“Racial Impact Study” Not Required

A State Supreme Court Judge has rejected arguments that the City should have done a racial impact study before approving the rezoning of the Broadway Triangle site in Brooklyn for 1,146 units, including 287 affordable units.  The project “will probably extend a predominantly white area (Williamsburg) closer to black (Bedford-Stuyvesant) and Hispanic (Bushwick) areas,” the judge acknowledged, but “This appears not to be the result of some nefarious midnight plot but, rather, the inexorable, on-the-ground realities of population growth (Hasidic) and income disparity (White compared to People of Color).”

The 2014-15 development bubble caused by building code changes and the legislative cliffhanger over extension of 421-a tax benefits resulted in a sharp drop in building permits filed for the next two years, but filings for the first half of 2018 are more than double 2017’s. We’re on track for about 30,000 new apartment units to be filed by year end according to New York Yimby.

The New York City Housing Authority is different from private housing. Following federal directives, it implemented a no smoking in apartments policy this week and was apparently able to force tenants to sign lease riders accepting the change under threat of eviction.

On the other hand, NYCHA doesn’t follow all directives. This week’s public housing scandal is that managers directed water tank inspectors not to report dead birds and homeless people polluting their tanks.

Rezoning Inwood for higher density development took a major step forward this week with approval by a Land Use subcommittee after local Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez negotiated an exemption from the changes for the core area around Dykman Street, 207th Street and Broadway that was most likely to interest developers.

In a nod to the 21st century, a Housing Court judge has granted a building owner in Renaissance Equity Holdings LLC v. Webber (New York Law Journal, subscription required) the right to discovery regarding the social media accounts of a person claiming succession to see if they indicate where she was living during the relevant time period.

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