The process touches off a period of intense debate over whether the City Council should adopt the de Blasio administration proposal, choose one backed by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito or, as some advocates hope, do neither.
East Harlem is the third of about a dozen potential neighborhood rezonings that the de Blasio administration has taken into the formal land-use review process. East New York was rezoned a year ago and a plan to rezone Downtown Far Rockaway is in the pipeline now.
City Hall says the rezonings will drive investment into neighborhoods, improving public infrastructure and creating new housing—some of it income-restricted—to alleviate the affordability crunch. But skeptics believe rezonings might exacerbate the housing crisis by creating an incentive for property owners to displace low-income people.
In East Harlem, the recently released Draft Environmental Impact Statement states that the rezoning is expected to encourage the creation of 3,488 units of housing and 1,543 permanent jobs in an area roughly bounded by East 104th Street, East 132nd street, 2nd Avenue and Park Avenue.
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In the end, Mark-Viverito will have the final vote on the future of East Harlem before she is termed out of office at the end of 2017.
A key point in the discussion comes on Tuesday, May 16, at a public hearing called by Community Board 11. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at the Siberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, 2180 3rd Avenue.