Plan reduces development in areas with flood risk and advances community land trust to manage low-density housing and open space, while facilitating development of five mixed-use buildings with affordable housing, commercial spaces, and community facilities along the subway line.
City Hall, NY – Today, the Council voted to approve the Resilient Edgemere Plan in Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers’ district on the Rockaway Peninsula of Queens. During the ULURP process, Majority Whip Brooks-Powers has successfully negotiated a comprehensive package of community benefits and new commitments to address concerns raised by residents of the surrounding neighborhoods during the public review process.
This land use project consists of a package of changes to facilitate the implementation of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) “Resilient Edgemere Community Plan.” In summary, the plan will reduce development in the areas of the neighborhood with the greatest flood risk by downzoning and advancing a community land trust to manage low-density housing and open space. It also facilitates the development of five HPD-sponsored mixed-use buildings with affordable housing, commercial spaces, and community facilities along the subway line.
Throughout the public review process, Edgemere and Rockaways residents expressed concerns about planning, infrastructure, diversity of housing opportunities, including homeownership, and density with the approaching new development. In response to these concerns, Majority Whip Brooks-Powers has negotiated a comprehensive package of community benefits and new commitments for the area that address these concerns.
“At a time when New York City is faced with a housing and climate crises, the Resilient Edgemere Plan is exactly the type of investment and infrastructure planning that will benefit communities,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The commitments made by the administration for community engagement, affordable homeownership opportunities, resiliency, and expanded access to healthcare will support residents of Edgemere and the Rockaways. This comprehensive plan meets the needs of the local community while providing new opportunities for housing, commercial spaces, and community facilities. Taken together, this project will help ease our city’s housing crisis while making critical investments to improve the lives of Edgemere’s residents and small businesses. I thank Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers for her outstanding leadership and representation on behalf of her community.”
“Thanks to the Resilient Edgemere zoning proposal, Edgemere will benefit from vital affordable homeownership opportunities, infrastructure investments and protection from a changing climate,” said Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “Rockaway has seen a surge of new development in recent years, but that development has not been accompanied by a commensurate investment in local infrastructure. Over the course of several months, we came to the table repeatedly with the Adams administration to ensure my community’s critical needs are reflected in the final proposal. I am proud of what we were able to secure through positive, good-faith negotiations, and grateful to my colleagues in the Council for joining me in support of this project.”
“I look forward to working with Councilwoman Brooks-Powers to increase affordability and homeownership in Far Rockaway,” said State Senator James E. Sanders. “The Community Advisory Board and the Community Land Trust Proposal are only the first steps towards making the infrastructure of the Rockaways more resilient; let’s walk together to make home ownership more affordable.”
“I commend the efforts of Councilwoman Brooks-Powers and the administration for the historic Resilient Edgemere proposal,” said Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson. “Nearly a decade ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated the Edgemere community, leaving homeowners and renters desperate to be made whole and realize a true investment in resiliency. Resilient Edgemere commits to critical infrastructure upgrades and flood mitigation to protect Edgemere families against the next extreme weather event. With Resilient Edgemere comes a better commitment to oversight, accountability, and community engagement via the Community Advisory Board. I look forward to ensuring that the City keeps its commitment to the families of Edgemere for responsible community development.”
“The councilwomen did a great job negotiating and making the project much better for the residents of Edgemere, Council District 31 and all of Community Board 14. Density was reduced, inclusion of home ownership, significant infrastructure funding for long awaited local sewer and road improvements and a commitment for starting the process of locating a desperately needed trauma facility. This is a home run, Selvena came through for CB14,” said Jonathan Gaska, Queens Community Board 14, District Manager
“Edgemere Alliance is proud to announce the passage of the Resilient Edgemere Plan. Edgemere Alliance advocated for flood mitigation, economic and home ownership opportunities for the Edgemere Community which was all included in the final plan. We are happy to announce that there will be condominiums in addition to one and two family homes slated for homeownership opportunities. We would like to thank NYC Council Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers for her tireless efforts in working with Edgemere Alliance and other community stakeholders to bring this long overdue victory to fruition,” stated Edgemere Alliance.
