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'Detailed Opposition' Offered in Battle of 125th Street

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The big Harlem hearing on the 125th Street rezoning plan was held yesterday, and while the headline was the warning that the neighborhood could lose Major League Baseball's cable network if building heights are limited, a lot of different neighborhood interests weighed in about a lot of things. Hundreds of people showed up at the meeting at City College to offer what the Daily News called "detailed opposition" with "many voicing criticism that the plan would change the character of an iconic African-American locale with chain stores, luxury housing and out-of-scale high-rises." Opposition to the plan has been led by local community boards (particularly Community Board 10) and by a group called Vote People that brought in former New York Civil Liberties Union director Norman Siegel to lead the charge. The group has posted a position paper (WARNING: PDF) on the rezoning and suggest that "violations of the community’s human rights come not only with the mass displacement that will inevitably occur, but with the utter lack of meaningful negotiation with affected residents." The city's proposal would allow up to 2,300 apartments, 600,000 square feet of retail and buildings up to 29 stories tall. The Planning Commission will vote on the rezoning by March 10.
· Harlem Rezoning Plan Faces Opposition [NYDN]
· Sides Dig in On 125th Street Rezoning [Sun]
· It's On in Harlem! Again. [NYO]