From the NY Times:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has made a plan to create housing for half a million low- and moderate-income New Yorkers one of his signature initiatives, driving the rezoning of swaths of New York City to create what city planners call the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation.
But in one neighborhood, the rush to build affordable housing, which rarely attracts opposition, has done exactly that — and the rush seems to be part of the problem: A coalition of community groups in Williamsburg say the city and its powerful allies have charged forward with a plan to rezone a 31-acre patch called the Broadway Triangle, ignoring vociferous protests about a planning process they called opaque.
Many of the complaints stem from a decision by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to grant early rights to develop city-owned sites in the Triangle to two nonprofit groups, the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, who represent part of the fast-growing Hasidic community, and the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, without competitive bids — a relatively rare but legal move.
The local community board passed the city’s rezoning plan last month with conditions, including the stipulation that future decisions about city-owned property “be carried out pursuant to a transparent, competitive” process. Ward Dennis, chairman of the board’s land-use committee, called the city’s plan “a good proposal but a bad process.”