Gale Brewer Says No to East Harlem Rezoning Proposal

View of East 116th Street (Photo by Richard Petrosino, Creative Commons license)

More than a month after Community Board 11 voted “no with conditions” against city plans to rezone East Harlem, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer followed suit and announced she was recommending a disproval to the proposal, writes Abigail Savitch-Lew in City Limits. Many residents have expressed concerns that the rezoning, which covers East 104th Street to East 132nd from Second Avenue to Park Avenue, would make way for gentrification and ultimately displace them from their homes.

In a 27-page report on her findings, Brewer says that while she supports an East Harlem rezoning, certain issues with the city’s proposal in its current state prompted her to recommend “no” on the project.

“(…) When I supported the administration’s mandatory inclusionary housing program two years ago, I recognized that somewhat higher density would be required in order to build large amounts of new affordable housing. But the degree of density would have to be consistent with neighborhood context and community input. Here, the community gave extensive, thoughtful and informed input, but the administration could not see its way to support significant elements of the community’s recommendations, which forces me to recommend a disapproval of the application.”

She writes that the city’s proposal added too much concentrated density, lacked sufficient units for the most low-income families, and failed to include an adequate preservation strategy and sufficient commitments to capital projects and programs outlined in the ENHP.

Read more on the report, and the next step for the proposal, at City Limits.

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