Supporting Communities Responding to City-Initiated Rezoning Plans

In May 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio released “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan,” laying out the Administration’s intent to rezone 15 neighborhoods to allow for increased housing density. In early 2015, TakeRoot Justice joined a collective of technical assistance providers with expertise in planning, housing policy, legal services, popular education, and design to together support local organizing in communities the City selected for rezoning. 

Examples of our work with communities in neighborhoods where rezoning is complete are below.

Jerome Avenue, Bronx

In the Jerome Avenue area, TakeRoot supported Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) & the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision.

Reports

White Paper: Resisting Displacement in the Southwest Bronx: Lessons from CASA’s Tenant Organizing (May 2017): TakeRoot provided research, writing and editing support to CASA for this report. View an overview of the report

Zoning Text Asks (March 18, 2016): CDP and other technical assistance providers worked with the Bronx Coalition to craft demands related to the proposed rezoning of Jerome Avenue. The Coalition requested, among other things, provisions that would have helped to secure small local businesses in the community.

NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US, IS FOR US! Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision Policy Platform (October 2015): TakeRoot supported the Bronx Coalition in creating a robust policy platform to support planning designed to meet the needs of low-income residents of the South Bronx.

Testimony during Environmental Review

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) (December 11, 2017): TakeRoot and a team of technical assistance providers from the Pratt Center and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development worked with the Bronx Coalition to craft comments in response to the DEIS for the proposed rezoning, urging the City to conduct a more meaningful analysis of displacement, protect the local auto industry, and reduce the scale of the proposed rezoning.

Comments on the Draft Scope of Work (November 7, 2016)

Testimony during the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP)

Testimony on the Jerome Avenue Rezoning Before the City Council (February 7, 2018)

East New York, Brooklyn

In East New York, TakeRoot supported the Coalition for Community Advancement.

Testimony during Environmental Review

Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Rezoning (December 2015): TakeRoot and the Pratt Center worked with the Coalition to draft extensive comments in response to the DEIS for the proposed rezoning. The comments focused especially on the mismatch between the affordability levels of the proposed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing units and the incomes of local community members, and the lack of displacement protections for residents of small homes.

Testimony during the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP)

Testimony on the Proposed East New York Rezoning to New York City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises (March 2016): In support of the Coalition, TakeRoot testified to highlight the lack of affordable housing protections in the City’s proposed East New York rezoning plan and urge the City to make a plan that meets the housing needs of the neighborhood’s current residents.

Testimony on the Proposed East New York Rezoning to City Planning Commission (January 2016): In support of the Coalition, TakeRoot argued that the proposed rezoning would increase the risk of displacement from the community and argued for the adoption of a zoning text provision to deter tenant harassment.