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ENB - Region 2 Notices 8/17/2016

Negative Declaration

New York County (Queens) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Barnett Avenue Rezoning will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves a proposal by the Applicant, Sunnyside-Barnett Associates, an affiliate of Phipps Houses, for a zoning map amendment from M1-1 to an M1-1/R6 mixed use (MX 17) district, and zoning text amendments to modify bulk controls and establish a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing area (Proposed Actions) affecting a property located at 50-25 Barnett Avenue (Project Site) in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens Community District 2, New York. The project site is located on the north side of Barnett Avenue between 50th and 52nd Streets and is bounded by the Long Island Railroad Sunnyside Rail Yards to the north. The Proposed Actions would facilitate a proposal by the applicant to develop a building with approximately 232,237 gross square foot of residential use with 220 dwelling units (Use Group 2), 4,800 gross square foot Universal Pre-K (UPK) center (Use Group 3), and 101 surface accessory parking spaces (Proposed Project) on the Project Site.

Additionally, the Applicant is seeking discretionary financing for the residential component of the Proposed Project from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD), and New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYC HDC). The sources of funding for the project are expected to include construction financing through NYC HPD's Mixed Middle Income (M2) Program, among other potential NYC HPD and NYC HDC funding sources. A coordinated review was conducted for this project, with NYC HPD and NYC HDC acting as involved agencies.

The Proposed Actions include a zoning map amendment that would rezone the Project Site from M1-1 to an M1-1/R6 mixed use (MX 17) district, allowing residential uses up to a maximum residential FAR of 3.6 and increasing the community facility FAR from 2.4 to 4.8, while retaining the maximum commercial and manufacturing FAR's at 1.0. The Applicant is also proposing a text amendment to Zoning Resolution (ZR) Appendix F (Inclusionary Housing Designated Areas and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Areas) to establish the Project Site as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) area subject to the requirements of Option 2 of the MIH Program, which require at least 30 percent of the residential floor area to be reserved for residents with incomes averaging 80 percent AMI. Since the Project Site is located beyond 100 feet of a wide street, the R6 component of the proposed mixed use district would receive a floor area compensation of 2.42 for the provision of income-restricted units per the MIH program. To permit additional floor area, the proposal would also include a text amendment to ZR Section 23-154 (Inclusionary Housing) to allow a maximum FAR of 3.6 for zoning lots beyond 100 feet of a wide street, in a R6 district in Mandatory Inclusionary Housing areas.

Additionally, the Applicant is proposing zoning text amendments to ZR Sections 123-90 (Special Mixed Use Distracts Specified), 123-63 (Special Bulk Regulations), and 123-662 (Height and Setback Regulations) to, respectively, (1) establish the proposed MX 17 Special Mixed Use District; (2) establish the new MX 17 district as an Inclusionary Housing district with an FAR governed by R6 district bulk controls; and (3) increase the maximum permitted base height for buildings in the proposed MX 17 district located within 15 feet of a narrow street from 60 feet to 85 feet.

The Project Site is currently occupied by a 223 space public parking lot, and under the existing M1-1 district, is restricted to light industrial use (Use Group 17), general services (Use Group 16), and commercial use (Use Group 5 through 14) up to a maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.0, and specific community facility uses (Use Group 4) with a maximum FAR of 2.4. With the Proposed Actions, the Proposed Project would consist of approximately 232,237 gross square foot of residential use with 220 dwelling units (Use Group 2), 4,800 gross square foot Universal Pre-K (UPK) center (Use Group 3), and 101 surface accessory parking spaces. In accordance with the NYC HPD and NYC HDC discretionary financing approvals, it is expected that 121 dwelling units would be affordable for households earning up to 80 percent Area Median Income (AMI), and the remaining 99 dwelling units would be affordable at moderate/middle income levels (up to 130 percent AMI). Entrances to the parking area would be provided via two curb cuts along Barnett Avenue, including a 20 foot wide curb cut would be provided at the easternmost edge of the Project Site and a 34 foot wide curb cut would be provided at the westernmost edges of the project site.

The Proposed Project is expected to be completed in 2018. Absent the Proposed Actions, it is assumed that the Project Site would continue to be occupied by an approximately 223 space public parking lot, as under existing conditions.

Subsequent to the issuance of an Environmental Assessment Statement on March 25, 2016 and Negative Declaration on March 28, 2016, a Revised Environmental Assessment Statement was issued on August 5, 2016. The Revised Negative Declaration reflects a correction in the institutional controls that will be implemented to ensure that the required noise measures are taken to avoid significant adverse impacts related to noise, as discussed further in the Supporting Statement of this document.

Contact: Olga Abinader, New York City Department of City Planning, 120 Broadway, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10271, Phone: (212) 720-3423, E-mail: o_abinad@planning.nyc.gov.


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