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Critics of Mayor de Blasio's Citywide Zoning Proposals Multiply

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Mayor de Blasio's 10-year, $41 billion affordable housing plan is striking out with the city's borough boards. On Monday, Manhattan's borough board voted against two citywide zoning proposals that would affect the shape of new development and spur more affordable housing, making it the third in the city to reject the proposals, Crain's reports. The borough boards' opinion, like community boards', are only advisory. "It's a whole new approach and, of course, there'll be doubting Thomases at first," de Blasio said of his campaign platform, which has been tweaked in the past months to garner more support. "But I think over time, we'll be able to show people it works."

Here's how the two zoning proposals break down: the first, called Zoning for Quality and Affordable Housing, aims to alter the shape of buildings and create more inviting structures—Brooklyn's Fourth Avenue, the "Canyon of Mediocrity", is the case study here—while not increasing square footage. The second proposal, called Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, would require developers to add affordable housing to a development if it takes advantage of certain tax incentives.

Mandatory inclusionary housing has been criticized from the get-go over fears that it wouldn't benefit those who need it most as its pricing may be out of reach. The Manhattan Borough Board echoed that concern in its criticisms of the proposal, saying that it would need stronger guarantees that apartments created through mandatory inclusionary housing would stay affordable and be available to those in need. The board also criticized Zoning For Quality and Affordable Housing's allowable height increases and sought lesser increases despite the proposal's plan to not allow added square footage.

To date, the Queens Borough Board and Bronx Borough Board have rejected the proposals. The Brooklyn Borough Board will vote Tuesday, with Staten Island following up with a vote on December 10.
· Manhattan Borough Board Rejects de Blasio's Zoning Proposals [Crain's]
· City Planning Wants Zoning Changes to Prevent Bulky Buildings [Curbed]
· City Amends Rezoning Proposal Because Everyone Freaked Out [Curbed]
· In the Rezone archives [Curbed]