Community members and civic leaders are so irate over the proposed Jamaica rezoning that they are calling on city politicians to fix parts of the plan targeting residential areas.
“The Jamaica Plan fails to protect the integrity of Jamaica’s residential neighborhoods and does nothing to promote the well-being of its residents,” said Genie Rudmann, president of the Hollis Park Gardens Association and leader of Community Board 12’s Ad Hoc Committee.
Joining the Jamaica Estates Civic Association and the Briarwood Community Organization, the Community Board 12 Committee has called on the city to remove the Hillside Avenue corridor from the zoning proposal. The associations opposed to this part of the plan say it will promote too much growth in an area whose infrastructure cannot handle it.
The City Planning Commission has already made changes in the original zoning plan for Merrick and Farmers boulevards and Liberty and Jamaica avenues.
“These changes are encouraging,” said Chrystal Ervin,” a Liberty Park resident, “but they do not address the inadequacies of the proposed zoning of nearby low-rise, low density blocks.”
Ervin also said that the committee is asking the City Council to remove the residential enclaves from the current plan and direct the Department of City Planning to rezone them to reflect the character of the neighborhood within 600 days.
The committee contends that the planning standards for Fresh Meadows, Bayside and Forest Hills gave greater protection to residential areas.
“How are we different from those communities, and don’t our families deserve the same protections from development projects as those folks?” asked Jamaica resident Gertrude Gonesh.