You are reading

City Planning likely to require affordable housing in Court Square/Queens Plaza

Red line: Core area for rezoning

Red line: Core area likely to be rezoned

Sept. 28, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

Developers who construct new buildings in the Court Square/Queens Plaza section of Long Island City will most likely be required to make sure one-quarter of the units are affordable, if a proposal from the Department of City Planning goes through as written.

DCP is proposing two major amendments to the City’s Zoning Resolution, which the agency believes will promote affordable housing and higher quality buildings City-wide.

One of these proposed amendments, called Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, would require that new developments of 10 units or more include 25 or 30 percent permanently affordable housing when a district is rezoned to increase housing capacity.

MIH is particularly relevant for Long Island City.

The City is planning to upzone Court Square/Queens Plaza – a study for this purpose was launched this winter –  which means MIH will be incorporated into the neighborhood’s building rules when that upzoning occurs, a DCP spokesperson said.

Outside the Court Square/Queens Plaza area, private developers who seek a zoning change for a specific multi-unit project would also have to comply with MIH.

“I support building more affordable housing in our district, absolutely,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said.

“What I will say is what I say to the Mayor – we can’t have any more large scale development in my district without transportation infrastructure improvements, schools and parks.”

For his part, Community Board 2 chairman Pat O’Brien said it could be “problematic” to encourage additional density in an already overburdened region.

“In CB 2 [Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC], we’re already overdeveloped,” he said. “[There is] the notion that even the people that are intended to benefit from these new developments would not benefit, because they would suffer from the same lack of infrastructure.”

DCP’s other proposed zoning amendment, called Zoning for Quality and Affordability, involves a slew of modifications to current zoning regulations that DCP considers outdated and restrictive.

In essence, DCP proposes to reconfigure rules within existing zoning districts, to allow builders more flexibility and encourage more engaging architecture. In Long Island City, this will manifest in part as changes to maximum building heights and rules for community facilities within the neighborhood’s special zoned districts, per DCP documents.

DCP did not respond to requests for clarification on these rules as of press time.

Many of the Zoning for Quality and Affordability changes are especially pertinent to CB 2 neighborhoods such as Sunnyside and Woodside, and are covered on the Sunnyside Post here.

The community board has 60 days to review Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability.

O’Brien said that DCP will present its proposals to CB 2’s Land Use Committee in October, and it will be considered by the Board throughout the public review period, which he called “very short” considering the issue’s complexity.

He will discuss the zoning text amendment’s before the full board at its October 1 meeting, per the CB 2 agenda.

“Our [job] is to make sure our district is getting City services and the right stuff,” he said.

qn02 by Queens Post

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

Interesting that the Queensbridge projects are with in zone. Maybe they will finally bulldoze the area and reduce crime in LIC.


Riiiiight because, you know, subsidized housing = crime. Like, Whitey never did anything wrong to hurt society.


What percent of crimes, especially violent crimes, reported on the LIC Post involve residents on Queensbridge? Hint: most of them. Face it – Queensbridge is an open sore and in an otherwise improving area. Bulldozers away!


yeah, they just allotted $38MM to re-point the bricks and provide other maintenance work on the projects.

work has been going on for months there.

Lic Res

More density? Are they out of their minds? Are we all to swim across the East River to get to work? Where will the kids attend school? Is there anyone really doing any planning?


And that’s the problem. Thousands and thousands of new apartments are expected to open in the coming years, and there is only one small zoned elementary school. It’s scary to think about what will happen when Hunters Point South is complete.They like to build, build, build but without any thought given to appropriate infrastructure.


I really wish the community would be more vocal at community board meetings and with the city planning department. It could help slow the massive overdevelopment in LIC.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.