Rendering via Department of City Planning
The New York City Council voted 44-2 to approve Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor Rezoning plan Wednesday, SILive reports. As 6sqft previously reported, the city proposed to convert the area between Tompkinsville Park and Tappan Park from manufacturing to residential while constructing 1,800 new units that would house 6,500 residents in the area. About a quarter of the new residences would be income-restricted affordable housing through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program. The rezoning plan has drawn opposition from some community groups and Borough President Jimmy Oddo on the grounds that it would add to the area’s traffic and transportation woes.
The rezoning proposal, the first in the area since 1961, comes after three years of planning between local residents, community advocates, and the city. It falls under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 plan to create and preserve 300,000 affordable housing units by 2026.
In the current proposal, developers can choose between two ways of including affordable housing: They can either set aside 25 percent of a project’s square footage for rents averaging $1,441 a month for a family of three earning an annual average of $57,660 or less, or allot 20 percent at an average of $961 a month for households earning at least $38,440.
The city also agreed to lose a nearby sanitation garage and to request that a 100 percent affordable 223-unit housing complex be built in the area. The new project will yield a projected total of 583 to 673 affordable units. Also included in the rezoning deal was a promise from the city to reconstruct a demolished community center and construct a new school.
The two opposing votes belonged to Island Republican Councilman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) and Minority Leader Steven Matteo (R-Mid Island), who claimed the area’s lack of infrastructure and potential traffic snarls were the reasons they voted against the rezoning measure. Previously, Oddo had proposed “affordable housing” for households earning as much as $127,000 per year for a family of three, with the “affordable” apartments renting for over $3,000 per month. That suggestion was nowhere to be found in the approved proposal.
“I wanted to make sure we could accommodate as many (affordable apartments) as we could,” Council Member Debi Rose, who spearheaded the deal, said. “The road was long, but with guidance and input from my constituents and many stakeholders, I have secured the necessary funding and commitments for the next chapter of the story.”
After the vote, Mayor Bill de Blasio applauded the plan for its creation of affordable housing and infrastructure improvements: “The Bay Street Neighborhood Plan will create a more affordable neighborhood that opens the doors of opportunity to all its residents. This plan will bring two new schools, 1,300 affordable homes, sewer and utility upgrades, a brand new Cromwell Recreation Center and more to Bay Street. I thank Council Member Rose for her partnership and fierce advocacy on behalf of all Staten Islanders.”
The original version of this story, “Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor rezoning progresses with up to 673 affordable units” was published on June 7, 2019.
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