Mayor de Blasio has made a priority of creating and preserving affordable housing. One way to create large amounts of such housing is to rezone large areas, allowing developers to build new residential and mixed-use developments (i.e., commercial and residential in the same building or zoning tract) in exchange for a requirement that a percentage of affordable units are also built under the new zoning. So far, the administration has proposed rezonings for East New York in Brooklyn, Jerome Ave. in the Bronx, East Harlem and Inwood in Manhattan.
(Click map for larger PDF version)
Each rezoning must be considered under the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (“ULURP”). Once a proposed rezoning is “certified” by the Department of City Planning, it is considered and voted on by the local Community Board, then by the Borough President, then by the City Council, each with their own deadlines.
The Inwood rezoning proposal is the result of 22 public scoping meetings held in 2015-16, at which hundreds of community residents attended and offered their opinions and priorities for how their neighborhood could be changed.
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer directed her land use staff to go a step further. She asked that staff go door-to-door in Inwood, soliciting opinions directly from small business owners and residents (many of whom were unable to attend the public forums).
Click map for larger PDF version.
The proposed rezoning, which covers 59 city blocks (as shown on the map above) could have a major impact on a neighborhood already undergoing significant
change, as new residents have discovered what has been an affordable, vibrant, multi-cultural neighborhood.
If new, larger buildings are allowed under the new zoning rules, existing building owners could then have an incentive to sell their property to developers or build new buildings themselves. Even building owners in areas nearby the rezoned area could rebuild, too, if their property’s zoning allows. This could all drive out existing tenants and small business owners and homogenize the neighborhood to look like so many others—and cost nearly as much, too.
So now is your chance. This hearing will allow those who care about Inwood to express their opinion about the future of the neighborhood. If you have an opinion about this rezoning, please attend the Public Hearing on Tuesday, April 10, 6:00 pm, I.S. 218 Salome Urena, 4600 Broadway (at 196th St.).