Only one of the de Blasio administration’s neighborhood-wide rezonings touches Staten Island, and the major rezoning action in Richmond County under the previous administration was the downzoning of much of Staten Island to dampen down development. So local examples of what the residents of the corridor, where the environmental review process is underway ahead of a formal consideration of a rezoning, do not abound.
But as this week’s Stand-Up Desk guest Nick Petrie pointed out, some in the Bay Street corridor see parallels between the neighborhood’s current character and what Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was like before the rezoning of the Brooklyn waterfront under Mayor Bloomberg: an area of mostly low- and moderate-income families with a significant industrial presence, a small art scene, water views and relatively good transit options.
That’s a comparison that raises some concerns, given that the 2005 Williamsburg rezoning is often blamed for ushering in luxury housing, ushering out industry and doing little to create affordable apartments. Petrie talks below about the concerns members of Make the Road New York express, their hopes that a certain kind of rezoning could do some good and how those communities feel when it comes to the “us versus them” script of Staten Island against the rest of New York. Mark Bussanich was our producer.
Marc Bussanich was our producer.