City Needs to Move on Glendale Rezoning
by Albert Baldeo
02.17.09 - 05:47 pm
Recently, we were brought up to date by the Department of City Planning on the completion of Phase II of the Glendale down-zoning progress. In the four long years of waiting that we were forced to endure by this department, there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel, and the city needs to bring its tasks to conclusion. The delays seem to be more procedural and bureaucratic, rather than substantive, in nature.

With each passing day of inaction, overdevelopment continues to radically alter the traditional appearance and character of our neighborhoods. The scourge of illegal construction, non-compliance with zoning rules, and poor quality construction - compounded with our failure to landmark historic buildings - will continue to denigrate our neighborhoods.

Increased population density, overloading community resources, congestion, pollution, parking, mass transit service problems, overcrowding, overburdened public utility services, sewer systems, and garbage removal are all ills wrought by overdevelopment. The beauty of our tranquil neighborhoods is further destroyed with each day that passes, to the extent that there are few issues that cry out for governmental action more than overdevelopment in Queens.

Abuse after abuse, eyesore after eyesore, these buildings crop up block after block like a cancer destroying our communities. Some have been completed, and others have been absolutely abandoned, presenting additional security and sanitation problems of their own. Add the growing foreclosed properties to that list, and the numbers are alarming!

City Planning, in consultation with the Queens Borough President's Zoning Task Force, was charged with conducting neighborhood zoning studies throughout the borough of Queens with the goal of preventing further overdevelopment in each neighborhood four years ago. But why, after such a long hiatus, are we still waiting for the city to act? Do we have to wait until the monstrosities completely overwhelm our neighborhoods? Why is it still stalled by the Department of City Planning?

The rezoning process has taken too long already, and must be expedited, as real estate investors continue to break ground on large-scale construction projects, putting up condominiums and four- and five-story buildings with increasing frequency.

Clearly, City Planning has to pick up and run with the ball the agency dropped.
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