East Elmhurst, Queens residents cheer rezoning plan

July 26, 2013 10:00AM

Residents are largely in favor of the city’s recently-proposed plan to rezone 127 blocks of East Elmhurst in Queens, with the hope it will maintain the area’s residential character while boosting commercial development, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Community Board 3 and Community Board 4, which are both in the proposal area, approved the change — the first since 1961 — last month.

Now in the public review stage, the proposal could reach the City Council for approval later this year.

Most of the Queens neighborhood’s real estate consists of one- and two-family houses, the Journal said. Current zoning has led to the demolition of some of the larger single-family homes, while restricting apartment towers. Residents have been critical of the rise of multifamily developments that disrupt the vibe of the neighborhood.

“Ditmars Boulevard is the pride of the neighborhood, and these one- and two-family mini-mansions were getting torn down by developers who built four- and six-family buildings,” Queens City Council member Julissa Ferrera told the Journal.

The zoning measure would also seek to strengthen the commercial market on Astoria Boulevard, the main thoroughfare in East Elmhurst, allowing more retail. [WSJ]Mark Maurer