City Council Inwood Rezoning Protest

WCBS 880

Inwood Rezoning Plan Passes City Council Amid Heated Protests

August 08, 2018 - 7:26 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A plan to rezone Inwood in Upper Manhattan was approved in the City Council Wednesday, but the vote was not without opposition.

As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reported, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-10th) said he received death threats over the plan to rezone the neighborhood.

“The life-threatening images that I received, similar to the one used by ICE,” Rodriguez said.

Just after that, he was interrupted.

“This is a monopoly right now!” an Inwood resident said from the balcony of City Council Chambers.

The Inwood residents erupted when Rodriguez spoke – throwing fake money on the Council floor, and wielding signs that said, “Shame,” and, “Vote no on Inwood.”

They were later escorted out.

The city plans to preserve 2,500 existing affordable homes and create an additional 2,600 under the plan.

The protesting continued outside.

“Unfortunately, they could have taken a different approach to help provide protection for affordable housing units, but they decided to rezone, which then takes away all the of the rights that we have to oppose whatever it is that they want to create,” said Stephanie Frias of Inwood.

But Rodriguez said the rezoning was the right move for the community.

“This rezoning is not about pushing tenants out,” he said. “This rezoning is about investing millions of dollars on preservation.”

The plan is to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on parks and small businesses, among other things, in addition to an immigrant research and performing arts center.