City set to rezone 40 blocks of Forest Hills

Forty blocks in the southern portion of Forest Hills are currently undergoing the public review process for rezoning that the city says will protect the character of the neighborhood.
The proposed rezoning area stretches from Union Turnpike to the south and east, 69th Avenue to the west and Kessel Street to the north while primarily down-zoning the areas to eliminate out-of-character development for the predominantly residential area.
“The proposal to update the zoning for Forest Hills South will give predictability to future development in the neighborhood, and protect its built character from the anomalous construction the existing zoning permits,” said City Planning Director Amanda Burden.
The city submitted the current rezoning plans after working closely with City Councilmember Melinda Katz, Community Board 6 and the Forest Hills Community and Civic Association.
Currently, the area is zoned R3-2, which allows multi-family apartment houses, one- and two-family detached and semi-detached houses and low-rise row houses, but the new zoning would change the area to R3A, R3X and R3-1 in order to prevent out-of-character development.
In addition, the plans change the commercial overlays from 150 to 100 feet to prevent commercial uses from encroaching on residential blocks near Metropolitan Avenue.
Now that City Planning has submitted the plans to Community Board 6, it has 60 days to review the proposal and send its recommendations to the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council as part of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).
“This rezoning goes a long way to preserve and protect the built character of the area,” said Councilmember Katz. “I would like to thank the Department of City Planning and the Forest Hills Community & Civic Association for their efforts.”

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