[Photo courtesy of langnewspaper/flickr]
Anyone that thought the controversial rezoning of 125th Street in Harlem was a done deal after the City Planning Commission voted for it last month, may want to reassess. Opponents, it turns out, have found an obscure provision of the City Charter and are working it to try to throw a wrench in the works. If the move succeeds, it could be significantly harder for the big rezoning to pass the City Council. Today's Times reports all the glorious detail, specifically Page 74, Section 200, Subsection 3 of the City Charter.
It says that if signatures against a rezoning:
are obtained from the owners of 20 percent of the property, as determined by square footage, in one of three different areas — the area to be rezoned, the area adjacent to the property being rezoned, or the area “opposite” the property (for example, across the street) — then the City Council must approve the rezoning by a three-fourths vote, instead of by a simple majority.The 110-year-old clause was found by a group called Voices of the Everyday People and they're going door to door to try to get signatures. The group is focusing on neighbors of the rezoning and they have until April 9 to gather the signatures. There's a public hearing on the proposal today and the Council has until April 30 to vote, either by majority or, uh, 3/4 vote.
· Fighting a New 125th Street, Using a 110-Year-Old Law [NYT]
· Council members to press planners on Harlem rezone proposals [NYDN]
· Anger at Harlem Rezoning, But 'Every Little Makes a Bittle' [Curbed]