Sunday, April 27, 2008

Looking forward to Rockaway rezone

Susan Anderson lives on Beach 26th Street in Far Rockaway, on one of the area’s remaining bungalow-lined blocks. Ms. Anderson, who is an artist, bought two bungalows on the street in 2004, and she hopes to turn the one that still has its original cedar shingles into her studio. But over the past few years she has watched in dismay the construction of a 15-story oceanfront condominium just a few yards away.

For Humble Bungalows, a Plan to Save the Sunshine

“I call it the shadow caster,” Ms. Anderson said the other day, sitting on a wooden folding chair in her kitchen, where the ceiling also has the original cedar. Shadows from such buildings irk many New Yorkers, but when they appear along the beach, and when the structures they obscure are beloved bungalows, the shade can seem especially gloomy.

To address this issue, the Department of City Planning announced on Monday a rezoning plan to stop the construction of such high-rise apartment buildings on many blocks in five neighborhoods on the Rockaway Peninsula: Far Rockaway, Somerville, Edgemere, Rockaway Park and Rockaway Beach.

The proposal seeks to ensure that new buildings are developed on a scale suitable for the neighborhoods, dotted as they are by modest working-class homes with screened-in porches. Over the last few decades, many of the bungalows, which once covered the Rockaways, have been replaced by their architectural opposites, tall apartment buildings and condos.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A couple of years ago I rented a bungalow on Beach 108 Street... 1/2 block from the ocean. Our court had 5 houses and ours, though one of three that was winterized, was the only one being lived in year-round. There were additional courts of bungalows all around us.... It was quite the place to live and to this day I miss it.