As expected, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr voted in favor of the controversial Jerome Avenue Rezoning (with conditions), a 92-block swath of the West Bronx, paving the way for the destruction of a working-class neighborhood by fueling gentrification with the rezonings. Rezonings such as this planned one result in gentrification in NYC…this isn’t hyperbole. One needs only to look over at Harlem, Williamsburg, and yes, The Bronx in Port Morris and Mott Haven. (READ HIS FULL TEXT HERE-WARNING, PDF)
The Jerome Avenue Rezoning Area, which was originally branded Cromwell-Jerome Study Area but since changed due to backlash by the community at the mere thought of another neighborhood name change, was also approved by community boards 4, 5, and 7 with conditions.
New York City Department of City Planning and everyone who has been pushing this agenda have done so without any regards to what residents actually want despite their insistence that this was a “community led” action.
No it was not.
The community never asked for a rezoning, it was Mayor de Blasio and his cronies who decided that this area of The Bronx “needed” to be rezoned to accommodate an ever expanding city.
But at what cost?
We already know these rezonings end up causing displacement and shifts the economic make up of working class neighborhoods as speculative prices begin to rise ever upwards.
Department of City Planning cites the area as being well-served by mass transit but what they neglect and fail miserably in truthfully disclosing is what we already know: That those subway lines are at capacity and cannot take any more people.
How many people have to sometimes wait and let a train or two pass by before they can actually get on? Straphangers are already crushed like sardines by the time they get to 149th Street and Grand Concourse, another area that is experiencing a population boom thanks to the 2009 rezoning of the Lower Concourse.
How are we supposed to house people with promises of good transit options when we know that’s a lie and the MTA system is collapsing before our very eyes?
What about the long time mom and pop businesses along Jerome Avenue including the autoworkers that are facing displacement once rezonings are approved? These critically needed blue color jobs are at risk and so are the livelihoods of thousands.
The city cannot continue to rezone at will whenever they please as our infrastructure crumbles around us. Why are we catering to a population that isn’t even here and neglecting our own who are struggling day-to-day?
Make your voices heard Wednesday, November 29th, at the City Planning Commission public hearing at 10am located at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan.