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The City Council’s Land Use Committee passed the controversial Broadway Triangle plan this week, all but clearing the way for approval from the full body — despite continuing outrage from a Bushwick councilwoman who opposes it.
The Council’s Land Use Committee gave the approval in a surprisingly close 12–6 vote on Monday, clearing another hurdle for a plan to rezone a 31-acre industrial site in East Williamsburg to encourage the development of housing, some of it much-needed below-market-rate units.
Before the vote, Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D–Bushwick) made one final plea for her colleagues to send the proposal back to the drawing board.
“This rezoning is asking for the minimum in economic development and job creation and will displace businesses in the area,” Reyna said. “All that I have been asking for is a plan that includes the community.”
But Councilman Dan Garodnick (D–Manhattan) said he supported the rezoning because it will “revive an area that has been underutilized and to create more affordable housing for a community that everyone agrees is in great need of it.”
Councilman Al Vann (D–Bedford-Stuyvesant) offered the oddest statement in support of the rezoning, which has been bitterly opposed by several community groups who claim that they were cut out of the planning process in favor of two politically connected groups.
“I agree that the process was flawed in that surrounding communities and their representatives were not adequately consulted,” Vann said, “[but] I feel a greater loyalty to respect the preference of the community board and councilmember [David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights)] whose district is being rezoned.”
After the vote, Reyna said she had no hopes of influencing the full Council to reject the rezoning when it votes in the next few days. Instead, she said opponents will now focus on a lawsuit, filed in September, that argues that the rezoning violates the Fair Housing Act.
“We have our community who stood firm on rejecting a process that excluded them, called for transparency and gave our community an opportunity to organize, come together,” said Reyna. “How can you deliver a government for the people if people stand aside while decisions are being made on their behalf?”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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