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Archive for July 13th, 2017

East Harlem Zoning Proposal Would Displace Neighborhood Residents

Full Title: MAS Comments for Manhattan Borough President on the East Harlem Rezoning Proposal, CEQR No. 17DCP048M, Manhattan, NY and the Draft East Harlem Housing Plan

Position

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has a number of concerns that we urge the City to address before we can support the East Harlem Rezoning proposal and the East Harlem Housing Plan. We are apprehensive about issues specific to East Harlem (the undercounting of available development sites, potential displacement of local residents, and lack of consideration for shadow impacts and public space needs) as well as broader matters of long-term affordability and preservation of existing units.

MAS commends City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who served as Chairs for the East Harlem Neighborhood Steering Committee and helped develop the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan. Several of our concerns could be addressed using the recommendations in the Neighborhood Plan and the Steering Committee’s public engagement process.

Background

The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) has proposed a series of land use actions, including zoning map amendments, zoning text amendments, and amendments to the Milbank Frawley Circle-East Urban Renewal Plan, that would affect a 96-block area in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan Community District 11. In addition, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has issued a draft Housing Plan for East Harlem (Housing Plan) that seeks to preserve existing and development new affordable units on City-owned property within the rezoning project area. The six sites identified in HPD’s plan would result in an estimated 2,439 affordable units.

Almost 40 percent of East Harlem households have an annual income below $24,500 and the neighborhood as a whole has a median income of $30,973. The addition of approximately 6,000 new residents to this historically low income area has the potential to drastically change the socioeconomic conditions and character of the neighborhood.

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