Another Land Trust in the Bronx?

The Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association in the Bronx has proposed building a community land trust to deter displacement of residents as rezoning begins along a 30-block area from Longwood north to Crotona Park, on either side of Southern Boulevard, reports Rachel Rippetoe in Hunts Point Express. Community lands trusts are nonprofit corporations that allow “nonprofits or community groups to take control of underutilized land and work with the community to redevelop it, or in some cases, keep it exactly the same,” Rippetoe writes.

City Planning revealed in June that it was studying the neighborhoods near Southern Boulevard for rezoning, proposing flipping manufacturing zones into commercial and residential zones. To opponents who protested the study, rezoning meant inviting development to the neighborhood, which could hike up rent prices and push residents out.

“The rezoning is not for us,” said Jadine Ortega, 30, of Longwood. “It’s not really for our improvement.”

Banana Kelly has an idea that might at least delay the displacement residents are concerned about: a community land trust.

“If we own the land, we get to decide what will go there,” said Nick Shatan, a coordinator with the Bronx Cooperative Development initiative who spoke at the event.

Hunts Point Express reports that other land trusts have been established recently, including one in Port Morris and Mott Haven organized by community group South Bronx Unite. And go to Hunts Point Express to read about another land trust started by a local developer.

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