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Upzoning request with additional affordable-housing units rejected by NYC Council Committee

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A request to build a bigger building in Inwood with half of the units designated as "affordable" has been unanimously rejected by the NYC Council Land Use Committee.

About 250 neighbors stood on the sidewalk Monday evening on the Upper Manhattan sidewalk in front of the old auto showroom to hear Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez's announcement about the corner of Broadway and Sherman Avenue.

Councilmember Rodriguez announced on Monday that he would not support the owner's request to rezone the property.

The final proposal to "upzone" for a bigger building with more density would have include 50% affordable units.

Under the current zoning for the property, the developer is able to construct a residential building on the site.

“We believe a project with 50 percent affordable housing would better serve this community than a project that is 100 percent luxury," said Austin Finan, a spokesman for Mayor de Blasio.

Initial plans earlier this year called for a taller residential complex with more market-rate apartments. The city's and Mayor Bill de Blasio's new affordable-housing requirement is 20 percent if owners seek a zoning change.

Councilmember Rodriguez says he decided the project was not what the neighborhood wanted and it was not in its best interests to proceed. He says he is focusing on "Inwood NYC" a bigger redevelopment project, with more units of affordable housing.

Neighbors say the taller building does not fit with the block at Sherman Avenue.

If the council committee had not voted today, the request would have moved ahead.

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