Tuesday, March 31, 2015

de Blasio embarking on exclusionary rezoning effort

From DNA Info:

A push by Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow developers to build taller buildings across the city as long as they include affordable housing was met with vehement opposition at a public hearing on Wednesday.

Critics blasted the mayor's Zoning for Quality and Affordability initiative — part of de Blasio's 10-year affordable housing plan designed to change regulations so that building new housing is easier and cheaper — during the Department of City Planning's hearing at their lower Manhattan office.

Their main complaint was the lack of transparency the mayor's office has offered to date. The city has not publicized the plan enough in order to push it through without substantial community input, according to the lineup of speakers — ranging from elected officials to everyday citizens, and even a former member of the City Planning Commission.

“If not for the fact of emails flying from Greenwich Village… to civic groups in Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx," said Ed Jaworski, president of the Marine-Madison-Homecrest Civic Association in Brooklyn, "this might have been held before two people.”

Amending the city's zoning regulations will allow the city to create badly-needed senior housing and "encourage better quality buildings that contribute to the fabric of neighborhoods," according to DCP director Robert Dobruskin, who led the hearing.

But organizers who fought to secure neighborhood-specific construction regulations around the city — in places like Greenwich Village, The Rockaways, and Bay Ridge — fumed at the possibility that the city could undo their work.

Several speakers accused the de Blasio administration of working to make things easier for developers while demanding too little in exchange.

Kelly Carroll, director of advocacy and community outreach at the Historic Districts Council, said the proposal could "incentivize demolition of existing housing in order to replace it with new development" that could be built with bigger height limits.

"Bigger buildings do not equal lower rents," Carroll said. "If that were the case, West 57th Street would be Manhattan’s newest neighborhood for the middle class."

City & State has published the 5 challenges to de Blasio's affordable housing plan:

1. Comprehensive community planning takes a lot of time (shouldn't be rushed)
2. Comprehensive community planning takes resources (which City Planning doesn't have)
3. Comprehensive community planning takes more than zoning (hello, infrastructure)
4. Comprehensive community planning begins in the community (doesn't exclude communities)
5. Community planning hasn't delivered in New York City in the past (because developers rule the Council)

And here's one more from the Times Ledger.

In a statement, Paul Graziano, an urban planning consultant and a historic preservationist, said the 160-page document proposes changes that are a “giveaway to developers under the guise of promoting increased affordable and senior housing.”

CB 7 member Tyler Cassell, a member of the board’s land use committee, agreed.

“If the city wants affordable housing, they should stop selling off city properties for a dollar to developers and build housing projects like they did in the 40s and 50s,” Cassell said.


Anonymous said...

Stop calling it Senion Housing its so Dablasio can saturate good communities with loyal Section 8 voters!!
Dablasio thinks everyone is an Idiot.

Jerry Rotondi said...

De Blasio has managed to anger even his old voting base. He lied to them too. He is strictly a one term mayor.

Let us do our best to keep him tethered so he doesn't flush NYC down the drain even during his one term.

I never thought I'd ever hear myself prefer Bloomberg for a fourth term, but here it is. De Blah Blah is a train wreck compared to Mayor Mike. May the saints preserve us!

Anonymous said...

We are Idiots

Anonymous said...

Out.Out.Out with this mayor already!

Anonymous said...

The city has been punk'd.

Dear God,
Please make all the people who are so concerned about NYC actually go to the polls the next time we have an election. Please make them vote so we don't get stuck with a loon for a mayor.
Thank you.

JQ said...

"I never thought I'd ever hear myself prefer Bloomberg for a fourth term, but here it is"

Mayor Big Slow and Mayor Fun Size are what you would call strange bedfellows. Surely, when people saw lil mike squirm during the Blaz's inauguration they got quite a show and felt at ease.

Now a year has passed and shit has not changed. Mayor Fun Size's vision of city exclusively for investors and a amusement theme park for tourists seems virtually insurmountable.As for concerns dear to the Blaz, homelessness has gone up, also homicides, which can be easily overlooked when the city is overpopulated and the ratios seem low.

Bad Bill was Forest City Ratner's personal advocate and his mayoral campaign would have been nothing without donations from other developers. It's why that LIC monolith is going up (and in a hurry to take advantage of 421a before it's repealed, if it will).

As with Mayor Fun Size, despite obligatory press conferences and town hall meetings, the Blaz and his minions concoct all these plans in the dark and act obtuse then hostile when people start asking questions.

And like with Pre-K, it doesn't help enough people. He's trying to rush this irresponsible program not to truly help his constituents but to build a legacy.

Any regrets that Jimmy McMillan didn't win? He may have been considered a joke by media and the press, but the guy was right.

Anonymous said...

CB7 recently approved a higher building than before for the (former) Keith theater in Flushing.

Anonymous said...

Queens is the proving ground for all of this - when it happened out here all they did at places like HDC is to (with a smirk) tell us to talk to our councilman.

Now its hitting home and they go apeshit.

Unless there is comprehensive reform city wide I say go f*k em!

Kira, God of the New World said...

and by affordable they're probably for people who make $300k a year. Free homes for homeless and affordable homes for the rich folk. New Yorkers? Don't want 'em!

Anonymous said...

We, the people, continue to elect idiot after incompetent idiot. We elect people because they look young, are good looking, or in this case, had a charismatic looking son. Their track record, or what the candidate stands for, goes out the window as we lose our common sense. After the fact, we complain about his inept and "left" wing policy. Yet, for anyone who paid attention, Debozo is doing exactly what he said he was going to do if elected Mayor. He will ruin the city and set it back a decades before he is done. Don't be surprised if he wins again because that is what we, the people do... Elect incompetent idiots and then complain about it.

Anonymous said...

You elect 'em!