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Developer’s Plan for Apartment Complex on Woodhaven Boulevard Gets Community Board Approval

The development site at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and 68th Road currently houses a garden center and auto repair shop (Google)

Jan. 15, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

An apartment complex planned for Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park got the green light from Community Board 6 Wednesday.

The approval comes in response to a developer’s application to rezone a large parcel on the corner of Woodhaven Blvd. and 68th Road in order to construct an 8-story, 92-unit building that would include 28 affordable units dedicated for seniors.

The plan also involves 8,000 square feet of retail space and approximately 8,720 square feet for medical offices.

CB6 voted in favor of the 68-19 Woodhaven Blvd. project on the condition that the developer lowers the height from 8 stories to 7 stories– in response to residents who argued that the building would be too tall. The board also called on the developer to come up with a plan to mitigate any potential damage to the surrounding buildings caused by construction.

The board ultimately approved the plan saying that the community’s need for senior affordable housing outweighed the negative aspects of the project.

The developer, listed as 68-19 Rego Park LLC, needs the property rezoned in order to move forward with the project. The plans involve the demolition of existing buildings that contain a florist/garden center as well as an auto repair shop.

A number of residents submitted written complaints to the board that were read out by Community Board 6 Chairperson Alexa Weitzman.

Some wrote that the proposed development was too high, given the height of the surrounding buildings–that are mainly residential.

They said that an 8-story structure would block sunlight into their homes and thus impact their quality of life. They also argued that the reduction in sunlight would decrease the value of their homes.

Some residents raised safety concerns, arguing that the demolition and construction of the project would cause cracks and damage to surrounding buildings. They said that many of these buildings–primarily residential–are old and would not be able to withstand the impact of vibrations.

Another complaint was that the demand for parking spaces would shoot up due to an influx of new residents, coupled with the building’s commercial element. The building would have 81 accessory parking spaces but they argue that the number would not meet the new demand.

Weitzman said that a petition opposing the plans had also been submitted to the board that was signed by 70 residents.

(Rendering presented at CB6)

The board’s Land Use Committee voted in favor of the plan last week, noting that there is a need for senior affordable housing.

The committee, however, requested that the developer make the units more affordable. The initial proposal called for all 28 affordable units to be available at 80 percent of the Area Median Income.

The developer, in response, pledged to reduce the income level to 60 percent of the Area Media Income for 18 of the 28 units.

The board’s vote Wednesday to approve the rezoning is an advisory opinion.

The plans will now go to the Queens Borough President’s office for another advisory opinion, before going to the City Planning Commission and then the City Council for a binding vote.

The rezoning application will need the support of Council Member Karen Koslowitz in order to pass the City Council. It is customary for the city council to vote according to the wishes of the local representative where the zoning change is proposed.

Illustration reveals proposed massing at 68-19 Woodhaven Blvd. – Source: City Planning

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3 Comments

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Marie Essex

I have been living in the bldg. on the corner right next to your site. This new construction will block any sunlight and view, that I now have from my kitchen window. I have been living here 41 years.
Not only will it ruin my quality of life but I do beliieve this bldg. will collapse with this new construction. This bldg. shakes whenever a truck goes down yellowstone blvd. It is a very old delapidated structure that cracks even with them just putting cell towers on our roof. Don’t say that you have not been warned of this fact. Greed is the biggest sin. Old people will not choose to live on Woodhaven blvd. with all of the noise and crap that goes on at night from cars turning off of yellowstone onto 68th Rd. to get to Woodhaven blvd. Your reasoning does not pan out. Disgraceful. Besides the point, that our sewers are all clogged. We recently were completely flooded and most of us lost our cars in the garage. What do you think will happen with so many more people living here? Woodhaven floods every big rain!
Check for yourself.
Disgraceful. Doesn’t matter to you but it will. Cordially, Marie

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Martin Feinbaum

As an old time resident of this neighborhood I’m adamantly against the project. The area has, since it’s inception, been zoned as a one and two-family locality. Our streets are already exploding with the influx of automobiles and no adequate parking space. However, greedy developers along with the condescending city bureaucrats care nothing of the existing residents.

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Sara Ross

Of course the Board approved it. I’m in Forest Hills and our Board keeps approving the oversized, grotesque structures that are being built on Jewel Avenue and surrounding areas after the disgusting owners tear down beautiful old homes to make way for these eyesores.

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