The Rockaways have been undergoing a revival, as housing prices have been increasing at 10 to 15 percent per year recently. This encouraged increased high-density development, which the existing community claimed would destroy the character of their neighborhood. In response, 21 blocks of the Mott Creek and Far Rockaways neighborhoods were “down-zoned” in August 2005. The rezoning prevents further high-density development but does not prevent new construction altogether. It also allows current residents to expand their homes more easily.
The “down-zoning” was controversial, with neighborhood groups and civic associations arguing that the rezoning preserved the “traditional character” of the area, would preserve limited road access, and prevent flooding. Real estate developers opposed the rezoning. The New York City Council approved the zoning changes on September 15, 2005.