City Delays SoHo/NoHo Certification Without Explanation; Citywide Tenant and Housing Groups Come Out Strongly Against Mayor’s Plan; Neighbors File Lawsuit
This afternoon, without explanation or comment, the City postponed its vote to certify the Mayor’s proposed SoHo/NoHo (and Chinatown) rezoning, with no new date given. The City had failed to provide required materials about the plan. The plan has to be certified to proceed, and there are only a limited number of scheduled meetings during which this can be done with enough time for it to be voted upon before the end of the year, when the Mayor and much of the current City Council leave office. We will let you know if and when a new date has been scheduled for a certification vote.
In other positive news, this morning two of the city’s oldest, largest, and most respected tenant and housing advocacy groups came out strongly against the Mayor’s rezoning plan with an op-ed in the Daily News — read it here. The piece cites and references our study showing how the Mayor’s plan would destroy affordable housing and make housing in these neighborhoods more expensive and the population less socio-economically and racially diverse, and supports our Community Alternative Plan. The piece directly calls upon Councilmembers Chin and Rivera and Borough President Brewer to oppose the plan.
In recent weeks, opposition to the Mayor’s plan has grown, including from Chinatown/social justice groups, former members of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the venerable Municipal Art Society (which lobbied for the city’s first zoning laws), and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Preservation League of New York State.
Finally, residents of SoHo and NoHo including our friends at the SoHo Alliance and Broadway Residents Committee have filed a lawsuit against the plan — read more here.
We can’t take anything for granted, and have to keep our momentum going. The coming weeks will be critical in determining if this hyper-development plan, which would destroy these neighborhoods and push out long-time businesses and residents, will be approved and serve as a model for further rezonings throughout our city.