The de Blasio administration abruptly scrapped plans to rezone a portion of Flushing, Queens, last week in response to problems with the proposal. The neighborhood was set to be one of 15 areas that would be targeted for residential development in order to advance the mayor’s affordable-housing agenda.
On Friday, City Councilman Peter Koo, who represents the area, sent a letter to the Department of City Planning outlining his objections to turning 11 industrial blocks between the polluted Flushing Creek and the terminus of the No. 7 train into a new neighborhood, Flushing West, that would include retail, open space and affordable apartments. That same day, the head of the department wrote back that the city shared many of his concerns, and would withdraw its plan.
"We will turn our attention and our priority to planning efforts to other neighborhoods," wrote Carl Weisbrod, head of the planning department.
The about-face means that the city will have to look for another neighborhood to be part of the 15 rezonings Mayor Bill de Blasio promised in the spring of 2014, when he announced his Housing New York plan. So far, the city has approved its first overhaul in Brooklyn's East New York and has announced similar intentions for a handful of other areas in the city.
A rezoned Flushing West would have potentially sprouted 1,600 apartments, affordable and market-rate. But Koo envisioned a number of complications along with strains on the area’s infrastructure and transportation, some of which resonated with city officials.
Ok, so does Shulman have to give back her grant money now?