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City Council Passes Mayor's Citywide Rezoning Changes

 Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito explains why the Council is passing the mayor's rezoning, ahead of their full vote on March 22, 2016.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito explains why the Council is passing the mayor's rezoning, ahead of their full vote on March 22, 2016.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

CIVIC CENTER — Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to rezone New York City's neighborhoods sailed through the City Council Tuesday, clearing its last hurdle before the mayor can enact it.

The plan is part of de Blasio's effort to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing by 2024.

It includes Zoning for Quality and Affordability, a push to raise building heights and lift parking requirements in order to facilitate the construction of more affordable and senior housing, and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, which will rezone certain neighborhoods and require affordable units in some new construction.

READ MORE: Here's How City Council Changed De Blasio's Citywide Rezoning Plan

Here's how the vote broke down:

► Zoning for Quality and Affordability: 40-6-1

► Mandatory Inclusionary Housing: 42-5-0

Manhattan Councilwoman Rosie Mendez was the sole abstention for Zoning for Quality and Affordability, and the no votes were Bronx Councilman Andrew Cohen, Brooklyn Councilwoman Inez Barron, Staten Island Councilmen Steven Matteo and Joe Borelli, and Queens Councilmen Barry Grodenchik and Paul Vallone.

The votes against MIH came from Barron, Williams, Borelli, Matteo, Grodenchik and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, who talked about his concerns that the plan will further segregate New York's already segregated housing market.

READ MORE: Council Committees OK Rezoning Plans Some Fear Would Encourage Segregation

The plans were met with fierce criticism from civic groups, community boards and borough presidents who felt they either undid specific neighborhood protections or did not include deep enough affordability to help the New Yorkers who need it most.

Protesters briefly disrupted the vote Tuesday, chanting as they locked arms to make it difficult for security to remove them.

 

 

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had acknowledged earlier Tuesday that the Council vote did not represent the desires of many of their constituents.

"No plan is going to make 100 percent of people happy," she said. "Find me a plan that does."

Mark-Viverito pointed to concerns that communities won't get enough in exchange for what they give up to facilitate development, and insisted that there will be "many more opportunities to come back and renegotiate" for those communities on a case-by-case basis.

In particular, she addressed concerns about the areas that de Blasio is targeting for rezoning, such as East New York and, her own district, East Harlem.

"There's a lot of room beyond what we're doing today for the rezoned neighborhoods," she said.

Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield, chair of the Land Use Committee, praised the changes the Council made to the mayor's original plans.

"We made it so much better," he said.