Rezoning Woodhaven: A Proposal 

This week, Queens Community Board No. 9, The Woodhaven Residents Block Association, & The Greater Woodhaven Development Corp. came together with the Department of City Planning to publicly review a proposal for the rezoning of Woodhaven and Richmond Hill.  Woodhaven was last rezoned in 1961, and a lot has changed since then -- so this action is long overdue.

Before you read any further, you must understand that this is just a proposal.  The study is still underway and these meetings are in place to generate feedback.  Your feedback.  In a few months, a final proposal will be presented and eventually voted upon by Community Board No. 9.  So if there's something in the proposal that you object to -- now is the time to speak up.  Or, just as importantly, if you agree with the proposal, speak up.  Drop us a line telling us what you think -- we will pass it along to the right people (or contact Community Board 9 directly).

Let's start with some of the questions you may have -- "What is rezoning?  What does it do?  Why should I care?"

In a nutshell, there are laws that determine what can and can't be built in a community -- these are called zoning laws.  Over time, these laws are reviewed and altered to fit the community's needs.  In this instance, the rezoning of Woodhaven serves 2 main purposes:

Why should you care?  Well, as stated above, the last rezoning was close to 50 years ago -- the changes made here may impact Woodhaven for the next 50 years.  And if you own property here in Woodhaven, aren't you interested if these changes will impact your investment?  Even if you don't own property, are you not interested in how your immediate surroundings may be impacted?     

The meeting was held on Wednesday, December 2nd at Emanuel Church of Christ in Woodhaven.  2 representatives were there from the Department of City Planning, and there were close to 50 residents.  Many thanks to Emanuel Church for allowing us to hold the meeting, and for providing such a lovely, festive atmosphere.

Also, before we proceed -- this report will focus on Woodhaven.  Details about the rezoning to Richmond Hill can be found in the maps and the charts we provide below, but they are not the focus of this article.  Also, we at Project Woodhaven are not equipped to answer any particular questions about individual properties.  There will be another meeting with City Planning on Wednesday, December 15th at 7:30 at the Royal Indian Palace (118-06 Atlantic Avenue, Richmond Hill) and if you can't make that you can contact CB9 with your questions or call them at (718) 286-2686.

Woodhaven - Current

Here is the map of Woodhaven as it is currently zoned.  This map is very interesting in that is also shows you, through use of colors, how the land is used and occupied.  For the purposes of this study, certain portions of Woodhaven are not being rezoned at all (see the white areas of South West Woodhaven) -- basically, it was determined that those areas are not in danger of being targeted by developers.

Let's take a closer look at Woodhaven (for a FULL SIZED look at the entire map above, click here).  It's interesting to look at the color codes -- there's a key at the bottom of the image.  Lots of 1 and 2 family detached -- a bunch of semi-attached -- a bit more fully attached -- and multi-family buildings (there could be legal 3 family homes or apartment buildings). 

Here's what to take note of -- currently, most of Woodhaven falls under the category of R3-1.  That's right now -- but that's going to change for much of Woodhaven.

Woodhaven - Proposed Rezoning

Here is the map of the proposed rezoning -- click here to see the FULL SIZED version of this map -- or scroll down to see a closer look at just Woodhaven.

Here's a closer look at the proposed changes to Woodhaven -- you'll see a lot of different zoning codes on here, but don't let them intimidate you.  Just take note of where your house is and see what your new zoning code is.  For example, when I look at my house on this map, I see that we're changing from a R3-1 to an R3X.  Further down on this page we'll look at what each of the new codes mean.

What's interesting here is the proposed rezoning of Jamaica Avenue.  Everything from Elderts Lane to Woodhaven Boulevard is going to be an R5D which will allow for some development -- buildings up to 40 feet.  But East of the Boulevard, until 100th Street, they will allow for buildings up to 70 feet.  That stretch of the Avenue has been stagnant for a while and there are a lot of blocks with just 1-story buildings -- this will encourage development.

Here are some details about the new zoning codes being proposed for Woodhaven and what will be allowed in each -- if you have a home in Woodhaven, or own property, it will either remain an R3-1, or be rezoned to one of the following: 

So, as you can see, the idea is to protect the residential area as best we can -- and to provide opportunity for development along the commercial strip.  Here is a chart with all of the zoning codes relevant to this study --

Hopefully, this will give you some information to work with.  If you'd like to talk about it, you can also attend the next Woodhaven Town Hall meeting, on Saturday, December 11th at 1 PM -- it will be held at the Woodhaven Volunteer Ambulance Corps (78-15 Jamaica Avenue).  Many thanks to Community Board No. 9 and the Department of City Planning for all their work in preparing this proposal.      

If you have any comments, or would like to suggest other projects, drop us a line at or .  

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