Council, after two delays, approves Port Morris plan

Yassky opposed over affordable housing issue. On March 9, 2005, the full Council approved the rezoning proposal for 129 lots in the South Bronx, converting it from manufacturing to mixed-use zoning that aims to further expand Bruckner Boulevard’s antique row and increase development of residential and livework uses. Initially scheduled for a vote on February 28, 2005, Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, elected only 14 days prior by a special election, requested a vote delay on the Port Morris action to obtain time to address residents’ complaints that the rezoning would drive up rents and ultimately force them out.

Council Member Arroyo at the Subcommittee vote noted that she had met with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which had agreed to work with her office to educate Port Morris property owners on the City’s affordable housing funding mechanisms. Commenting that she was satisfied with this arrangement, Council Member Arroyo explained that the majority of the rezoned lots were privately owned, which limited the City’s ability to make immediate commitments to build affordable housing.

At the full Council vote, only Council Member David Yassky opposed. He represents the Greenpoint and Williamsburg areas of Brooklyn, both currently undergoing a large rezoning initiative by the City in which affordable housing is a key issue. Council Member Yassky warned the Council that affordable housing development must be guaranteed when the City approves a major rezoning or, “If not, we risk building homes only for the very wealthy.”

For the Planning Commission’s consideration and the ULURP process, see 2CityLand 19 (March 15, 2005).

Council: Port Morris Rezoning (March 9, 2005); CPC: Port Morris Rezoning (C 050120 ZMZ – map amendment) (January 31, 2005). CITYADMIN

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