Dept. of City Planning hosts first Jamaica Neighborhood Plan public meeting at York College

Speaker Adrienne Adams with DCP Director Dan Garodnick on a walking tour of Jamaica last spring.
Courtesy of NYC Council

Southeast Queens residents and business owners will be able to learn more about the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan, during the first public meeting for the community-driven initiative to create a long term vision for the neighborhood.

The Department of City Planning (DCP) is hosting the open house and workshop at York College on Saturday, Sept. 30, beginning at 11 a.m., for New Yorkers to get up to speed on the current status of the community and offer their input on ways to create more housing, more jobs across many industries, improvements to public space and investments in local infrastructure.

“As we start this collaborative process to create an even brighter future for Jamaica, we want to hear from our neighbors,” DCP Director Dan Goradnick said. “From income-restricted homes to good-paying jobs, from improved open space to enhanced resiliency, it’s with the input of everyday New Yorkers that will shape the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan to best meet the needs of this vital community.”

Southeast Queens residents provided feedback to the Department of City Planning on the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan during the Jamaica Jams Festival last month. Courtesy of DCP

During the meeting for the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan, the public will be able to learn more about the planning process, join activities to shape the draft vision and goals for the neighborhood and find out how to stay involved as the plan moves forward. DCP will also share the results of this summer’s survey about New Yorkers’ experiences with and priorities for the area. The survey, which closed on Sept. 15, has garnered 1,128 responses.

“Downtown Jamaica is a central commercial, residential, and transportation hub that is vital to the success of southeast Queens and our entire city,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The Jamaica Neighborhood Plan presents an opportunity for residents to help shape a long-term strategic vision for the area and yield much-needed investments that will benefit our community. I encourage all residents to engage in this critical process and attend the open house and workshop at York College on Sept. 30. With the partnership of elected officials, city agencies, and the residents of Jamaica, we will achieve the progress and change that our community deserves.”

The Jamaica Neighborhood Plan will focus on a more-than-300-block area that includes Downtown Jamaica, adjacent transportation corridors and nearby manufacturing districts. The area includes institutions and community assets like York College, Rufus King Park and the Jamaica Rail Hub, which provides transit access to the rest of New York City and east to Long Island via the subway, Long Island Rail Road, and AirTrain. The study area also covers key pedestrian and commercial corridors, including Jamaica Avenue, Merrick Boulevard, Hillside Avenue, and Liberty Avenue.

Councilwoman Nantasha Williams with Speaker Adrienne Adams and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards as they led DCP Director Dan Garodnick on a walking tour of Jamaica last spring. Courtesy of NYC Council

“The Jamaica Neighborhood Plan represents a pivotal moment in our community’s history, charting a course towards a more resilient and prosperous Jamaica. It envisions a future with increased housing options, diverse job opportunities, enhanced public spaces, and improved infrastructure, all while preserving our unique character,” Councilwoman Nantasha Williams said. “We recognize that the local community plays a vital role in shaping this vision, and their input is invaluable. I am thrilled to announce the first public meeting for this community-led initiative, a significant step towards realizing a better, more vibrant Jamaica that benefits us all.”

The event will start with an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where New Yorkers can visit different stations to learn about Jamaica’s existing conditions and more information that will help them contribute to planning conversations. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there will be a family activity available for all ages that includes story time with books about neighborhood planning and an art activity to create collages of younger New Yorkers’ hopes for the future of Jamaica. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the meeting will switch to a workshop, where attendees can discuss with agency staff what they’d like to see in their community. Spanish and Bengali interpreters will be available.

“This upcoming open house is the next phase of our holistic, community-led effort to make Jamaica the premiere live, work, and play neighborhood in the city,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “We want to hear from the community about the best way to bring affordable housing, infrastructure investments, good jobs, open space, school seats and more to Jamaica. The time is now to let your voice be heard in this planning process that will create a brighter future for this entire neighborhood.”

In partnership with Williams and Richards, DCP will follow this month’s meeting with ongoing, extensive community outreach — including multiple workshops and open houses — alongside a steering committee with community, business, and faith leaders who will meet regularly. Additional workshops are expected to be scheduled for this fall.

I am pleased to see the wishes of the community featured at the forefront of critical initiatives to increase housing and jobs in the Downtown Jamaica area,” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I applaud my local government partners Borough President Donovan Richards and Council Member Nantasha Williams for their work to ensure the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan is focused around the needs and involvement of our area’s residents and I thank the Department of City Planning’s efforts, as they were ever present throughout this summer. I eagerly await the findings of the initiative.”

York College is located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. To RSVP click here.