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In a victory for homeowners and developers over preservationists, the southern portion of Little Neck Hills has been left out of a rezoning plan which has tightened zoning laws in Little Neck and Douglaston.
While the plan, which was passed by the City Council on Wednesday, December 20, didn't accommodate those who wanted to exclude the whole neighborhood east of Marathon Parkway, a proposal supported by Community Board 11, it did respond to passionate opposition from those home owners who felt the R2A zoning was being imposed on them arbitrarily.
The current zoning in that section of Little Neck Hills, R2, requires only that lots have 40-foot frontage with 13 feet of side yards, five feet on one side and eight on the other, but does not restrict the height of single-family homes or lot coverage.
The new R2A zoning restricts the size of single-family houses because although it also requires only 40 feet lots, it restricts the height of single-family homes and only allows lot coverage of only 30 percent.
The line between R2A zoning to the north and less restrictive R2 zoning to the south is east of Marathon Parkway between Morenci Lane and Cambria Avenue.
According to Susan Seinfeld, district manager of Community Board 11, the City Planning Commission hearing found enough argument from the community to not make the change to R2A but to keep the existing R2. She said homeowners who opposed the change wanted to build bigger houses and some wanted to increase the value of their property by enlarging their house. Existing houses are grandfathered into the new zoning regulation so that they are unaffected by the changes.
&#8220Supporters of the R2A zoning don't like the bigger houses and feel they have changed the nature of the neighborhood and have caused crowding. It's the whole McMansions thing,” Seinfeld said.

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