Good news for Long Island City residents who like dining al fresco: the Department of City Planning is looking to amend zoning rules to allow for sidewalk cafes in parts of Long Island City and Sunnyside where they’re currently banned.
Penny Lee, a representative from the DCP’s Queens office, said special zoning districts within the two neighborhoods — with burgeoning dining scenes — are not included on the list of city districts where sidewalk dining is allowed, something the proposal is looking to change.
Some sidewalk cafes already exist — with proper city licenses — along some of these streets, Lee said, though they are technically illegal under current zoning rules.
“We’re both legalizing existing sidewalk cafes in Hunters Point and then proposing to allow them throughout the special zoning district,” Lee said at a recent Community Board 1 hearing.
If approved, the amendment would lift restrictions on unenclosed sidewalk cafes along main commercial thoroughfares in Dutch Kills, Queens Plaza, Court Square, and Hunters Point, as well as a one-and-a-half block stretch of Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, between 46th and 48th Streets, where they’re currently not allowed (for a complete list of affected streets, see the attached map).
by Jeanmarie Evelly at DNAinfo.com