Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Juan Gonzalez checks in on the LES rezoning plan in the Daily News today in a piece titled Lower East Side rezone plan another Mike Bloomberg boondoggle:
Wah Lee, a slight, middle-aged factory worker, stood in front of the Municipal Building Tuesday vowing a long fight to save her Chinatown neighborhood.
All around her were dozens of Chinese and Hispanic residents of the lower East Side. They held up placards with words like: "Stop Racist Rezoning" and "Chinatown/Lower East Side Are Not For Sale."
They brought a box of petitions with the signatures of some 10,000 of their neighbors - all opposed to the City Planning Commission's new rezoning proposal.
Theirs is a story that has become all-too familiar during the Bloomberg era: another stable neighborhood turned upside down by a massive rezoning.
The sheer number of these rezonings - from Columbia University to Hudson Yards to Greenpoint-Williamsburg to Willets Point, boggles the mind.
City officials routinely claim it's for the good of the neighborhoods, but in the end a handful of well-connected developers and Big Box stores end up the big winners.
Small businesses and low-income New Yorkers keep getting pushed out.
[Downtown Express photo by Shoshanna Bettencourt]