Land Use Council chair backs Blood Center over opposition from local member

0




“What’s better for New York City and New Yorkers?” [Not having] the shadow or the expansion of a non-profit organization that plays such a vital role? The chairman of the city council’s land use planning committee, Rafael Salamanca Jr., said. | Rafael Salamanca, Jr. via Twitter

City council land use committee chairman plans to vote for controversial New York Blood Center redevelopment proposal, despite opposition from local council member Ben Kallos – a surprising rejection with a long tradition advice.

According to Council traditions, the body usually votes with the local member on land use matters – an informal practice called “member deference.” Kallos has been firm in his opposition, which means this rezoning proposal would have died on arrival if the body followed its usual practices.

While land use committee chairman Rafael Salamanca Jr. said he generally supported member deference, the Blood Center’s proposal to modernize its obsolete Upper East Side facilities – and create a new space for life science companies – is too important to dismiss.

“It’s hard to tell a nonprofit that saves lives to say no to them when they are trying to increase their capacity and their research for New Yorkers,” Salamanca said in an interview Monday. “It’s hard to say no to them when your only argument is that you are concerned about the shadows in your community. “

Kallos argued that the new project would disrupt the residential nature of the neighborhood and that the structure would block sunlight for a local school and park.

“What’s better for New York City and New Yorkers?” [Not having] the shadow or the expansion of a non-profit organization that plays such a vital role? ” He asked. He will issue a statement later Monday, shared with POLITICO, which calls the rezoning a “critical opportunity that we cannot afford to pass up.”

Kallos “refuses to negotiate” on the project, Salamanca said, but there is pressure within the Council to move things forward despite his objection. He said that of about eight members he had spoken to about the project at the SOMOS conference in San Juan in recent days, “only one was stuck on member deference.”

“They all believe in the deference of the membership, but we all see how important it is,” he said. “There is so much going on in my community, and seeing the Upper East Side whining about the shadows is beyond us.”

Kallos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Members’ tradition of deference has been questioned in recent years, but has not been seriously questioned.

The proposal is scheduled for a vote in the Council subcommittee on Tuesday.


Source link

Share.

Leave A Reply