The de Blasio administration thinks it's found a way to make developers build housing for all New Yorkers by proposing a set of changes to zoning laws, but the proposal is being met with opposition. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
North Riverdale residents say the rolling hills and small narrow winding streets of their neighborhood are no place for large buildings.
"That changes the character of the neighborhood," said Laura Spalter, co-chair of the Broadway Community Alliance.
Folks there, and in all parts of the Bronx, actually, are raising concerns about the effects that zoning changes proposed by the de Blasio administration could have.
One proposal touted as a way to help older adults remain in their neighborhoods reduces the size requirements for senior housing, while raising height limits on new developments, and makes it optional for developers to offer parking.
"It removes what we think is an extraneous requirement in the zoning, and it lets the providers of senior housing provide the kind of housing that's necessary to meet the needs of different portions of the senior population," said Howard Slatkin, deputy executive director for strategic planning at the Department of City Planning.
Another proposed zoning change would create specific areas where developers of market-rate housing would be required to also build affordable housing.
"There's no way right now for us to guarantee developers will create housing that will serve low- and moderate-income households in New York," said Louise Carroll, inclusionary housing assistant commissioner at the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
City officials say the changes are key ways to reach the mayor's goal of creating and preserving 200,000 affordable units in 10 years, but Bronx community boards have overwhelmingly rejected the plan. So far, nine of 12 community have voted against it.
"Every single community has a separate and distinct character to it, and that's why we don't believe that you can just take one approach to these matters," said Dan Padernacht, chairperson of Community Board 8.
Borough leaders say they would have preferred that the city come to them to create a plan.
"We should have sat on the table when they were putting this plan together so that we can give them insight on how our community could benefit from this plan," said Rafael Salamanca, district manager with Community Board 2.
On Thursday, the borough board and borough president vote on the changes. It then goes to the City Planning Commission, followed by the City Council.