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Rezoning for Larger Homes in a New York City Single-Family Neighborhood

A rezoning process for a neighborhood in Queens will allow homes to be built wider and deeper. Supporters say the space is needed for large families.
August 18, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Queens, New York City
Parts of the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood, like the block shown here, will be rezoned to allow larger single-family homes.

"Parts of Kew Gardens Hills are doubling down on single-family home zoning and wider, deeper houses — bucking a national trend amid an affordable housing crunch in New York and beyond," reports Savannah Jacobson.

The Kew Gardens Hills plan will allow about 400 single-family homes to build out horizontally, and it already has approval from Community Board 8, which applied for the rezoning, as well as Borough President Melinda Katz and the City Planning Commission. The plan still requires approval from the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio, which is "all but guaranteed."

As Jacobson notes, the plan stands in stark contrast to the trend toward allowing new density to accommodate growth in cities like Minneapolis and states like Oregon and California.

The Kew Gardens Hills plan takes the poosite approach, according to Jacobson. "Local Councilmember Rory Lancman (D-Queens) supports the Kew Gardens Hill plan, which will allow the single-family homes to build out horizontally – even as he penned an op-ed calling for denser housing in the city." By Lancman's reasoning, larger homes will accommodate the larger families that live in the neighborhood.

Similar arguments for downzoning as a positive environmental tool were also made recently in support of a growth cap approved by the city of Lakewood in Colorado.

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Published on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 in The City
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