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Re-Zoning Completed, Affecting Much of Westmoreland Area
In late December, 2006 � after more than three years of effort �
most of the Westmoreland area within Queens County was re-zoned from R2 to R2A.
The R2A designation is more protective than the former R2 designation, which had
become riddled with loopholes.
Westmoreland Association�s Position
The Westmoreland Association strongly and enthusiastically supported the re-zoning to R2A. We have had a lot of concerns with demolition of existing houses and replacement with over-sized houses (sometimes called �McMansions�). We believe the R2A designation will help maintain the character of our neighborhood and limit the severe over-building of recent years in our area and neighboring communities.
Westmoreland Association Outreach Efforts and Consideration of the Proposal
The R2A re-zoning for our area was formally proposed in March, 2005. At that time, the Westmoreland Association distributed to every house a flyer announcing the proposal, saying it would affect most homes in our area and would be discussed at our March, 2005 meeting. That meeting was well attended � nearly 20% of the affected households were represented. At the meeting we had a presentation by City Councilman Tony Avella, the originator of the proposal. We distributed fact sheets with information copied from the New York City Planning Department web site. Additional information was provided by two architects from our community (one a member of our Board of Directors). At the end of the extended discussion, a motion carried unanimously that the Association go on record to support the R2A re-zoning. As always, minutes of the meeting were posted on our web site. We also posted a detailed description of the proposal, with links to the City Planning Department website.
We discussed the proposal again at each of our seven subsequent meetings (May, September and November, 2005, and March, May, September and November, 2006). At every meeting, continued support for the re-zoning was expressed. At the same time, individuals were encouraged to make their views � pro or con � known to the relevant government officials.
The Public Process
A series of five public meetings or hearings, held by different governmental entities, preceded the final re-zoning decision (which affected many areas in Little Neck and Douglaston beyond the Westmoreland area):
- August 23, 2006 � Zoning Committee of Community Board 11
- September 5, 2006 � Community Board 11
- September 21, 2006 � Queens Borough President�s Office
- October 25, 2006 � New York City Planning Commission
- December 14, 2006 � Zoning Sub-committee of the Land Use Committee of the New York City Council
The Westmoreland Association participated in each of these events, expressing its strong support for the proposal.
On December 18 the City Council Zoning Sub-committee voted 7-0 in favor of the proposal (including some minor changes that do not affect the Westmoreland area). On the same day the Land Use Committee voted 23-0 in favor; and on December 20 the full City Council voted 51-0 in favor of the re-zoning. This essentially completed the process, although a few more pro forma steps are required before the re-zoning becomes effective.
Specifics for the Westmoreland Area
All of the Westmoreland area that is within Queens County (see map) is now zoned R2A, with the exception of the following few areas that are zoned R3-1:
- Block # 1 on the Rickert-Finlay map.
- A few parcels at the west end of Block # 7.
- Parcels that front on Northern Boulevard (which also have a C3-1 Commercial Overlay designation).