Inwood and Washington Heights, two neighborhoods on the Northern tip of Manhattan, may be the first two affected by Mayor Bill De Blasio's extensive rezoning plans. But hold the construction: Developer Acadia Realty Trust has been hoping to build a new apartment complex in a parking lot at Sherman Avenue and Broadway (right below the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park), but just yesterday, the City Council's Zoning Subcommittee delayed a meeting to vote on the rezoning, pushing it back to August 16.
The delay came after protestors took to the streets last weekend to speak out against the plan. On Monday, WNYC's Brian Lehrer hosted northern Manhattan City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who emphasized that he's listening to both sides and hasn't made a decision yet on how he'll vote. He also added that he understands both the residents' concerns about a lack of affordable housing, but also understands the need for more units, he says.
The vote, according to Lehrer, "might set a precedent for what will happen citywide" under De Blasio's plan.
Rodriguez has said he'll only support the project only if 50 percent is reserved for affordable housing, affordability is based on neighborhood income, and some retail space reserved for local businesses. But opponents of the plan say that the mostly market rate housing would make things unaffordable.
George Fernandez, former chairman of Community Board 12, who's running for state Assembly, came up against Rodriguez on Lehrer's show, saying he's afraid that displacement will occur, and that fears people in the neighborhood won't qualify for the affordable housing being proposed.
"Developers don't keep their word," says Fernandez, citing Harlem and Williamsburg. "We keep losing and big banks and big developers keep taking away our communities."
Listen in on the entire conversation here:
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