City Hall scraps plans for Flushing West upzoning

Height rules due to LGA proximity, drainage issues undermine plan’s logic: officials

TRD New York /
Jun.June 01, 2016 10:06 AM

City officials are withdrawing plans to rezone the western end of Flushing, formerly a major plank of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing effort.

City Planning Commission head Carl Weisbrod announced the policy shift in a letter Friday to City Council Member Peter Koo, who had pointed several potentially fatal problems with the scheme, Crain’s reported.

Koo, in his own letter, argued that due to the area’s proximity to LaGuardia Airport, the new buildings that would follow in the wake of the rezoning would require planes to return to pre-2012 flight plans, which would require federal rule changes. He also pointed out that new housing in the area would exacerbate an existing problem with sewage overflow there.

Weisbrod concurred with that assessment, but said the city might revisit the plan if the underlying issues were ever resolved.

The plan would have rezoned 11 industrial blocks between the Flushing Creek and the final stop of the 7 train, allowing retail and affordable housing development, a projected total of about 1,600 units, as well as open space.

It was part of the administration’s larger “Housing New York” plan to rezone a total of 15 neighborhoods to facilitate affordable development. Last month the City Council approved the rezoning of East New York, part of the same effort. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg

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