O’Neill’s Restaurant has requested a zoning change for their property as well as surrounding ones. The current zoning only allows for residential development. O’Neill’s would like to build a 140-person capacity 2nd floor catering hall. In this case the applicant is seeking a rezoning, which would change the R4 designation of their property and the taller building next door to R5D. This would allow a developer to build 21 units of housing on site should the restaurant cease operation. (The current limit for the property is 8 units.) The sought after C2-2 commercial overlay would bring the businesses on both sides of 65th Place into compliance as well as allow O’Neill’s to build a second story. However, the C2-2 designation also means that the business would become subject to certain parking requirements. It is estimated that the restaurant would need to provide 71 parking spaces which must be ͞off-street͟ in order to comply with zoning. O’Neill’s has produced letters from various neighborhood entities agreeing to allow them to use their parking lots at night. All are quite a distance from the restaurant, and the logistics of this plan have not been explained. They also have not yet produced any signed parking contracts. In addition, O’Neill’s has stated that they plan to add a restriction to their deed that would apply to them and any future owners which would cap the building height at 2 stories. However, the City of New York does not have the authority to enforce clauses such as this and it would be up to the community to file a lawsuit in order to attempt to enforce it, with the outcome being uncertain. The final say comes from the City Council, which almost always sides with the home rule council member. If you have a strong opinion on this proposal, please contact our representative by mail: Council Member Robert Holden, 64-69 Dry Harbor Road, Middle Village, NY 11379, E-mail: rholden@council.nyc.gov or phone: (718) 366-3900.