Thursday, June 8, 2017
New Zoning in store for Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel
Eric Ulrich had pushed panel to authorize plan as soon as possible
Posted: Thursday, June 8, 2017 10:30 am
After a push from City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), the City Planning Commission Wednesday unanimously approved a rezoning of Hamilton Beach that limits future developments to single-family detached homes — with few exceptions for larger homes to be built in the area.
“The zoning will not only make these communities more resilient, but also more compliant with the existing building patterns,” Ulrich said in a Tuesday interview.
The CPC had more time to review the proposals under the Uniform Land Use Review Process’ timeline, but Ulrich pushed the panel to certify the plan so it could be passed by the City Council and signed by the mayor as soon as possible.
A full Council vote could take place by June 28.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Ulrich said.
Under the proposed zoning, future residential developments in Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel mostly would be limited to one-family houses, with the possibility of two-family homes only on lots wider than 40 feet in the former area.
In Broad Channel, new developments would be single-family only and the construction of community facilities with sleeping accommodations would be prohibited.
It would also prohibit the construction of semidetached multifamily housing in both communities.
Larger homes are often less storm-resilient and out of character in the low-lying, shoreline neighborhoods.
In Hamilton Beach, multifamily detached homes were built in the early 2000s after the city sold then-vacant lots to developers.
“The structures were totally out of character for the neighborhood and continue to overtax the limited infrastructure we currently have in place,” New Hamilton Beach Roger Gendron said at a May 24 hearing of the CPC.
There are still some lots where such developments could be built under the existing zoning. Existing structures would be grandfathered into the communities.
The plan has received support from residents, civic and community leaders in both Hamilton Beach and Broad Channel.
“It’s overall a positive impact,” said Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton.
Braton joined Gendron at the May 24 CPC hearing.
“The Planning Commission chairperson thanked us for coming, even though it was nothing controversial,” Braton said.
Gendron, in his testimony, outlined the necessity of the plans.
“The zoning changes proposed would align with the majority of homes found throughout Hamilton Beach,” the civic president told the panel. “They will help to limit future vulnerability by promoting more resilient future construction within that area and help control the density of our ‘small town.’”
There have been no complaints from residents about the planned rezonings, according to the councilman.
“This is the culmination of many meetings at the local level,” Ulrich said. “It reflects the desire of the community to maintain its character.”