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City Council member calls for Inwood rezoning task force in scathing letter

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Queens Council member Francisco Moya will not back the rezoning without further changes

City Council member Francisco Moya of Queens has issued a scathing letter rescinding his support for the administration’s rezoning of Manhattan’s Inwood neighborhood. In the letter circulated on Thursday, Moya expresses his dismay over how he finds the administration has pitted organized labor against low- and middle-class New Yorkers while “propping up a system that enriches developers.”

Earlier on Thursday the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franhchises, as well as Council member Ydanis Rodriguez who represents Inwood, approved a modified version of the administration’s plan to rezone the upper Manhattan neighborhood. That modified plan omits a central section of the proposed rezoning area, a u-shaped commercial corridor along Dyckman Street, Broadway, and West 207th Street.

Such an omission, Crain’s notes, could mean that future residential development along those prized transit-rich locations will likely be exclusively market rate.

In the letter, Moya calls for a task force to address the communities concerns about how the rezoning will affect the residents of the neighborhood.

Moya’s voice joins a chorus of others concerned about how the rezoning will disadvantage the neighborhood’s poor and working class community. Met Council on Housing Executive Director Ava Farkas tweeted on Thursday “This is not what the community wants or needs. This is still a bad plan.”

The rezoning stands to bring 1,300 units of affordable housing and around 5,000 new apartments overall to the neighborhood. The rezoning is also poised to include a first of its kind pilot that would provide small businesses with rent-controlled leases for a 10-year period. But detractors fear that the rezoning will accelerate displacement for the communities most vulnerable.

The full City Council is poised to vote on the rezoning on August 8.

Read Moya’s letter in full, below:

The Inwood rezoning marks the second straight neighborhood rezoning in a community of color where this administration used divisive tactics to push its agenda.

For weeks, I’ve listened to concerns on both sides of this rezoning. Organized labor wants good paying jobs, residents want protections from predatory landlords and displacement. These parties are all working-class people who should be fighting together, hand in hand. But today, they are at odds, fighting with one another for fewer and fewer resources. Tell me, who benefits from this division?

This administration is trying to divide the working-class. He is pitting organized labor against low- and middle-class New Yorkers while propping up a system that enriches developers.

We all want growth, but growth that lifts everyone up, not just the developers. A rising tide does not lift all ships — not when some of them are drowning.

That’s why, today, I am calling on the Mayor’s Office to establish a task force to address these concerns. Until this task force is created, I cannot in good conscience continue to negotiate with this administration. I refuse to be an enabler or an accomplice to a system that provides public funding to divide the working-class.