handle on what is going to be proposed and how local residents and business can have as much input on the process as possible.

Local architect Laura Heim and her husband, preservationist Jeffrey Kroessler, were attentive and interested in understanding exactly what the changes were. “I’ve had worried people coming into my office asking what was happening,” Heim said. “I was relieved to hear how rezoning proposals came about, described the way it was tonight.”

Lily Gavin attended from the Sunnyside Chamber and Sunnyside Shines, as did Artie Weiner and James Bray. Al Volpe of Berkeley Towers and Dorothy Kaminski from Big Six were among the throng. Virtually every area is subject to revision. It seems clear to this author that we need to take up Joe Conley on his suggestion and get knee deep in the details, learn the symbols, understand what the zoning is now and what could be built as city codes now stand and then what protection or change is being suggested. It will take homework. Future meetings will present that opportunity so we will not have to protest later that we are being handed a developer’s or government’s ideal of rezoning as a fait accompli.

One can study the current proposals and the orange ‘Zoning Handbook,” free at the Community Board 2 office.

Lisa Deller, Land Use Chairman of Community Board 2 said, “We hope people speak up. We are trying to fix something to protect us all.”

12 comments:

stinky said...

Woodside has already been devastated. Where were the community boards years ago when this became available?

Elmhurst is the same thing - we have not even begun to look at re-zoning. Who are these secretive community boards anyway - are they elected by us? Doubt it.

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe any community board would seriously approach this Administration with a plea to re-zone because the 1961 zoning allowed too much re-building.

If what Joe Conley says is true the board members must all be corrupted or totally retarded.

So now they have opened this can of worms and will have an "advisory" role on a Bloomberg controlled process, I'm sure there will be lots of downzoning to protect the neighborhood combined with small clusters upzoned.

Yeah sure, that is what will happen.

Anonymous said...

It was great to see how well Bloomberg respected the advisory role of community boards regarding the ridgewood reservoir plans.

Now we can all count on him to show the same great respect for local opinion in Woodside as well.

What a smart move by this community board.

Anonymous said...

walk around Woodside, count the number of "new" unregulated fair market housing going up, it looks like Hong Kong.

how many rent stabilized and rent controlled tenants in this neighborhood are being harassed by their landlords, not given services, such as heat and hot water on a regular basis? it's not just Vantage who is doing it. this is more crap.

Missing Foundation said...

Divide and conquor - no over all plan.

Sit down with Dutch Kills. Do the nasty.

Sit down with LIC. Do the nasty.

Sit down with Astoria. Do the nasty.

Sit down with Woodside. Do the nasty.

Meanwhile, A does not know what is happening to B who does not know is happening with C who does not know what is happening with D.

We need to work together people, and compare notes. You see the same patternes over and over again, and the same bullshit thrown at communities - you can almost tell the script before the hacks and weekly rags throw it out.

The same power grid, the same schools, the same transit network, etc etc.

By doing this neighborhood by neighborhood we are clueless on the overall picutre, and are like the proverbial frogs cooked in water.

If gets warmer and warmer until one day we all wake up someone's meal.

Anonymous said...

Local architect Laura Heim and her husband, preservationist Jeffrey Kroessler, were attentive and interested in understanding exactly what the changes were. “I’ve had worried people coming into my office asking what was happening,” Heim said. “I was relieved to hear how rezoning proposals came about, described the way it was tonight.”

----

Laura, as an architect, you benefit from massive development, and your husband, Jeff Kroessler, is a big-wig at Historic Districts council - hmmm, funny how the comments made about the mainline presevation community as being a bunch of worthless snakes by some on this board come home to roost.

Both live in landmarked Sunnyside Gardens and both would not want development in their community.

Remember how some of us think the landmark law should be overturned because it protects developers, architects, hacks, and finaniciers (of development projects that are shoved down our throats), while they live in protected communities that are subsidized by our taxes?

Exhibit A

Anonymous said...

Most attended to get a handle on what is going to be proposed and how local residents and business can have as much input on the process as possible.

Future meetings will present that opportunity so we will not have to protest later that we are being handed a developer’s or government’s ideal of rezoning as a fait accompli.

It seems clear to this author that we need to take up Joe Conley on his suggestion and get knee deep in the details, learn the symbols, understand what the zoning is now and what could be built as city codes now stand and then what protection or change is being suggested. It will take homework.
One can study the current proposals and the orange ‘Zoning Handbook,” free at the Community Board 2 office.


---

So what? What is the purpose of studying the zoning book.

How about studying the community as to what it needs - are services as parking and the power grid and the schools adequate for the people living there?

No course not.

So studying overlays and FARS and the like is simply wasting your time - but - in good hack-developer style, getting your attention on bullshit instead of the substance.

Anonymous said...

Conley assured questioners that it was the Community Board itself, which had initiated the rezoning study.

He explained that the overall intent to study rezoning was to allow inevitable growth to occur in a nondamaging way.

---

Development is a cancer in a community that cannot handle the people that live there already.

Its like saying someday we are all going to die, so lets go ahead and abuse our bodies (but under a plan) so that it happens in a controlled way.

This is a crock of shit.

Typical from a community board, though...

Anonymous said...

Lisa Deller, Land Use Chairman of Community Board 2 said, “We hope people speak up. We are trying to fix something to protect us all.”

--

Sure, with 'controlled development'

Scarey to see this double talk.

Brave New World said...

Work is freedom.

Controlled development protects us all.

Anonymous said...

"War and taxes are inevitable"

Ben Franklin, patriot, printer, inventor, statesman, scientist, postmaster, etc etc

"Development is inevitable"

Conley, Queens political appointee.