East Harlem Rezoning Challenged By Legal Group

January 19, 2018

Patch reports that a legal advocacy group is suing the city to block a recently passed rezoning proposal for East Harlem. The Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit Thursday in state supreme court challenging the proposal on the grounds that it will displace more rent stabilized tenants than the city’s studies indicate.

The Legal Aid Society argues that the methods the city used a flawed methodology to determine socioeconomic impacts of the East Harlem rezoning plan. The city’s methods for analyzing potential indirect displacement of the rezoning only assumed non rent-regulated tenants are at risk of displacement, but the rezoning will also displace rent-regulated tenants, the Legal Aid Society argues.

An influx of market- and above-market rate residential units in East Harlem as a result of the rezoning will contribute to the displacement of the neighborhood’s rent-regulated tenants, the lawsuit argues.

“From Brooklyn now to El Barrio, the City continues to employ a flawed methodology that ignores that realities facing rent-regulated tenants and the consequences of land use decisions on their rents and livelihood,” Jennifer Levy, supervising attorney of the civil law reform unit at The Legal Aid Society, said in a statement.

The City Council overwhelmingly passed a city proposal to rezone East Harlem during its final legislative session of 2017. The plan had been heavily modified since it was first presented by the Department of City Planning in the fall of 2016, and many of the new changes were presented during the vote by former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and City Councilman Bill Perkins.

Read the entire article here.

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