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Why Columbia's Community Board 'Defeat' Is Meaningless

We've been laying off Manhattanville as of late while waiting for something of note to actually happen with Columbia University's expansion plans in the West 120s and 130s. Comes a meeting of Community Board 9 last night to give the illusion of action—and, judging by the headlines in the local press this morning, Columbia either did or did not suffer a crushing defeat and/or a secure a victory.

Reality: doesn't much matter whether Columbia won or loss last night's vote, which technically concerned rezoning the neighborhood to allow for the construction that Columbia wants to expand its campus northward. First, the community board's vote is non-binding. Second, community boards tend to always vote against zoning changes like this. And third, as the Columbia Spectator reports, Columbia plans to do things the old fashioned way and buy its way out of community opposition (known in polite company as "continuing the conversation"). In other words, onward.
· CB9 Votes Down Expansion Plans [Columbia Spectator]
· Harlem Board Votes For Columbia Plan Amendments [Metro]
· Columbia Loses Non-Binding Zoning Vote, Says Talks Will Continue [AP via Metro]

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