On Wednesday, the City Planning Commission voted to approve the rezoning of a 92-block stretch along the Bronx’s Jerome Avenue, City Limits reports. The City Planning Commission’s vote paves the way for the full City Council’s approval, the last hurdle the rezoning proposal needs to pass. Jerome Avenue is the fourth rezoning proposed by the De Blasio administration in an effort to create and preserve 300,000 units of affordable housing by 2026.
The city estimates that the Jerome Avenue rezoning will create about 4,000 new apartments, of which 1,500 will be affordable. Despite its gains in affordable housing, the creation of new nearby parkland, and community upgrades, the proposal has been met with lukewarm community support. Fears about school overcrowding and the displacement of the area’s robust auto industry lead the area’s community boards to narrowly approve the rezoning in 2017, while issuing a list of requests.
Public opinion certainly also played a part in Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s conditional support for the rezoning. “The people of the Bronx are not opposed to improvements,” said Diaz after approving the rezoning in November. “In fact, we expect our fair share of community benefits. The residents who testified at my hearing last month asked for greater affordability, more significant tenant protections and assurances that this rezoning would work for everyone, including them.”
The version of the rezoning that was approved on Wednesday had been tweaked slightly since November, City Limits notes. Those tweaks will facilitate the creation of more affordable housing and will also allow second-story retail space along Jerome Avenue as-of-right.