Harlem Plan Moves Forward
April 15th, 2008
Two weeks after Harlem Councilmember Inez Dickens said she did not support the City Planning Commission’s approval to rezone 125th Street — long known as the capital of black culture in the city, if not the nation — she urged her council colleagues to approve a modified version.
The council’s Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee approved the rezoning plan with several revisions by a vote of 9 to 1, with Councilmember Tony Avella voting no.
The plan has carved out an unprecedented amount of income-targeted affordable housing at 46 percent of residential units, said Dickens, or 1,785 of the 3,800 proposed units. The plan’s modifications would also reduce the height restriction to about 190 feet, or about 16 stories, on the north side of 125th Street and 160 feet, or about 13 stories, on the south side. The plan would have originally allowed buildings as tall as 29 stories.
“I said if there were no protections for my community there would be no rezoning,” said Dickens. “After many long hours of deliberation, disagreements and debate, I believe the City Planning Commission has heard me loud and clear.”
Dickens said these modifications were reached by the commission, herself and the Bloomberg administration.
Harlem was rife with community opposition over the plan, though little was heard this morning at City Hall. Several audience members applauded following Dickens’s eight-minute statement.
Whether these modifications will quell a community backlash will soon be determined — maybe as soon as tomorrow, when the plan is expected to go to the council’s Land Use Committee and then presumably to the full body that afternoon. Parts of the plan, however, will have to go back through the land use process again, because they have been revised.By Courtney Gross on April 15, 2008, 1:05 pm
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