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Bronx's Jerome Avenue rezoning moves forward, but not without issues

Community Board 4 approved the rezoning, but with several conditions

The planned rezoning of Jerome Avenue is moving forward, though it might be somewhat of a bumpy ride, as is the case with other rezonings across the city. Bronx’s Community Board 4 voted to approve the application on Tuesday, but they only did so with a long list of conditions, City Limits reports.

The Jerome Avenue rezoning covers a roughly two-mile stretch between East 165th Street and East 184th Street. As plans stand right now, the city wants to rezone this commercial corridor to create residential development and retail, along with the commercial uses. To be precise, the city is hoping that the rezoning will create 3,250 affordable units, many of which will be permanently affordable, and also create 1,000 new jobs.

The Community Board is the first stop in the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), and in the case of the Jerome Avenue rezoning, it has to be reviewed by three separate boards—Community Boards 4, 5, and 7. CB4 has given its conditional approval, and CB5 is expected to vote today.

But just like the East Harlem rezoning, this rezoning too has raised concerns among local residents, who fear the wave of gentrification that may follow the rezoning. At Tuesday’s meeting the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision spoke out against the rezoning, but City Council member Vanessa Gibson, who represents that area assured community board members that positive changes were already afoot.

She said the city had already committed $4.6 million towards creating a new park within the proposed rezoning area. She also noted that every 1 in 10 affordable units preserved under the de Blasio administration (4,500 units in total) were located within the rezoning area. She went on to assure board members that a new school and community center would also be part of the rezoning deal.

CB4 voted almost overwhelmingly in favor of the rezoning, but put forth several conditions including creating an anti-harassment program, funding for local organizations to promote financial literacy, to create more resources for the auto-industry along Jerome Avenue, creating an LGBTQ center, and to ask developers to contribute money towards an anti-displacement fund.

Following the Community Boards’ votes, the proposal will head to the Bronx Borough President, who has scheduled a public hearing on the evening of November 2.