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Council Member Won announces community planning initiatives for her district

Council Member Julie Won’s Community Planning Announcement held on Oct. 10, 2023 Photo Credit: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit

Oct. 17, 2023 By Czarinna Andres

Council Member Julie Won, joined by an array of prominent city officials, labor unions and community partners, has unveiled plans to launch two comprehensive community planning processes set to transform the landscape of District 26, which covers Long Island City, Sunnyside and portions of Astoria and Woodside.

Council Member Won was joined by Speaker Adrienne Adams, Deputy Mayor Maria Torres-Springer, Assemblymember Steven Raga, a representative from Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s office, and the Department of City Planning, among others, in announcing these groundbreaking projects on Tuesday, October 10.

The Long Island City Neighborhood Study, also called ‘One Long Island City’, is led by the New York City Department of City Planning with funding from the Adams administration, will encompass a significant swath of Long Island City. Stretching from the East River and Gantry Plaza State Park to Queensbridge Houses and the Long Island City Industrial Business Zone, and eastward to Court Square and 23rd Street, this comprehensive planning process aims to unite previously disparate areas into one cohesive neighborhood. The study will explore avenues for new housing, economic growth, improved transit connectivity, and the expansion of open spaces. It will culminate in a neighborhood plan that includes zoning changes, proposed land use modifications, and recommendations for capital investments, programs, and services.

Meanwhile, the ‘Heart of District 26′: Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue Study, focusing on Astoria, Sunnyside, and Woodside, will stretch from Queens Blvd to the BQE and will be led by Hester Street, with funding from City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. This initiative will bring these neighborhoods together to create a blueprint for their collective future, addressing the demand for investment along these central corridors.

Both Neighborhood Studies have outlined preliminary goals that include conducting transparent, accessible, and equitable planning processes that engage diverse community members, create new housing opportunities (including affordable housing), shape open green spaces, increase access to jobs and foster economic growth, enhance transportation options, improve infrastructure, and reduce climate risk. Additional goals will be identified by the community throughout the study.

Over the next year, these planning processes aim to offer the local community the opportunity to proactively identify improvements in amenities, parks, schools, public transportation, and public infrastructure. Comprehensive community planning seeks to put residents’ voices first, allowing them to determine the future of their neighborhoods rather than relying on developers to make decisions.

The outreach effort will include working groups, public meetings, surveys, and various forms of community engagement. The initiative will kick off with public town halls in early November:

Heart of District 26 – November 2, 2023, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Legal Outreach, located at 36-14 35th St, Queens, NY 11106.

One Long Island City – November 6, 2023, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Culture Lab, located at 5-25 46th Ave, Queens, NY 11101 (doors at 6:00).

Council Member Julie Won emphasized the importance of these planning studies, stating, “With comprehensive planning underway, the community—and not real estate developers—will determine how we use our land so that our neighborhood grows with us affordably and sustainably.”

Speaker Adrienne Adams echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the need for equitable contributions from every community to address the city’s housing and affordability crisis.

The Department of City Planning, Hester Street and various labor unions and community organizations also voiced their support for these initiatives, emphasizing the importance of community engagement, equitable development and sustainable growth.

 

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