CB 7 votes in favor of Jerome Avenue rezoning plan

CB 7 votes in favor of Jerome Avenue rezoning plan
Bronx Coalition For A Community Vision march held on Wednesday, October 4, led to a meeting of Community Boards 4 and 5 for a hearing on the Jerome Avenue Neighborhood Plan. CBs 4, 5 and now 7 favor the rezoning plan, but only with their lists of conditions.
Photo by Robert Tiburzi

Community Board 7 voted in favor of the city’s proposed Jerome Avenue rezoning during a meeting Thursday, October 27, despite residents and activists protesting with a march on Wednesday, October 4, opposing the plan.

“We voted in favor, with conditions,” said CB 7 chairwoman Adaline Walker-Santiago. CB 7 had a quorum, with 23 present and 21 voting ‘yes’, two voting ‘no’.

The preservation of affordable units in the Jerome Avenue Corridor of the Bronx is at its highest level in over 25 years, according to NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.

“We are fully committed to preserving affordability whenever and wherever possible, and in communities where families need it most, we go beyond preserving infrastructure and freezing rents,” Torres-Springer said.

Council members Vanessa Gibson and Fernando Cabrera attended the meeting, along with officials from CB 5.

The list of conditions included requests for additional schools, since School District 10 is the most overcrowded in the Bronx, according to Walker-Santiago, with 2,700 seats unfunded by the city.

Over the next five years, seats are needed for the children who are coming into the community, in all grade levels from K3 to high school, according to Walker-Santiago.

Additional and expanded day care and after-school programs are needed to support the projected increase in population.

A new community center would provide additional resources for community programming directed toward youths, seniors and young adults.

Regarding transportation, additional capacities are needed at both the IRT 4 and IND D subway lines for the projected increase in population.

Renovation of subway stations along those lines should be scheduled, including making them handicapped accessible with elevators.

“This major transportation hub needs to be made handicapped accessible because it serves one of the busiest commercial districts in the city,” Walker-Santiago said.

The list includes restoring pre-2010 service levels to the Bronx on the BxM3 and BxM4 express bus lines.

And culturally, programs like art, music, theatre and all forms of expression are needed to meet the growing population and community.

There’s a growing immigration population from many parts of the world.

“We want the institutions to promote those new cultures,” Walker-Santiago said. “That would foster understanding of the new cultures, since we have so many different ones here.”

Additional lighting, security cameras along Jerome Avenue would provide better security for the businesses as well as residents.

Local employment, well-paying union jobs would be available while new construction is underway.

Regarding veterans, more programs are needed for job training, literacy, health, and working with the veterans hospital, she said.

“We support what (community) boards four and five are advocating for us,” said Walker-Santiago.

The next step is it goes before the borough president for a public hearing on Thursday, November 2 and eventually before the City Council.

And after that, HPD is partnering with Gibson and Cabrera to host a Property Owner Clinic on Tuesday, November 14.

Property owners will be able to speak with HPD finance specialists, as well as representatives from the NYC Department of Finance, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and the NYC Department of Buildings for assistance.

The clinic will be hosted at Apple Bank’s 101 E. 170th Street branch location from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at bguiliano@cnglocal.com.

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