Whitestone sites face development

By Madina Toure

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said developers need to respect the zoning status of two properties in Whitestone that have not been developed.

Two sites in Whitestone — one at 151-45 6th Road, the other at 150-33 6th Ave. — are specifically zoned for 52 detached single-family homes.

Avella said the property at 151-45 6th Road, which is on the waterfront near the intersection of 151st Place and 6th Road, underwent a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which resulted in the site being designated for the 52 homes. The Bayrock Group was initially supposed to build on the site.

“We thought that was a great achievement for the community because it really sort of kept into context that large site,” Avella said.

But he said the site may have a new owner and stressed that the site only be used for those homes.

“I just want to make sure that the new owner understands that the community will not tolerate anything other than those 52 detached homes,” he said.

The other property, a six-acre lot at 150-33 6th Ave., the former Whitestone Jewels site, has an R2 zoning, meaning that only one-family detached homes can be built on it.

The School Construction Authority had previously sought to build a high school on the site.

Neighbors noticed SCA officials surveying the site in fall 2013, leading to opposition and a protest led by City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who was a candidate at the time. The plan was eventually nixed in May 2014 as the SCA determined the area did not have adequate infrastructure or transportation to support a high school.

Avella said the bank foreclosed on the property and that it is scheduled to go to auction. He warned developers who end up overpaying for properties and need to then increase the density.

“I’m just letting any developer who might bid on that property be forewarned,” he said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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