By Henry Euler
The Department of City Planning will be holding a public hearing on Mayor de Blasio’s two proposals to increase the number of affordable housing units and senior housing units to be constructed in our city. The proposals, known as “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” and the “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” text amendment, have come under much well-deserved criticism.
Most everyone understands the need for affordable and senior housing units in our city. These two proposals, however, would undermine the contextual rezonings that have been accomplished over the past several years that help protect our communities from reckless overdevelopment. Under these proposals, developers could construct buildings with increased height and bulk in many different zoning areas. Parking requirements would be reduced or eliminated for senior housing units in certain areas. There are other serious problems with the two proposals as well.
It is important for all concerned New Yorkers to let their elected officials know that these proposals must be withdrawn and re-evaluated with input from all stakeholders. My civic organization, the Auburndale Improvement Association, has garnered almost 300 petition signatures from local residents opposing these proposals, and has sent those petitions to elected officials and appropriate city agencies.
The City Planning Commission hearing mentioned above will be held Dec. 16 at 9 a.m., at the National Museum of the American Indian, at One Bowling Green, Manhattan, near Battery Park. People from all over the city are encouraged to attend and testify, or send an opposition letter to Carl Weisbrod, Chair, City Planning Commission, 120 Broadway, 31st Floor, NY, NY 10271.
Let’s hope that the City Council, which has the last word on these two proposals, will vote them down and follow the lead of the majority of community boards and borough presidents in our city who have already rejected these two misguided proposals.