Public Review of East New York Rezoning Proposal Will Start in September, Not Now

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    The formal land-use review process for the mayor’s proposed rezoning of East New York will kick off in September, a spokesman for the mayor told us. The City will “certify the proposal” September 8, which officially starts the process.

    The City had previously said it would start the official process in “the spring,” meaning now, not the fall. The local community board and elected officials had requested more time to review the proposal.

    For the past few months, City Planning has been “scoping” the proposal, meaning it has been holding forums and talking to residents, the community board and others in the area after releasing a draft scope of work for an environmental impact statement in February.

    “We’re currently in the midst of scoping and have more community dialogue ahead of us,” Wiley Norvell, a City Hall spokesman, said. “We’re committed to real neighborhood planning that protects and strengthens East New York’s fabric. This is a time-frame that really sets us up for the strongest community process and the very best policy. It will allow us to bring together all the threads that will help grow and empower this neighborhood: Mandatory Affordable Housing, protections for current tenants, investments in community facilities. The timing ensures community boards can take up the proposal in earnest when they return from summer recess.”

    Local Council Member Rafael Espinal said the revised date will allow for more community input. “I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of this historical process and to bring resources to a community that has been neglected for far too long,” he said in a prepared statement. “I’ve made it very clear from the start that in order to be a success we have to learn from past rezonings and take a more holistic approach–focusing not just on affordable housing, but on infrastructure, basic community services such as parks and schools, and a real strategy to grow the manufacturing and industrial sector in the East New York IBZ. The new timeline announced allows the community more time to provide input on the plan, and over the coming months I look forward to working with residents and Mayor de Blasio to ensure that the proposal presented in September improves the lives of those who live here today.”

    The mayor’s proposal to improve the economy and build affordable housing in East New York is a key part of his plan to make New York City more affordable. Some critics have said the plan will not work because there is no return on investment for developers while others have said it will speed gentrification and price out current residents.

    You can see the city’s documents concerning the proposed rezoning here.

    East New York Rezoning Coverage [Brownstoner]
    Map by City Planning

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