The city’s abrupt decision to withdraw its plans to rezone Flushing West, which would have brought 1,600 units of housing to the downtown area, has drawn mixed reactions from the community.
Some say it was a good move due to key infrastructural problems for which the city did not have concrete solutions, while others say it was a missed opportunity for the community.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal sought to clean up and rezone 60 acres on the Flushing waterfront and form a planned community with waterfront access for housing and commercial space.
Although State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) was the first elected official to oppose the plan and was joined by state Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), the project fell apart when Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) asked for it to be withdrawn in a May 27 letter to City Planning Chairman Carl Weisbrod.
Koo cited the ongoing problems with airplane noise from LaGuardia Airport and the need for remediation in Flushing Creek as the key factors motivating his shift in opinion. He alsmo mentioned other issues, such as the proposed development’s proximity to the overcrowded No. 7 train.
He said the city could decide to pursue the proposal again in a year or two if tangible solutions are made to fix the problems.
“The residents would be very unhappy if they lived there, all these airplanes coming in the morning — it would drive them crazy,” he said. “Flushing Creek is so dirty. I wouldn’t want to stay there for 10 minutes, let alone 24 hours and every day.”
City Planning said it could revisit Flushing West if those issues are resolved.
And I'm sure Flushing Creek will be cleaned up and LaGuardia Airport will close soon.