Questions & Answers With The Mayor

By Queens Courier Staff |

We are residents of Flushing, Queens. We have emailed, written, called, and begged our local council people, representatives, assembly people and even the borough president and no one has responded.
We have been asking to put a six-foot addition on our single family home. However, unless we get (a very expensive) variance, which it seems only builders and developers can either afford or avoid, regular homeowners (in our area) cannot improve their own homes for their quality of life.
It’s lovely that Fresh Meadows can no longer build large ONE family homes. How about making it illegal to tear down one-family homes and replace them with 2, 3, or 4 family homes, sometimes constructing two of these types of houses on a former single-family home lot?
Our once quiet, 1-2 family home neighborhood, has changed into an overcrowded, multi-family non-neighborhood. These new homes are being built without enough parking. Sorry, but I would be willing to accept the cemented-over lawns so there would be adequate parking in our neighborhood if these developers are not going to be stopped. Garbage pick-up takes longer and the noise has, of course, gotten worse.
With all due respect, can’t the city do something to stop the destruction of a once quiet neighborly neighborhood that has swiftly turned into a congested, overpopulated, noisy, and dirty urban mess?
Thank you very much for your time.

Cynthia Heinze & Susan Scharf

Dear Cynthia and Susan:
New York City’s population is at an historic peak of 8.1 million residents, and Queens is leading the way, with neighborhoods housing more residents than ever before. I understand that people are concerned about the pace of change that this growth engenders. Achieving orderly development is critical to fostering appealing and productive communities, and since I took office, the Department of City Planning has taken unprecedented steps to adjust zoning to reflect new realities and protect neighborhoods from irresponsible change and development.
Never before has City Planning been so busy in Queens. Twenty targeted neighborhood studies across the borough have been completed, encompassing more than 2,100 blocks and leading to changes in the zoning code that respect the character of each community in question. Last year in the Flushing area, zoning changes were adopted for the Kissena Park and East Flushing neighborhoods, in addition to comprehensive rezoning in College Point and Whitestone.
With the help of residents, civic groups, and local officials, we are moving forward with our ambitious rezoning program across the borough. Please be assured that your participation is encouraged in evaluating the need for further zoning changes in the Flushing area, and you should contact the City Planning office in Queens at (718) 286-3170. Without the involvement of residents and civic groups, we would never have been able to address so many areas so effectively. Please give them a call, and we’ll work together to preserve the neighborhood. Thanks for writing.

Mike Bloomberg