The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted yesterday to make Sunnyside Gardens a historic district, prompting strong responses from residents on both sides of a proposal that has divided the Queens neighborhood.
Resident Jeffrey Kroessler welcomed the commission's unanimous vote, which recognizes the neighborhood's status as one of the first planned residential communities.
"All the little changes that have been taking place over the years diminish what's special about the neighborhood," he said. "We did it to protect our neighborhood from homeowners with an outsized sense of individual entitlement, without respect for the architecture or the history of the place."
"Enough rules already," resident Barbara Glassman said. "This is my home. Why does somebody have to tell me what kind of window or what color?"
Ms. Glassman said she feared the designation would imperil affordable housing in the area, giving it a "cachet" that would lead to higher rents. "They're only preserving the facades. They have no interest in the population," she said.
The commission also held a public hearing on a landmark proposal for the Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg waterfront in Brooklyn.
While there was little disagreement over the pending designation, affordable housing advocates cautioned that preservation must not come at the expense of building the maximum number of affordable units at the site. Preservationists asked the commission to go beyond landmarking the factory's central refinery to protect other buildings on the site.
The site's developer, Community Preservation Corporation Resources, plans to build 2,200 housing units, 30% of them affordable. The president of CPCR, Michael Lappin, spoke in support of the current proposal.
"While we support the designation of the refinery, we would not support extending the designation further," he said.