City Planning is Black Mailing Community Board 9!


On Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, at a “Training Session” conducted by City Planning and hosted by Community Board 9, Winston Von Engel, Director of Brooklyn City Planning stated that if this community did not allow City Planning to up zone Empire Blvd and put 10 to 12 story buildings up that they would not rezone this community.


How dare a City Agency demand that a community must up zone a particular strip of land otherwise they will not do their job!  This is Black Mail!  This is not about finding land to build affordable housing, because there are other parts of this community where that could be done.  This is about City Planning working for the Developers and their motive to take over the Black side of the Park, gentrify it and remove its people!


He further stated that it was Mayor’s De blasio’s position that all rezoning being done must have up zoning to allow affordable housing.  Of course the obvious fact was that there is currently no mandated affordable housing that is a part of the plan, but it is suppose to becoming”.

Our response:

  1. Mayor De Blasio has had over a year to get this so called mandated affordable component within these zoning regulations and it hasn’t happened yet.

  2.  Developers have already reported that in East New York, due to land prices that they will not be providing affordable housing!

  3.  Empire Blvd is 3  times  more expensive than East New York and if it is rezoned it will be 5 to 7 times more expensive, so if East New York is too expensive, Empire will never have affordable housing on it!

  4.  The “affordable” has proven not affordable to our community, with the Mayor’s plan looking at the medium income as $84,000 and our community having a medium income of $40,000.

  5.  Because Mayor De Blasio has not changed anything from Bloomberg’s affordable housing plan, the same results will ensue.  Currently since Bloomberg began his affordable program, this city has lost over 100,000 affordable units

  6. We have seen, with physical evidence, what happens when a community of color is up zoned to provide affordable housing and job opportunities.  Willamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn, Harlem are all examples of rezoning that has caused a wave of displacement and gentrification all throughout these communities of color, with no job creation and a loss of affordable housing.

  7. He have also seen the results of down zoning white middle class communities.  Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, are all examples of rezoning that has resulted in a preservation and protection of these communities.

  8. There is now evidence, produced by HUD in their sustainable Communities document that has specifically stated that transit corridor development in moderate and low income communities causes gentrification and displacement of these families!

So why would we willing allow City Planning to come into our community and develop along our transit corridors and build sky risers in our community, knowing that all the evidence points to the displacement of our people, the creation of an unaffordable community, in what would have been the 2nd most affordable community in Brooklyn!


On top of that is all the damage that will occur if we allow 10 to 12 story or higher buildings to be built all up against our 2 story 100 year old town houses, blocking out 12 hour sunlight, creating structural damage which will have us in court for years, and cause a wave of escalated noise, traffic, congestion, pollution, etc… All the elements that City Planning does not plan for!