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Inwood rezoning gets one step closer to reality with key approval

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A modified plan has been approved by the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, as well as by Councilman Ydanis Rodgriguez

A grassy law with a white suspension bridge in the background.

On Thursday, the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises voted to approve the contentious Inwood rezoning proposal, much to the chagrin of many local residents, reports Crain’s.

The plan had been modified before gaining the approval of the subcommittee, along with local Councilman Ydanis Rogriguez, and is now planning to exclude a central section of the neighborhood (at the request of Rodriguez) while ditching the part of the plan that calls for the commercial-U for the areas between Dyckman Street and West 207th Street, bordered by Broadway.

At the meeting, Rodriguez announced that the city has agreed to invest $500 million into the neighborhood as part of the rezoning and that two parcels of land owned by the city’s Department of Transportation will give way to a fully affordable development. Additionally, the Inwood rezoning would introduce the city’s first-ever pilot that would provide small businesses with rent-controlled leases for a 10-year period. Any new developments that would take shape along the Harlem River within the neighborhood would be required to provide waterfront access to the public and the city is planning to provide the George Washington Heights High School with $50 million in funding.

“I have carefully listened to the residents, and to the local business owners. I heard loud and clear that the rezoning was too large, and will definitely change the character of our neighborhood,” said Rodriguez.

However, many people remain unsatisfied with the proposed rezoning, arguing that though it stands to bring 1,300 units of affordable housing and around 5,00 new apartments overall to the neighborhood, it will displace thousands of residents and spur gentrification. “This is not what the community wants or needs. This is still a bad plan,” tweeted Met Council on Housing Executive Director, Ava Farkas.