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New bill allows for more public involvement on city’s urban renewal areas

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The legislation requires the city to notify communities when there is an urban renewal area with an upcoming expiration date

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On Monday, City Council approved new legislation, sponsored by Council member Margaret Chin, that will require the city to notify communities when there is an urban renewal area with an upcoming expiration date, reports The Lo-Down.

“The lack of public access to urban renewal plans has left too many communities in the dark about their impact on neighborhood preservation,” said Chin in a statement. “When these plans expire, it can open the door for enormous development to threaten vulnerable neighborhoods.”

The legislation is one of several that were proposed after the Lower East Side’s Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area expired in 2007 and left the area open to supertall development projects like Extell’s One Manhattan Square, a 77-story tower JDS Development, two 50-story towers from L+M Development Partners and the CIM Group, and a 62-story building to be developed by Starrett Corporation.

“By requiring notification for expiring urban renewal areas and a publicly accessible website with information about currently and formerly designated urban renewal areas, this legislation would empower more communities to take action to protect their neighborhoods,” said Chin.

The Lower East Side won’t benefit from the legislation since it doesn’t have any remaining urban renewal areas (the former Seward Park Extension Urban Renewal Area has been converted into residential buildings), other neighborhoods will.

Recently, the decade-long fight over Brooklyn’s Broadway Triangle Urban Renewal Area came to an end as community members and the city reached an agreement on how newly built affordable apartments on the site will be hashed out.