Community benefits and new commitments for the Resilient Edgemere plan include:
- The Administration will partner with Majority Whip Brooks-Powers on the creation of a Community Advisory Board in partnership with local stakeholders from the Edgemere Community to provide regular and coordinated updates and monitor implementation of the goals outlined in the Resilient Edgemere Community Initiative
- The Deputy Mayor committed to reevaluating and updating evacuation planning and signage for the area and Majority Whip Brooks-Powers will work with the Administration and the other elected officials representing the Rockaways to ensure that the residents of Edgemere and the Rockaway Peninsula are informed, prepared and stay safe
Commitments to Affordable Homeownership and Community Stewardship
- In addition to prior commitments for 1-2 family affordable homeownership development on small city-owned lots as part of the Community Land Trust, HPD commits to making homeownership a requirement for a minimum of 35% of the total units at the five HPD sites along Rockaway Beach Boulevard, guaranteeing a minimum of approximately 200 affordable condominium or cooperative units to be developed at these sites
- HPD commits to developing these affordable homeownership opportunities during the first phase of construction at these sites
- Affordable homeownership opportunities will be offered for households at a range of incomes to help support the economic development of the neighborhood
- HPD will work with Majority-Whip Brooks-Powers, a local housing trusted partner, and local stakeholders to connect the residents of Edgemere to expanded homeownership support services, including the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program, which provides qualified homebuyers with funding for down payment or closing costs
- HPD also commits to targeted outreach to ensure Edgemere residents are aware of the housing opportunities and have the tools necessary to apply. Per current HPD Marketing Guidelines, HPD commits to a 50% set-side for local community preference units, which will be prioritized in application processing ahead of non-residents
- For the 106 smaller city-owned properties in the neighborhood, small homes, open space, and community facilities will be developed and managed by a Community Land Trust or CLT, a not-for profit model that will work with local organizations to develop a model for community land ownership, to facilitate long-term affordability and resilient land stewardship
- Priority in the City’s capital plan for widening of portions of Edgemere Avenue between Beach 38th Street and Beach 62nd Street, as well as constructing a publicly-owned parking lot at Beach 60th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard
- Upgrades to existing sewer and drainage infrastructure from Beach 35th to Beach 37th Streets on Beach Channel Drive, with a funding commitment of up to $2.3 million
- The School Construction Authority has a parcel on Beach 39th Street reserved for the construction of a school to meet future demand in the district
Reductions in Allowed Density
- The Council is modifying the application to remove a large privately-owned block bounded by Beach 50th Street, Beach 49th Street, Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach Channel Drive from the rezoning area, leaving lower-density “R5” zoning in place on this site
- Within the new Special Coastal Risk District, upland from Conch Basin and Grass Hassock Channel in Jamaica Bay to approximately Beach Channel Drive, future development will be limited to single and two-family detached homes
Transforming Vacant Lots into Affordable Housing, Essential Community Facilities, Open Space & Retail with Community-Determined Programming
- The initiative will create new, permanent outdoor open space and new, permanently affordable housing on the land that has been vacant for more than 40 years
- The initiative will also add new retail and community facility space throughout Edgemere, with specific programming to be determined in partnership with the community through visioning workshops held by HPD and in coordination with the Edgemere Community Advisory Board
- Community gardens will be included as part of the open space programming
- Housing, open space and community facilities will be developed and managed by a Community Land Trust, a not-for profit model that will steward the land in perpetuity to benefit the public
Commitments to Expanded Primary and Acute Healthcare Access on the Rockaway Peninsula
- The Administration is working with Speaker Adams and Majority Whip Brooks-Powers to organize a Task Force on Healthcare Access in Far Rockaway, and is supportive of a feasibility study recently launched by St. John’s Episcopal Hospital on operating a Level-II Trauma facility
- The Adams Administration has committed $30 million in capital funds to create a community health center, to be operated by NYC Health + Hospitals as part of its Gotham health network, to provide a range of primary and preventive care services in Council District 31. In evaluating potential locations, the Administration will first look at the Edgemere neighborhood before the rest of the Eastern Rockaways.
- The Administration will take the steps to have the Gotham health facility approved as a Federally Qualified Health Center, and is hopeful that an opening may be possible in 2024
- The initiative makes the community more resilient by limiting future development in the parts of the neighborhood most at risk from coastal storms and tidal flooding, by reducing allowable density to single and two-family detached homes and creating a new Special Coastal Risk District
- New development will be concentrated in the areas with the lowest future flood risk and will be built to the latest standards of flood-resistance and environmental sustainability
- This new, more resilient approach to land use will complement coastal flood risk reduction investments by the federal government currently being implemented by US Army Corps of Engineers