Sunday, April 15, 2007

197 Plan Task Force will meet Monday, April 16 at 6:30pm, University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street between Rivington & Delancey. It's an important meeting.

The Department of City Planning has rejected the Community Board's seven recommendations for the environmental impact study of the rezoning of the district. At this Monday's meeting the Task Force will discuss whether and how to support the City's plan without the community's recommendations. There are some on the Task Force who will push to support the City's plan despite community opposition.

The City continues to promote its IZ upzoning to "grow the city." IZ upzoning will likely result in a net loss of affordable housing and further gentrification pressure on the neighborhood. Giving developers a free upzoning is clearly not in the interest affordable housing. This is not rocket science -- it's pretty clear, and you all don't need me to tell you that this city administration is all about development. Meanwhile, the developers lobby in Albany is fighting against extending the 421a exclusionary zone to our neighborhood, so there is no guarantee that we'll get any affordable housing out this rezoning.

The only way to ensure affordable housing is to accompany the IZ bonus with down-zoning -- in effect, mandatory affordable housing with neighborhood preservation. Since the City has expressed its intent to upzone, the community no longer has anything to lose by demanding what it really wants and needs. The time for compromise and wishful thinking is past. It's now time to stand up to the City in unity and numbers.