Paragraph 3 is a lie, plain and simple.
"Notwithstanding the misperceptions perpetuated in last week’s Queens Chronicle editorial (“Save Queens from City Hall,” April 23) we are not proposing growth or major change. Let’s get the facts straight: No upzoning is proposed for Queens neighborhoods, and certainly no skyscrapers, under our Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal. No changes at all are being proposed to the size and shape of buildings in one- and two-family neighborhoods."So which is it: no upzoning or no skyscrapers? It's such a lie. Huge portions of Queens will be affected by this. And what's the definition of a one- and two-family neighborhood? Is it an area that has one and two family houses or zoned for them?
"Instead, our proposal simply allows buildings to incorporate affordable and senior housing, to be better designed and to fit quality ground-floor retail space where permitted. The resulting buildings will fit more graciously into their neighborhoods, and facilitate a better quality of life, better enabling residents to shop within walking distance of their homes. The small incremental height proposed in our zoning text change for multifamily districts does not permit a single additional square foot for market-rate housing."Who says? I find it absolutely galling that Weisbrod can make a blanket statement like this.
"Why are we proposing this now? Since 1916, the rules for how we build have changed as the city has changed. Each change brought its own challenges. The city’s “contextual” zoning regulations, created in the mid-1980s in response to disruptive “tower-in-the-park” developments, are unintentionally forcing new buildings to fit within inflexible envelopes, leading to bad design and high costs that hinder housing affordability. Moreover, developers cannot take advantage of zoning incentives for affordable housing, leaving those units on the cutting room floor."Ok. So now we get to the heart of the matter. The developers have their panties in a bunch because they aren't able to build as big and charge as much as they want because contextual zoning stops them from doing so. The last sentence about affordable housing not being built is laughable.
"Architects and nonprofit organizations that support the city’s housing and neighborhoods have identified aspects of these dated rules as an impediment to both quality housing and affordable housing. We agree. The City’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal tweaks the zoning code for medium- and higher-density districts to permit property owners the flexibility to build what they are already allowed to build."Translation: the Building industry told us what we need to change so they can increase their profits. We agree.
Paragraphs 7 and 8 are just ridiculous. I'm not even going to comment on them.
"Only 5 percent of residents of low-income senior housing near transit own cars. Yet current regulations require costly parking that often reduces the amount of desperately needed senior housing that can be provided, and yields no benefit to the overwhelming majority of its residents. Developing housing for seniors with low incomes is not profitable. It requires public subsidy. Precious public dollars that support much-needed housing for low-income seniors can go further when they’re not used to subsidize unnecessary parking spaces, which cost more to build than it costs to buy a car."This proposal looks to eliminate or severely reduce parking for *ALL* senior housing.
"It’s important to note that this proposal is still in the early stages. Although April 30 is the last day for public comment on the scope of the environmental review, we have not completed the proposed zoning text, nor begun the official land use review process, which provides multiple opportunities for public input. We appreciate how much communities care about issues that affect them, and we welcome their engagement. But the public discourse will be most constructive only if the facts are clear to all."Translation: Don't worry. Whatever you've written, we're going to ignore it anyway. Suckers!
Then to put the cherry on top of this shit sundae, we have our borough historian spouting the same nonsense in letters to the editor, and he signs it with his official title. Blech!