Story by Sherry Mazzocchi
After “exhaustive and ultimately futile” requests for the city to thoroughly examine the impacts of rezoning Inwood, Northern Manhattan residents filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this month alleging, among other things, that the city’s review process was “profoundly negligent.”
Residents also claim that the city’s past rezoning predictions are demonstrably inaccurate – with wide-ranging implications on safety, schools and demographics.
“From the research that I’ve done, this is the first lawsuit of its kind,” said Philip Simpson, an Inwood resident who is one of the petitioners in the suit.
The rezoning affects a 59-block area. The city projects that by 2032, the rezoning will add 4,348 new residential units, and estimates that between 1,325 to 1,563 units of those will be affordable units. This is expected to add 12,088 new residents, increasing the population by 28 percent. The rezoning is also supposed to add 1.1 million square feet of commercial space and 500,000 square feet of community space.
Many residents, including Simpson, as well as community organizations and local businesses, have demanded that the city conduct a wide-ranging socio-economic analysis considering the displacement of low-income tenants; the impact on preferential rents; the displacement on women and minority-owned businesses; and the resulting traffic congestion that could detain emergency vehicles.
Read more: Re-examining the Rezoning | Manhattan Times