The Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association, Inc. was founded in January, 1964 with the prime purpose of protecting and preserving the newly adopted Zoning Resolution of 1961 (R1-R2) and the Rickert-Finlay Covenant of 1906 under which its community was established, with strict rules governing the use of property, in perpetuity, to maintain a high quality of life. The founding members had watched, with alarm, single family homes in neighboring areas with higher density zoning gobbled up by builders and developers who were replacing them with one apartment house after another. The second World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows – Corona Park was on the horizon, casting shadows before it, regarding needs for housing and possible honky-tonk developments. The Association was to be the bulwark against untoward events and indeed, it became so.
In 2004, our Association led the community’s request to be designated a State and National Historic District. It received enormous support from homeowners, public officials, CB 7, civic associations and from those associated with the Historic Districts Council: Simeon Bankoff, Paul Graziano and Kevin Wolfe. In 2006, Broadway-Flushing was placed on the State and National Historic Preservation District Registers. Also in 2006, the Association co-celebrated the centennial of the Rickert-Finlay Covenant with its neighbor (and also a Rickert-Finlay planned community), Douglas Manor. The prestigious Historic Districts Council bestowed the honor of its Grassroots Preservation award on our Association in May, 2007.
Our Association worked in partnership with the City Planning Commission to establish the new down-zoning for North Flushing which went into effect in March 2009. A new R1-R2A zoning was created especially for the Broadway-Flushing area.
In its over 50 years of existence, the Association worked closely with Community Board 7, City agencies, fellow homeowners, civic groups and State and City officials. It has testified at hearings, brought successful court cases, including the precedent setting case of 1988 in which its Covenant was ruled to supersede the Zoning Resolution, a decision which was used in successful cases brought by other Associations. Subsequently, the Association applied for a zoning change to make the zoning along 5 blocks of Northern Boulevard conform to their actual development: 100 feet commercial, and not 150 feet (this mis-zoning had caused the violation of the Covenant which led to the 1988 case). In one of its last acts, the Board of Estimate ruled unanimously to grant the requested zoning change. Zoning changes in all of Queens are now proceeding apace. The Association’s next goal is City Landmark Preservation Status.
In November, 2009, we will be celebrating our 45th Anniversary with an International Buffet. It has been a wonderful neighborhood tradition for the past 20 years. Members bring food to the buffet table to celebrate their national heritage and share with their friends and neighbors.
In May, 2007, our Association received the Grassroots Preservation Award from the Historic Districts Council.
Noteworthy excerpt from a New York Times article on Broadway-Flushing dated June 17, 2001:
PERMANENT PROTECTION: A 1988 State Supreme Court decision in Broadway Flushing Homeowners Association Inc. v. City of New York has important implications for other situations where private restrictive covenants conflict with city zoning. In the Broadway-Flushing case, the court noted that ”the fact that a use may be permitted by the zoning does not relieve an owner of his obligation to comply with more restrictive private covenants that do not violate the law or public policy.” Similar court decisions have been won in Little Neck, where many houses also have restrictive covenants. Homeowners in the Kew Forest section of Forest Hills, Queens, basing their argument on covenants and restrictions, have won a preliminary injunction in State Supreme Court against a builder trying to build a seven-story, 15-unit apartment house with medical offices in their one-family-home neighborhood. However, courts may be less amenable in areas where violations of old covenants have already been allowed to occur. ”If your neighborhood has covenants, hang on to them for dear life,” said Marjorie Ferrigno, a founding member of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association. Map of Queens highlighting Broadway-Flushing.
Sources used: HDC.org