Flushing residents rallied against a single-family home with some controversial floor plans and in support of a bill to protect their historic neighborhood last week.
State Senator Tony Avella, local stakeholders and community leaders gathered in front of 33-05 157th St. on May 18 to protest reported plans to build an eight bedroom, 10 bathroom single-family home at the site.
The home that was there previously was demolished earlier this year, and a new, significantly bigger home is being built in its place.
“Does it look like a one-family house?” Avella asked over the sound of operating construction tools. “That’s a lot of bathrooms and a lot of bedrooms.”
Located within the Broadway-Flushing neighborhood, which is zoned to only allow single-family homes, the expansive floor plan layout set out a red flag for residents.
Last February, a Flushing house mere blocks away was ordered to be vacated by inspectors after it was discovered the 15-bedroom, three-bathroom property was being rented out to multiple individuals. Residents fear the same could happen again.
Avella and attendees said they have seen the original plans for the home, but have not been able to access the latest updated plans.
“The plans for all permitted construction projects, including this one, are publicly available to view at the DOB borough offices,” a DOB spokesperson said. “This new building project went through a DOB plan exam where it was determined to be in compliance with the NYC Construction Codes and NYC Zoning Resolution.”
Avella also used the press conference to call attention to his Architectural Districts bill in the state Senate. If passed, the bill would mandate the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to establish proposed architectural districts. These districts would come with certain building restrictions, allowing residents to retain the unique architectural integrity of their community that would otherwise be lost to development.
“[The bill] is so that something like this, which looks like a barracks or a hotel than a one-family home, wouldn’t happen,” Avella said.
“Unfortunately, even having the strictest zoning in the city has not prevented the demolition of older homes and out-of-character alterations within the neighborhood,” said Janet McCreesh, representing the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association. “We are currently undergoing a record-number of tear-downs and a continuous erosion of the character and very charms that draws home buyers to Broadway-Flushing … We need the Architectural [District] bill passed.”
For more information about the bill, click here.