Vote on Jerome Avenue Rezoning Delayed Until Nov. 27

Vote on Jerome Avenue Rezoning Delayed Until Nov. 27
COUNCILWOMAN VANESSA GIBSON at the Nov. 2, testifies before Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Photo by Adi Talwar

The next leg of the public review process for the complex Jerome Avenue Rezoning plan has been pushed until Nov. 27, eleven days after its original date.

The Bronx Borough Board, a panel made up of all Bronx community board chairs and their district managers, was expected to convene on Nov. 16 to discuss the plan. The large panel, headed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., is part of the southwest Bronx proposal’s public review process.

The board was to hear a presentation by the New York City Department of City Planning, the mastermind agency behind the proposal. The plan looks to rezone building type and height requirements along 92 blocks of Jerome Avenue, between 184th and 167th streets. The plan covers a two-mile stretch within community boards 4, 5 and 7. In all, the city is committing $1 billion in investments for the neighborhoods.

Diaz’s office held a hearing on the matter on Nov. 2, soliciting comments from attendees. The bulk of the audience blasted the plan, calling the inclusion of affordable housing not affordable enough for the existing population.

After the Bronx Borough vote, the plan moves to the City Planning Commission. The panel has two months to look over the proposal, holding public hearings. CPC members can modify the plan following public comment. The plan will then move to the New York City Council, which will hold similar hearings before going before the entire Council for a vote.

Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson is arguably the critical voice in the public review process. Her district largely covers the entire impacted area.  During testimony at the Nov. 2 hearing, Gibson appeared to be lean in favor of rezoning so long as certain conditions were met.

“As the Council Member of District 16, I refuse to allow our community be shortchanged, nor will I sit by and allow other communities to get the investments that we need today,” Gibson, reading from prepared remarks, said. “Not tomorrow but today.”

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5 thoughts on “Vote on Jerome Avenue Rezoning Delayed Until Nov. 27

  1. Haile Rivera

    As a resident of University Heights, and someone who was part of the community groups involved with his process when I worked at Faith in New York, I am very concerned at how this will affect my neighborhood.

    We all know that the plan will ultimately pass as everyone wants to be part of bringing “affordable housing” to our Bronx. We need affordable housing that’s a fact but what no one has been able to say is ‘affordable for who’? Those of who live in the immediate neighborhoods will undoubtedly be forced to move out due to those coming in who will probably have better jobs and as a result, higher incomes. If the plan does not include what local residents, led by CASA, are demanding, we might as well give our condolences to our neighbors and start to pack our bags.

    I am hopeful that our Borough President and local Councilmembers (Cabrera & Gibson) do not give in to what is in the best interests of developers and City Hall but advocate for the interests of those of us who voted them into office and have influence in future elections.


    Haile Rivera
    University Heights Resident

    1. Me

      Well Haile, it was no different when the past residents were forced to move out because of crime. I’m sure you are aware that University Heights used to be predominately Irish and Jewish. Rent was affordable, quality of life wasn’t an issue. Then the 60’s came, landlords burned down the neighborhoods, non-whites moved in and that was the end of that part of the Bronx.

      Now those living there are crying racism when in fact the tables are being turned on them. Unless you can trace your family back to the early 1900s in NYC like I and many other whites can, spare everyone the racism nonsense.

      PS no one is stopped from getting a better job. Perhaps if the residents didn’t have children out of wedlock and be so dependent on welfare, none of this would be an issue. But dropping out of school, having a few kids without a father around, having a criminal background and sponging off the govt. isn’t going to fix the problems. Resident with a higher income and goals in life is what is needed to bring these neighborhoods back to what they used to be before the govt. grubbing free loaders moved in.

      1. Dee Knight

        This disgusting racist, arrogant response is so offensive it’s difficult to answer. It is so full of stereotypes and hate that it qualifies as moral pollution, and is a disgrace — a deep embarrassment to conscientious white people who try to build communities based on solidarity and mutual support. The attitudes expressed in this offensive tirade are a major part of the problem people in this city face. But there is good news: this type of backward, ignorant, racist mindset is dying out. It is reminiscent of a bygone era: good riddance!

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