Today’s news:

City set to pass plan to rezone Middle Village

The rezoning of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale breezed through committee votes this week and was headed for likely City Council approval Wednesday, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s (D-Middle Village) office said.

The Council Land Use Committee passed the plan 19-0 Tuesday morning. The rezoning, which affects 300 blocks of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale, was approved unanimously by Community Board 5 in May and passed through the borough president’s office and the city Planning Commission.

The rezone converts most of the affected areas of these neighborhoods to contextual residential zones, forcing developers to build new homes resembling others on the block and preventing the multi-story apartment buildings many residents complained were destroying the makeup of the neighborhoods.

CB 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri said he was not aware of any developers rushing to get a foundation in the ground before the rezone took effect.

“I haven’t heard anything “It’s been fairly quiet,” he said.

Juniper Park Civic Association President Robert Holden, a member of CB 5, was slightly more pessimistic.

“I haven’t seen any new ones recently, but we’ve always seen that,” he said. “I expect that to happen.”

Holden said the Juniper Park Civic was happy with the rezoning but warned it would not stop development in the community.

“It’s not a cure-all,” he said, noting many areas of the neighborhoods do not match the aesthetic requirements for contextual zoning. “It will make it less attractive for some developers to come in and knock down single-family homes.”

This rezoning plan is a follow-up to the first phase of rezoning in 2006, which covered parts of Maspeth and Middle Village at the request of CB 5, civic groups and residents of the area. City officials have credited a door-to-door housing survey conducted by the Juniper Park civic in 2005 for getting the process started.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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