Communities need to oppose mayor's rezoning proposal
by Henry Euler
Jun 30, 2015 | 16784 views | 0 0 comments | 940 940 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor Bill de Blasio through the Department of City Planning announced in March a new proposal to increase the number of affordable and senior housing units in our city called “Zoning for Quality and Affordability.”

It has stirred much controversy throughout the city in civic and preservation quarters.

Although the goal to increase affordable and senior housing units is admirable, the mayor’s 160-page proposal would decimate many of the accomplishments that community and civic people have achieved over the years through our contextual rezonings.

Some of the disturbing features of the proposal include allowances for taller and bulkier buildings in certain zoning designations and the elimination or reduction of parking requirements for certain types of senior housing.

There are many other objectionable features to the proposal, which seems to favor developers over the needs and desires of the communities. It seems that as the proposal is examined more closely, more disturbing components are uncovered.

The mayor is pushing to have the proposal approved with great haste. Community boards across the city will be voting on whether to accept or reject the proposal in late summer/early fall. Each borough president and the City Council will hold hearings before a final vote is taken.

In the meantime, most residents are not familiar with the proposal or its impact in terms of inappropriate development in communities across the city.

What would be more logical and less damaging would be to require builders to set aside a larger percentage of units in new developments for senior and affordable housing.

Although this type of unit is not as profitable as market-rate and luxury housing, the impact on our communities would not be as severe as what the mayor is currently proposing.

If you are concerned about the mayor’s proposal and the effects it will have on our city for generations to come, please let your council member and other elected officials know.

Come to the community board meetings when this topic is on the agenda. We cannot allow the mayor to push through this proposal without challenging many of its provisions and looking for workable alternatives.

Henry Euler is a resident of Bayside.
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