Friday, November 13, 2015

Bronx Borough Hearing on City Planning Commission Proposed Zoning Changes

   While several Bronx Community Boards have held their own public hearings on the proposed City Planning Commission "Mandatory Inclusionary Housing" and "Zoning For Quality and Affordability" proposals, last night was the Bronx borowide hearing by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. In a statement released before the meeting BP Diaz said the following.   

 “Tonight, my office will host its hearing on Mayor de Blasio’s proposed zoning changes, known respectively as‘Zoning for Quality & Affordability’ and ‘Mandatory Inclusionary Housing.’ My office is not required to host this hearing, but we concluded it was necessary to allow for greater public participation on this topic due to the accelerated timeline the mayor has imposed.

“There is much controversy surrounding this issue, in all corners of our borough. In mid-October, I convened a meeting of our 12 community boards to both discuss our shared concerns about Mayor de Blasio’s plans and to scrutinize these proposals to ensure that their concerns were met before taking a vote. So far, nine of our community boards have indicated their dissatisfaction with Mayor de Blasio’s zoning plan, and I applaud their willingness to stand up for their neighborhoods and voice their objections loud and clear.

“For months, my office has fielded questions from neighborhoods across The Bronx about Mayor de Blasio’s proposed zoning plans, and this evening I expect even more concerns to be raised. As I prepare for next week’s meeting of the Bronx Borough Board, and for my own recommendations following that, I look forward to hearing from the diverse community of my borough about their thoughts on this process, and will use those statements to inform my own position on this contentious issue,” 

  The Standing room only meeting went on with almost every resident of the Bronx who gave testimony soundly rejecting the two CPC proposals. There were those however who did testify in favor of the two CPC proposals, and I have chosen one such proponent in the photos below since he was thanked by one CPC person for giving his testimony in favor of the CPC proposals. This person who spoke in favor of the CPC proposals was Mr. Paul R. Freitag who is the Executive Director of the West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing Inc. 

  WSFSSH has renovated or built 24 buildings comprising 1,700 units of housing in Manhattan and the Bronx for over 1,800 senior citizens.WSFSSH is also a partner in the Equity Project Charter School in Washington Heights. WSFSSH is also involved in a proposed 176 unit affordable senior housing building in the Mott Haven Section of the Bronx. So it is in the best interest of WSFSSH to be in favor of the two CPC proposals to increase the units of new or renovated senior and affordable housing units in New York City. WSFSSH has made some major connections since their inception 1976, and that could be why they were asked to give testimony. 

Above - While the room was filled where the presentation by the City Planning Commission was being given on MIH and ZQA outside it was a different story.
Below - The public was made to enter in one entrance and have to wait to go through metal detectors in order to be able to attend the CPC presentation and public hearing.

Above - The CPC MIH and ZQA presentations were given by the City Planning representative.
Below - The panel to hear the testimony is set to begin hearing from the public on the two CPPC proposals..

Above - This picture is centered on  Mr. Paul R. Freitag who gave testimony in favor of the CPC proposals. Mr. Freitag is also the Executive Director of the West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing Inc.
Below - A photo of the person from CPC who thanked Mr. Freitag for his testimony in favor of the two CPC proposals. You will note that Mr. Freitag who was seated two rows behind the person from CPC has left his seat after I confronted him with the fact that the person from CPC had thanked him for his testimony in favor of the two CPC proposals. 

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