Councilman: No more hotels for LIC’s Dutch Kills

By Jane C. Timm | June 12, 2008 03:26PM

City Council Member Eric Gioia, a Long Island City Democrat, has called on the Department of City Planning to stop the building of new hotels in the rapidly growing neighborhood of Dutch Kills, as residents lash out against new developments.   

With its close proximity to Midtown Manhattan, the Queens neighborhood has become a hotspot for hotel development, thanks to its cheaper real estate prices, subways connections and mixed-use zoning. Eleven hotels are being built within a 12 square block area.   

The city’s proposed rezoning would confine all new hotel developments to the area along Northern Boulevard and “remove current restrictions on residential development and provide incentives to promote affordable housing,” according to the Department of Buildings Web site.   

Gioia said that Dutch Kills needs a rezoning that prohibits all hotel growth. The hotels are out of context in the Dutch Kills residential area, which is populated by one- and two-family homes, Gioia said.  

“This neighborhood is over-saturated with hotels,” Gioia said. “We need zoning in this neighborhood that will prevent more hotels from being built.”   

Dutch Kills Civic Association President Jerry said that while the association supports the city’s proposed re-zoning, they are not opposed to Gioia’s proposed change.  

“That’s fine with us,” Walsh said. “We already have our share of hotels.”

Department of City Planning spokewoman Jennifer Torres said that city and the community both want zoning that will “direct the development pressures away from the center of Dutch Kills and the local network of streets.” She added that “our proposal will greatly curb the development of hotels in 75 percent of the mixed-use rezoning area.”


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