Sunday, September 14, 2014

When will there be enough development?

From the Epoch Times:

With plans for 80,000 new affordable housing units on the table, every neighborhood will have to take its fair share, experts say. This means nearly every community is aware they will have to accept more density, putting some on the immediate defensive.

The administration has stressed that the impending wave of development will be accompanied by sufficient community input; that development will have to suit the communities’ needs. But those familiar with the 150-day review process know time flies by all too quickly, sometimes before community members understand what is going on.

What is ULURP? How much affordable housing should a project bring if an M-1 site is being rezoned to R-8? Waiting for developers or the Planning Department to come in with plans for rezoning isn’t a fair enough approach, some Council members say.

Development is not an easy subject to bring among residents of communities accustomed to the charm of their low-rise blocks, and the series of meetings Council members are arranging is no easy process. Just the idea of talking about zoning can bring skepticism. What agenda are they trying to force on us now, the residents ask. The facilitators then take the brunt of residents’ emotional outbursts.

During the Uniformed Land Use Review Process (ULURP), community boards and borough presidents get a chance to weigh in on development projects, but their notes are all advisory and non-binding.

It’s practically customary for community benefit agreements to be negotiated during this process, like building a new school, making transportation improvements, or even renovating an existing playground.

“But what we don’t have in New York is a way to tie approvals of rezonings to things that make the rezoning work,” like the infrastructure improvements, Byron said.

“Communities can ask for anything … but it relies on the good faith of everyone, including City Council, to make that stick,” Byron said. An infamous example is Willets Point in Queens, where the city promised affordable housing years ago, only to have the recession hit. Now the plans instead entail a mall.

In affluent neighborhoods and areas where architects, planners, and lawyers sit on community boards and have access to their elected officials, they tend to be more successful in these negotiations, Byron said. “In neighborhoods with less money and access to political power, it’s easier for developers to come in and not [have them] ask the hard questions.”

Byron likens the negotiations to playing poker, except with an educated community the developers sit with their backs to a mirror.

But by giving community members tools to better understand the economics of zoning and affordable housing, the Council members are telling their constituents to hold them accountable for responsible development.


Anonymous said...

What low-rise blocks?

Every charming ranch will ultimately be replaced by a fugly McMansion or bastardized a la Corona/Elmhurst - it's happening all over Flushing, Whitestone and Bayside.

Anonymous said...

When Hell cements over.

Anonymous said...

Quenns will become one big attached Fedder cesspool !

Anonymous said...

Well, glad the developers sent the lackey hacks in to shovel some dirt on us.

The fact of the matter is its pretty straightforward on what to do about development and the steady decline in community.

We have to fess up to our selves. We have to get involved. We have to get real.

All this development is like a party with bad booze. Somewhere in the timeline is a morning, and this, like most, will not be pretty.

Development is a big transfer from poor to rich. All development takes up more resources than it pays in taxes. Guess who is paying for this party (though increased taxes or decreased services) and guess what happens when they finally figure it out.

The shit will hit the fan.

Anonymous said...

As long as there is money to be made, there will never be enough development.

Anonymous said...

Can we please just start deporting these third worlders instead? If we did that, then there would be plenty of room!

Anonymous said...

Can we please just start deporting these third worlders instead? If we did that, then there would be plenty of room!

That will not happen while Republicans can exploit them at work and Democrats can exploit them everywhere else.

Next question.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later this over development will blow up in all these politicians faces and NYC. Something catastrophic or life threatening, something will come about and enough will be enough. I don't know when that will happen but when it does it will be a big problem and a wake up call. There shouldn't be a housing crisis. If there isn't room then too bad find another place to live or check back later. I mean I want to live places and do things in life but if I can't then I move on. But not NYC. They don't want to preseve neighborhoods or quality of life. There has got to be a better system for all of this.

Anonymous said...

stop having babies!