By Nathaly Pesantez
The ongoing discussion about the rezoning of a large portion of Long Island City will continue next week with a public workshop hosted by City Planning.
City Planning is analyzing a 50-block section of the Queens Plaza/Court Square area, which most believe is a precursor to a rezoning. As part of its study—aptly titled the LIC Core Study–DCP has been holding meetings to get feedback from residents and stakeholders about the area and what changes are needed.
The next meeting is on Wednesday, July 26 at the Long Island City Community Library (37-44 21st Street). The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
The focus of this meeting will be on the state of retailing, commerce and arts/culture in the core study area and what might improve it.
City Planning along with representatives of the Economic Development Corporation, Small Business Services and the Department of Cultural Affairs will be in attendance, according to Lisa Deller, chair of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee.
LIC arts and culture institutions will also be present.
The DCP, as part of the LIC Core Study, is examining the area as it looks to promote a mixed-use neighborhood that includes more office space and affordable housing. To date, DCP has received pushback from some residents who oppose a rezoning claiming the area already lacks park space, neighborhood services and infrastructure and an influx of more people would make it worse.
Long Island City was chosen by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration as a target for rezoning back in 2015 as part of his push to increase the number of affordable housing units in New York City.
The likely rezoning is also, in part, a way for DCP to correct what came from the 2001 rezoning of the area. In 2001, DCP aimed to turn Queens Plaza/Court Square into a business center through an upzoning but instead it opened the door to a flood of luxury towers and apartments.
Since the 2001 rezoning, 13,000 apartments have been developed, with only 5 percent of them affordable, according to the DCP.
Much of the discussion about the possible rezoning to date has been about residential development and whether the area has the infrastructure to handle an influx of new people, Deller said.
The July 26 workshop will provide residents with the opportunity to talk about the impact it might have on small businesses and arts and culture.
Workshops will continue through summer and fall 2017.