Votes by Community Boards Running Strongly Against de Blasio Affordable Housing Proposals [UPDATED]

Community Board ZQA & MIH Vote Tracker. Image credit: CityLand

Community Board ZQA & MIH Vote Tracker. Image credit: CityLand

CityLand creates comprehensive chart tracking every vote taken by community boards citywide on the ZQA and MIH text amendments. On September 21, 2015, the City Planning Commission referred for public review the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) citywide text amendments. Since the public review process has begun, community boards across the city have met to discuss and vote on each of the two proposals. All 59 New York City Community Boards have until November 30th to vote on two citywide text amendments.

CityLand has created a comprehensive citywide chart that is tracking every community board action taken on ZQA and MIH. CityLand will continue to update this chart as we receive more detailed information. To date, we have attempted to contact every Board in the City at least twice. We ask readers to please contact us at with new information to keep the chart up to date. To view and download the chart click on the adjacent picture or click here. (Last Update:  December 10th at 11:45 A.M.)

Thus far, an overwhelming number of community boards have voted against both of these proposals, with MIH doing marginally better than ZQA. Within the boards themselves, the votes have been lopsided, with several recording unanimous votes against. Most Boards have backed up the votes with statements expressing their reasons for opposition. Some Boards that approved the measures included stipulations to the Yes votes.

Manhattan Community Board 10 (Central Harlem) decided to not take any action, however did issue a report itemizing concerns they had with the text amendments. The reported cited insufficient time as the main reason for not holding a vote. Brooklyn Community Board 7 (Sunset Park), although they disapproved the ZQA, ended up not taking a position on MIH. The final vote recorded 15 in favor of MIH, 11 against, with 8 abstentions. Even though a plurality was in favor, it was not the majority of the votes cast.

On November 17th, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer along with 28 other elected officials who represent Manhattan sent a detailed letter to City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod voicing major concerns with the two plans. On November 30th, the Manhattan Borough Board held a special meeting and unanimously voted to pass two resolutions recommending the conditional disapproval of both proposals, MIH & ZQA. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council member Rosie Mendez provided two of the twelve votes in favor of the resolutions. Council members Corey Johnson, Ben Kallos, Helen Rosenthal, and Mark Levine abstained from voting on either proposal because of the proposals’ anticipated appearance before the full City Council.

The Queens Borough Board met on November 17th and voted against both proposals 12 to 2. The Queens City Council delegation all abstained from voting. Queens Borough President Melissa Katz plans to issue her own recommendation soon.

The Bronx Borough Board met on November 19th and voted unanimously against both plans. The Borough Board included Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., all twelve Bronx community boards, and seven Council Members that represent the Bronx. Only Council Speaker Mark-Viverito’s office abstained.

The Brooklyn Borough Board met on Tuesday, December 1st and voted to conditionally disapprove both MIH and ZQA.  The vote was 20-1 with three abstentions for MIH and 20-2 with two abstentions for ZQA.  Borough President Eric Adams and the Brooklyn City Council delegation joined the vote except for Council Members Robert Cornegy and Stephen Levin who abstained.  The Staten Island Borough Board will meet on Thursday, December 10.  In a statement, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said the borough desires to remain a “bedroom community” at heart and he is open to more density in the ongoing North Shore developments, provided they uplift the community instead of exacerbate present challenges.

The two text amendments will now return to the City Planning Commission for the next stage in the public review process.  The Commission will hold its initial public hearing on December 16, 2015 at the Museum of the American Indian.  City Planning’s votes will not take place until early 2016.

By: Brian Kaszuba, CityLand Editor, Michael Twomey, CityLand Fellow & Jessica Soultanian-Braunstein, CityLand Fellow.

One thought on “Votes by Community Boards Running Strongly Against de Blasio Affordable Housing Proposals [UPDATED]

  1. These are desperately important discussions that will change our city’s neighborhoods and skyline forever. I believe that allowing Manhattan’s ultra-desirable real estate to be leveraged — with super tall towers destroying its residential neighborhoods in exchange for air rights which will destroy the concurrent lower rise other borough neighborhoods — is the absolute wrong way to go. Each borough, indeed each neighborhood, must decide what works to keep it unique yet welcoming to new residents who want to join that unique neighborhood. On Manhattan, I believe the MORAL thing to do is to have mixed cultural, racial, and economic communities in each zip code, ie. no ghettos, no luxury super talls owned only by investors who don’t live there and don’t care about our city or vote here. Indeed, we want the gorgeous mosaic that David Dinkins speaks of. We need low rise midblocks, larger buildings on the avenues, but none outsized like the unspeakably conspicuous and selfish 432 Park Ave. We need to preserve our beautiful historic buildings, renovating only their infrastructure for modern living and institutions. We need to preserve our small low-rise residential and commercial buildings for affordable housing and small businesses. We need parks with benches and gardens and playgrounds, that are open to all, not private pockets. We need streets where traffic can move easily without median impediments, so that commerce which depends on vehicular traffic, can grow, and pedestrians can be safe on the sidewalks. We need people of all ages to connect and care about each other in each neighborhood, residents and workers together. Cold, super-tall glass skyscrapers and flat institutional buildings that offer no architectural beauty and no community amenities cannot do that. No No No.

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