Quality-of-life concerns lead Community Board 11 to reject Douglaston rezoning plan

Rendering by Valentino Pompeo Architect P.C.

Community Board 11 gave a resounding “no” to the proposed Douglaston Parkway rezoning this week in front of a packed room of concerned residents.

At the Oct. 22 public hearing held at Douglaston Community Church, the board, which includes residents from Douglaston, Little Neck and Bayside, unanimously rejected the proposal to rezone an area of the neighborhood from an R1-2 to an R6A.

The rezoning would allow developers 241-15 Northern Boulevard, LLC and North Shore Realty Group to build two eight-story buildings at 43-80 Douglaston Pkwy. and 241-15 Northern Blvd.

The plan was first presented at the board’s monthly zoning committee meeting on Sept. 25, during which developers laid out their plans for the buildings. The one on Douglaston Parkway would provide housing for adults 55 and older, while the Northern Boulevard property would provide both units for older adults and an area set aside for commercial use.

Board members expressed concerns about lack of parking, increased traffic in the area and a reduced quality of life since developers proposed the plan. Members of the community who identify as “Concerned Residents of Douglaston and Little Neck” also urged their neighbors to sign a petition to “vote no” to the developments.

“Parking in the area is already extremely inadequate. Cars are constantly double parked on Douglaston Parkway and making illegal U-turns, creating dangerous traffic conditions at busy times,” states the petition.

It went on to say that traffic in the area was exacerbated by the installation of the bike lane on Northern Boulevard, which resulted in at least 12 accidents according to residents. To date, the petition has garnered 433 signatures and several comments in opposition to the rezoning.

“A variance and/or re-zoning is a Public Safety issue that will exacerbate an already unmanageable and dangerous traffic situation at an overly congested major intersection,” wrote Little Neck resident Nelson Camacho in the comment section. “Any such re-zoning will negatively and irreversibly impact pedestrians, commuters, schools, businesses, emergency services, and the resident families. There are no viable arguments or transportation solutions for dramatically adding/increasing housing at a major intersection in Queens Co., while permanently ruining the essential character of Douglaston.”

Despite their rejection of the proposal, community board members told residents that their “no” vote would only be sent as a recommendation to the City Council and advised citizens to reach out to local politicians to voice their opinions. According to the board, the developers might still be able to go directly to City Council, the mayor or the Department of City Planning to have their proposal approved.

QNS reached out to Community Board 11 for comment and is awaiting a response.

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