9 thoughts on “Bitterness and Division at Inwood Rezoning Hearing

  1. I’m glad you’ve covered the ongoing Inwood struggle to not be another midtown neighborhood. The plan is a blunderbuss approach, inserting many 9 to 30 story buildlings, destroying many businesses, rent regulated housing, and the character of Inwood where 98% of the residential buildings are under 8 floors. This will cause massive congestion, air pollution, strain on the infrastructure and transit. Considering how in other neighborhoods, the City upzones and doesn’t do anything or enough to the infrastructure or transit to accommodate, Inwoodites know that living here will become hellish.

    That you spend paragraphs talking about a single heckler, and not trying to get to the bottom of Alcantara’s accusations of NMNFS (which sounded odd because Ydanis’ brother Carlos had said similar words to a voter who had gotten election officials to enforce the no electioneering zone against Ydanis), is mystifying. Many spent their time on the environmental, infrastructure, services, displacement and other impacts. That’s what most of the 4 hours was but you buried that in a paragraph or two 2/3 of the way through (why?)

    The “$42 million in early investments” the EDC mentioned include $30 million for Highbridge park which is not in Inwood, so it is deceitful to mention it as such. Interesting that you mentioned the library but said nothing about the fact that the HPD RFP does not require an interim library, the subject of a lot of the testimony. The talking points here are mostly those from City Government. I would have been interested to know how many residents gave comments questioning the plan and how many were outside agitators. That requires more than just copying down what EDC and the councilmember give you. And how many who wanted to speak left before the meeting closed at 10:20? There are more groups in Inwood that have been as active as the ones you mentioned, but you gave them no mention. Take a look at the Inwood Preservation Facebook page all the way back to the beginning in Feb. 2016 and see the quantity and level of discussion there. My testimony is also there.

  2. Truly awful, uninformed coverage of the issues. Shocking for City Limits, which I’ve always associated with quality and objectivity.

  3. Great review of the evening. I thought the gentleman, Rafael Polanco, was asking for a technical school where individuals could learn trades. I did not hear him ask for tech. training.

    I would like to read what everyone said and wonder if the transcripts are available to the public?

    I also think that our elected officials are no “better” than other residents and should have been held to the 3 minute limit for their remarks.

  4. Hello!!! There are a few errors in this reporting. The state senator’s name is Marisol Alcantara and Adriano Espaillat is now the congressman representing New York’s 13th Congressional District.

  5. Thank you for your account of the hearing, but you missed that a significant group of the Council Member’s supporters (~20) were obviously a group of Union Members wearing purple T-shirts and only about 3-4 raised their hands and identified themselves as residents of Inwood. They were however given preferential treatment to read statements on behalf of others although they arrived a few minutes before the meeting started at 6.15 pm. So there was evidence of trying to overwhelm the testimony of the residents of the district who were questioning overlooked aspects in this proposal. Perhaps, one question remains Politicians paint the plan as for affordable housing, but only 25% of the apartments classify as affordable and the remaining 75% are for luxury apartments. Moreoverover, affordable doesn’t affordable for the majority of Inwood Residents.

  6. You mention the testimony of the Twin Donuts employee, without mentioning that he is actually a principal in the business. That site is part of the rezoning, and the increase in value of the site from automotive use to 11 story residential will be massive. I don’t suppose that in any way had anything to do with his appearing to testify in favor?

    Especially since the “affordable” apartments will be handed out by citywide lottery. Anybody who really did think this rezoning would net them a cheap apartment is living in fantasyland.

  7. The city’s plan enables the theoretical construction of about 19,000 apartments if you do the math. That’s about 12,000 more than the current theoretical maximums under current zoning. Yet the draft EIS claims that only 4,300 new units will be built in the next 15 years. That alone is a massive increase (fully 10% of Inwood’s current population) but residents have many legitimate questions about how the city got from 12,000 to 4,300 and whether or not they are downplaying things in order to minimize the impact and get the rezoning passed.

    Unfortunately as noted above many of those residents had to wait hours into the hearing to speak, since the elected officials wasted an hour giving stump speeches to planted supporters.

    The city has gotten away so far with a year of one-way propaganda disguised as faux “engagement”. However, the formal ULURP process is trickier to game. Stay tuned.

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