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Front Yards Are For Lawns, Not Cars, City Says

Queens and Brooklyn homeowners may soon be prohibited from converting front yards into parking pads if a set of regulations is approved. The loss of street parking from new curb cuts was cited as a reason, along with aesthetics.
November 23, 2009, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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It's not just the loss of street parking that's driving the new regulations. It's retaining the green space in the neighborhood as well. The new regulations will also specify the width of front yard plantings. However, it does seem to be "all about parking." In fact, the regulation will require more parking if a house is modified to create extra units.

"Ambiguous zoning regulations now allow residents in some neighborhoods to make curb cuts, which are created by breaking the concrete of a regular curb and repaving it to slope up to a private property's front yard."

"These changes are 'key to fostering inviting, walkable blocks,' the city planning commissioner, Amanda M. Burden, said when she announced the proposed new rules on Monday (Nov. 16).

The new rules would tighten the criteria for approving certain curb cuts and new residential parking to consider the 'character of the existing streetscape' and whether the cuts would 'affect pedestrian movement.'"

Thanks to Ed Braddy

Full Story:
Published on Friday, November 20, 2009 in New York Times-N.Y./Region (blog)
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