Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rezoning Realities

Lower East Siders are not going gently into the dark night of the planned rezoning. Yesterday, about 100 protesters let Bloomberg know where they stand. Members of the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side were there, making themselves heard.

The Coalition has been covering the city with arresting flyers featuring an Eric Drooker-style drawing of people being kicked out of their homes by a giant, evil developer. They also put together an excellent website.

Their DCP Plan page is packed with info, including lots of colorful maps and graphs showing how the white and affluent stand to benefit from the rezoning while everyone else is, well, given the boot.

It also includes a jaw-dropping rendering of a proposed development called Site 167, a ginormous Avalon-type condo box on Avenue D and 2nd Street.

Here's the same corner some months ago, as shot by Google Maps:

EV Grieve checked in on this corner back in July and found it ready for demolition. Below is the corner today. Notice that the still-standing building on the left and the Pioneer grocery store on the right are NOT included in the rendering of the glass box above. That is a big box.

It is quite clear, especially after hearing Amanda Burden's fantasy, that the future of this neighborhood is in peril. While we may be saved from 20-story towers, we will become ever more vulnerable to an unstoppable tsunami of squat, block-sized Avalons.

The EV/LES rezoning has turned out to be a big bait-and-switch, allowing what Save the LES reports could be a potential 124% increase in development (and accompanying eviction and demolition). In 60 days, unless something major changes, more than one “rich, rich, rich horrible person” will get their wish.


Anonymous said...

Wow,the Coalition's website is great! These are the best charts and graphs I've ever seen on the web about gentrification. Most of the ones out there are deliberately misleading an tend also to have trouble with the definition of "affordable" and "low income" (I once read an article on the web that mentioned "a young woman of moderate income" who found a wonderful "up-and-coming" neighborhood in WAshington D.C. Reading further it said that her income was $90,000 a year). But these graphs are great! I'm glad to see that advocacy groups are appearing who are fully aware that "building mixed communities" is self-serving nonsense, and that us "losers" don't have the option not to fight it.

Anonymous said...

Also, to keep in character, that developer should be drawn wearing $80 diamond-encrusted flip-flops.

rob said...

The 124% figure is based on a mistake in City Planning's study. The accurate figure is 53.9% more development than under present zoning. Although City Planning spent something like $2 million on its study, they forgot to read it and proofread it. Anyway, 53.9% more development is still obscene.
--rob from savethelowereastside

Anonymous said...

I'll be linking this post, soon, but it's really disheartening to see this happen. I live a couple blocks away on Avenue D, and everytime I look at the corner, I can smell the construction. And it kept creeping closer to my neighborhood, when I started seeing joggers in the middle of the night, comfortable with running through my neighborhood. With that and my rising rent, this only lends credibility to the rumored plans to destroy the projects and in its place make condos, rumors that have been going on since almost a decade ago.