2015-12-09 / Features

Fight Overdevelopment

To The Editor:
The Department of City Planning will be holding a public hearing on Mayor deBlasio’s two proposals to increase the number of affordable housing units and senior housing units to be constructed in our city. The proposals are known as “Zoning for Quality and Affordability” and the “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing” text amendment. Both proposals are controversial and have come under much well-deserved criticism from civic and community leaders, community boards and many elected officials.
Most everyone understands the need for additional 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 two proposals, developers would be allowed to 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It is important for all concerned New Yorkers to let their elected officials know that these proposals must be withdrawn and reevaluated with input from all stakeholders.  This would include the Mayor, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and your local Council Member.  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 like the Planning Commission.  
The City Planning Commission hearing mentioned above will be held on Wednesday, December 16, starting at 9 am, 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 at least 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, who 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.
Henry Euler
Bayside

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