Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is siding with industrial businesses in their quest to keep housing out of areas zoned for manufacturing.
In an op-ed at CrainsNewYork.com, Mr. Adams wrote, "The success of [waterfront] communities depends on affordable and worker housing near (but not in) these industrial zones."
He added, "Our communities along the Brooklyn waterfront have long been working-class neighborhoods. We need to grow our options for affordable and worker housing in these areas so current residents can stay and people moving in for jobs can find a place to live that is within budget."
Industrial businesses generally don't like residential encroachment because it increases rents, limits their growth and triggers complaints about their operations. Mayor Bill de Blasio has worried manufacturers further by signaling his intention to rezone some industrial zones to include housing.
(Meanwhile, the Queens Borough President has remained silent.)
From the Observer:
Several dozen members of various community groups organized under the coalition of “Real Affordability for All” gathered on the steps of City Hall to voice their concerns about Mr. de Blasio’s housing program, which aims to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. Many were glad the mayor was giving more attention to the affordable housing issue than his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, but argued the de Blasio administration, particularly in East New York, Brooklyn, needs to slow down the rezoning process so residents in the area can have more of say in how their neighborhoods are reshaped. (Hence, the “slow it down” chants.)
Members of liberal organizations like Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, Faith in New York and Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) said the mayor’s plan to rezone 15 neighborhoods was welcome but could displace longtime residents if too much market-rate housing is built. The labor-aligned organizations called for more unionized jobs in the neighborhoods targeted for rezoning–like a swath of land in the Bronx around Jerome Avenue and Flushing, Queens–and other community benefits, though their demands were not always concrete.
Many just did not want a replay of the Bloomberg years, when mass rezonings transformed working class hubs like Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant into coveted, affluent neighborhoods, forcing poorer residents away. The Department of City Planning hopes to certify the rezoning application for East New York sometime in the spring, beginning a lengthy land-use review process that could extend through much of 2015.
But that pace is still too swift for many advocates, who otherwise align themselves with Mr. de Blasio.