The City Council approved a 166-acre rezoning in Queens this week, clearing a path for the addition of hundreds of housing units.
The rezoning is for a stretch of Edgemere, spanning from Beach 35th Street and Beach 50th Street. City Limits reported the rezoning could lead to the influx of more than 1,200 housing units.
The council approved five applications from HPD for development projects that will feature mandatory inclusionary housing affordability rules. The developments will deliver 530 affordable units to the area.
Bracing for the effects of climate change is a main feature of the rezoning, which will limit development to one- to two-story homes in parts of the area at greater risk. It will also designate 16 acres for coastal protection and raise the shoreline along Jamaica Bay.
The plan also includes a Community Land Trust, which will identify partners to own eight acres of land currently owned by the city.
The Resilient Edgemere plan began in earnest in 2015, shortly after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the region. While city officials have largely supported the plan, some community members have resisted it, preferring to increase resiliency without increasing density. All of Community Board 14 came out against the rezoning.
The rezoning does have the support of Mayor Eric Adams, whose signature will be needed to make it official. In a press release, Adams called the rezoning “an important step forward for residents of Edgemere.”
Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, who represents Edgemere, also applauded the passage of the rezoning.
“Edgemere will benefit from vital affordable homeownership opportunities, infrastructure investments and protection from a changing climate,” Brooks-Powers said. “Rockaway has seen a surge of new development in recent years, but that development has not been accompanied by a commensurate investment in local infrastructure.”
The mayor released a three-pronged plan last month to change the rules around rezoning in an effort to diversify businesses and boost affordable housing. The text amendments Adams called for include easing restrictions for businesses, fostering more affordable housing and cutting the city’s carbon emissions.
Adams is also hoping to streamline the sluggish ULURP, aiming to create the Building and Land Use Approval Streamlining task force to cut through red tape and expedite rezonings.
— Holden Walter-Warner