The site of St. Michael's Cemetery and Playground // Google Maps

Parks Proposes Demapping St. Michael’s

By David Brand

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has proposed the rezoning of the former St. Michael’s Playground in Astoria.

The Parks Department aims to demap the plot of unused land and rezone it for R4 residential development, according to an application filed with the City June 11. St. Michael’s Park is bounded by Astoria Boulevard South, the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and 30th Avenue.

In 2013, the neighboring St. Michael’s Cemetery attempted to the buy the abandoned park in order to expand for burials. The deal hinged on the cemetery’s ability to find and purchase another parcel to be used as park land, the Daily News reported.

At the time, local lawmakers supported the sale.

“I hope we can take a local eyesore, put it to productive use and find replacement land that can be used as a park,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) told the Daily News. “It’s an abandoned [and] overgrown area. People throw their garbage over the fence.”

The rezoning proposal is up for review at a Queens Borough Land Use meeting hosted by Borough President Melinda Katz on Thursday, June 12.

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