A special session of the Bellcourt Civic featured a presentation by Paul DiBenedetto about the new neighborhood density proposals
The Bellcourt Civic Association is vehemently opposed to the transit-oriented development (TOD) and accessory dwelling unit (ADU) plans included in Governor Hochul’s proposed budget of February 1, 2023. We support the drive for additional affordable housing units in New York City; in fact, Bellcourt was carefully developed with greater density near our transit hub, which is the Bayside LIRR station. However:
· The TOD proposal would require the density equivalent of five households on every 40x100 lot in Bellcourt, replacing the century-old homes that define our community.
· Overriding local zoning to allow ADUs is state overreach that would deprive citizens of local input and lead to overcrowding beyond what our infrastructure can support.
The TOD requirement of 50 households per acre equates Bellcourt with much more urban neighborhoods across New York City. Imposing the same density requirements on neighborhoods of middle-class homeowners as on vibrant urban areas does nothing to increase affordability, and would completely destroy Bellcourt along with similar communities of single-family homes in Eastern Queens. The ADUs proposal would legalize additional units (either attached or detached to an existing home on a single lot) including garage apartments, basement apartments, in-law suites, casitas, and other types of housing in our single-family zoned community.
The Bellcourt Civic Association strongly objects to including these proposals in a budget document instead of submitting them to the legislative process, and we oppose heavy-handed attempts to deprive us of local input into the governance of our community.
Read our open letter to Governor Hochul below
Please contact the following individuals ASAP about the housing proposals in the 2023 State Budget
Local Representatives (click here for the complete New York State list)
State Senator John Liu: firstname.lastname@example.org
State Assembly Representative Ed Braunstein: email@example.com
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York City Council Member Vickie Paladino: District19@council.nyc.gov
Need Help With Wording?
Here are some sample emails we've sent. Feel free to use any language from these, or use your own words.
SUBJECT: Please Remove the Housing Compact from the NYS Budget
THE MESSAGE: I am opposed to the “Housing Compact” in its entirety as it will create:- Mandatory housing targets in perpetuity, with State takeover of local zoning if they are not met, allowing for multi-family development to occur anywhere!- Mandatory upzonings within ½ mile of every MTA station, with a minimum density of 50 units/acre within 15 miles of NYC – equivalent to the density of Manhattan!- Removal of Environmental Review to fast-track the development of housing!- Blanket amnesty for all illegal conversions in NYC!- The elimination of all local height restrictions!- Property tax exemptions for the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)!- Billions in profits for developers for market-rate housing!- The complete destruction of our communities!- The end of Home Rule, which is enshrined in the NY State Constitution!State control of local zoning and land use is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.Taking away our right to govern ourselves is IMMORAL.Destroying our communities so developers can make billions in profits is DESPICABLE.The Hochul “Housing Compact” is UNACCEPTABLE.Governor Hochul’s “Housing Compact” must be removed from the omnibus budget bill in its entirety. Anything less will endanger the future of New York State.
*** When sending your email, please add your FULL NAME and ADDRESS at the bottom for proof of who you are and where you live.
Dear Governor Hochul,
Please remove the "Housing Compact" from your budget. It will absolutely devastate our neighborhood in Bayside. We are a community of historic, 100+ year old, single-family homes. Your ADU/TOD proposals will dramatically expand the density of our neighborhood by forcing mandatory increases in housing units per acre, which in turn will destroy the very homes we live in.
We already have a wonderful balance of high, medium and low density areas in Bayside, along with more than a few viable commercial strips that serve the community. Your plan will forever change the character of our 'town within the city'. It will also create market-rate housing, doing nothing to address our larger, regional needs for affordable housing. There are many opportunities to build affordable housing and increase housing units throughout NYC and beyond without destroying the homes and zoning in our neighborhood and others throughout NYS. Additionally, your heavy handed, top-down approach flies in the face of our NYS Constitution and its policy of "Home Rule," as it applies to local municipalities ability to create zoning that best serves local needs. Please withdraw this plan and engage local community boards, legislators and civic associations in identifying locations and opportunities to create new housing units that benefit us all while preserving the wonderful balance we already have in our communities.
Dear [LEGISLATOR NAME],
Please insist to Governor Hochul that she remove her "Housing Compact" from the state budget. This misguided transit-oriented development plan will completely destroy our community of single-family homes without accomplishing the goal of providing more affordable housing in NYC. We already have increased density (including many apartment buildings and apartments above commercial buildings) near our LIRR station. A few blocks away, however, is our beautiful neighborhood of historic homes, tree-lined blocks, and a diverse middle-class neighborhood. Replacing single homes with 5-unit apartment buildings, or allowing developers to add pricey second units under the guise of adding ADUs for aging family members, will destroy our neighborhood.
We support the goal of adding more housing units to NYC, but we do not believe that entire neighborhoods must be destroyed in order to do that.
We urge you to take whatever action is needed to remove these proposals from budget process and put this topic into the legislative agenda, where the people of the state have a proper voice in our own lives and neighborhoods.
PLEASE WRITE YOUR EMAILS TODAY!