Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Rowhouses and monstrosities

From The New York Times, “On a Block of Single-Story Homes, a ‘Monstrosity’ in Queens Draws Ire”:

The preservationists argue that single-family rowhouses imbue some neighborhoods — particularly in Queens — with their essential character. But under existing zoning laws, there is no specific designation for single-family rowhouses that provides protection against increasing the number of units, or against out-of-scale and out-of-character expansions.

“It’s an absolute disgrace,” said Richard Hellenbrecht, the vice president of the Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella association of more than 100 community groups. “Lovely, affordable homes being squeezed out by monstrosities.”
I’ve seen it happen on my old block in Brooklyn and in my parents’ town in New Jersey: modest, beautiful older houses destroyed, with outsized structures taking their place. In Brooklyn, as in Queens, some residents now live in permanent shadow. The Times photographs show what’s happened.

A related post
Some have gone and some remain

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