BUSHWICK — Bushwick residents concerned about the future of the area's redevelopment are invited to sound off at a series of summer meetings.
Councilmen Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal will be hosting meetings starting in July to teach people what leverage they have when developers present a plan for the area — as well as to get feedback on what residents want to see.
"Bushwick and Ridgewood is the nexus, the hotspot," Reynoso deputy chief of staff Jennifer Gutierrez said of development. She added that Reynoso's plan is: "We're not just going to have developers come in and steamroll without the community being a player."
Residents should be educated on what's possible, said Kevin Worthington, a Reynoso staffer spearheading the project, explaining that "there's no magic stick" for highly coveted additions such as affordable housing.
Reynoso's office has already hosted one session to teach local stakeholders — including housing activists, churches and Community Board 4 — what leverage they have when developers present a plan.
The exact dates of the summer meetings have not yet been determined, but they will focus on topics including what areas need more or less density, the layout of commercial corridors and where more open space is needed, Worthington said.
"We want them to plan what Bushwick will look like in future decades," he said.
Reynoso's major platforms have included upping community involvement and scrutinizing Bushwick development.
The Department of City Planning has said it will support a community-based rezoning project, Reynoso's office said.
Once the ideas are formulated, the department and its city planning experts will transform them into a plan that will go through the ULURP process, or the city process that would allow zoning changes, Worthington said.
That will hopefully make future developers beholden to the community's zoning ideas, he said. They hope to send over a plan to the city by early December, Gutierrez said.
Residents looking to get involved can contact Worthington at Reynoso's office.
"The more inclusivity we have, the more information we'll have for more responsible development," Gutierrez said.