Today’s news:

Dutch Kills rezone plans now open for public review

The city began its public review process last week for the long-awaited rezoning of 40 blocks in Dutch Kills that will include mixed-use districts, offer affordable housing incentives and place higher density buildings on wide streets, the City Planning Department commissioner said.

Dutch Kills residents have been calling on the city for several years to rezone the neighborhood and protect them from numerous developers attempting to lay down foundations in the western Queens community.

City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said the public review process kicked off May 19 and Community Board 2 will now have 60 days from that date to review the proposal. The plan will then go to Borough President Helen Marshall, return to the City Planning Commission and go before the City Council for review, Burden said.

"This complex rezoning will achieve multiple goals advocated by many stakeholders in Dutch Kills, including preserving their lower-scale neighborhood and giving residential property owners flexibility they do not have today," she said. "It would also prohibit inappropriate and out-of-scale development."

The rezoning encompasses 40 blocks in Dutch Kills north of Queens Plaza and west of the Sunnyside yards, including boundaries of 36th Avenue on the north, Northern Boulevard on the east, 41st Avenue on the south and 23rd Street on the west, Burden said.

The rezoned areas include access to the E, R, V, G and No. 7 subway lines at Queens Plaza as well as the N and W trains along 31st Street.

The proposal would create four mixed-use districts that limit building heights anywhere between 33 feet and 125 feet to match current structures on various neighborhood streets, Burden said. The project would also include 1,500 apartment units, of which 190 would be affordable housing, during a period of 10 years, she said.

Dutch Kills residents have been putting pressure on the city to push the rezoning plan through following the creation of several 9- to 16-floor hotels near Queens Plaza. The city Department of Buildings had waived parking requirements at several of the hotels.

Residents said the rezoning plan is long overdue and that they were glad it is finally being reviewed.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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