Congresswoman Maloney Delivers Testimony Against SoHo/NoHo Rezoning Application at Virtual Hearing Held by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
NEW YORK, NY – Tonight, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) delivered testimony against the proposed rezoning of SoHo/NoHo at Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s virtual hearing. New York City is currently in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, and as a longtime champion of affordable housing in New York City, the Congresswoman made clear in her testimony that the rezoning would fail to address and meet its main objective of affordable housing.
“The current plan will displace, erode, and impact the lives of rent-protected and lower income residents in SoHo/NoHo and the neighboring communities, many of which are located in the 12th Congressional District,” said Congresswoman Maloney.
The testimony, as delivered, can be found below.
“I would like to thank Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer for allowing me to present testimony today as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure on the proposed SoHo/NoHo rezoning application. I strongly believe that the rezoning plan fails to address and meet its main objective of affordable housing. The current plan will displace, erode, and impact the lives of rent-protected and lower income residents in SoHo/NoHo and the neighboring communities, many of which are located in the 12th Congressional District I am privileged to represent.
“As you know, Several Community Boards and community leaders have expressed their concerns regarding the uprooting and displacement of existing residents and have encouraged the principals behind the Neighborhood Plan to conduct further studies and analysis to develop a plan that would address their main concerns. These concerns include guaranteeing greater opportunities for affordable housing, addressing displacement, and maintaining the character and integrity of the historic district. I am incredibly supportive of the greater need for affordable housing in SoHo/NoHo, but I do not believe the City’s plans address the concerns of all vested partners, including the residents and community leaders of the area.
“I am particularly concerned because rezoning can be incredibly disruptive, and I strongly believe that the community must have a seat at the table and an active voice in the future development of the City. Disturbingly, I have seen no guarantee of an increase in neighborhood public school seats, sanitation or public safety services, or public and open recreational green-space to accommodate the proposed increase in density. The rezoning plan will also be incredibly disruptive to the hundreds of small, independent, mom-and-pop stores in the neighborhoods by lifting the current restrictions on large retail stores.
“I urge the City to continue working with all stakeholders to improve the proposed Neighborhood City SoHo/NoHo Neighborhood plan. Additionally, I would urge the New York City Department of City Planning to avoid scheduling any public hearings related to the SoHo/NoHo rezoning application during the summer holidays when many families are out of town.
“Since my days in the New York City Council, I have worked diligently to expand access to affordable housing and preserve the historic character of neighborhoods with the voices of the community at the forefront, therefore, I oppose the current rezoning plan for SoHo/NoHo.
“Thank you for considering my testimony, consistent with all applicable rules and regulations.”