CITY HALL — Lawmakers ultimately passed the controversial Inwood rezoning proposal Wednesday after protests momentarily paused city council members with shouting and throwing fake dollars bills
Eventually police cleared the balcony, but the demonstration continued outside.
“We have to keep the integrity of the community, everything that makes Inwood great," said Inwood resident Stephanie Frias.
The controversial plan would reshape the upper Manhattan neighborhood during the next eight years.
Council members, including Inwood’s own Ydanis Rodriguez, praise the plan.
They point to the creation of 4,000 new affordable housing units over time, including nearly 1,000 city owned. They also hail $400 million of direct and indirect investment in parks, schools, small business development, tenant services and infrastructure.
However, all that change spells rising rents for those in Inwood already struggling to get by.
“We will lose our rights to go up against big corporations that want to open sky rise buildings in that area,” Frias said.
Katherine O'Sullivan, a woman who's lived in Inwood for 25 years, was one of nine people arrested during protests Monday night over the plan. They were charged with disorderly conduct.
"I am disgusted with City Hall," she said after the vote.
She was at City Hall Wednesday and was removed from the council chamber balcony after protestors threw fake money at lawmakers. According to O'Sullivan, the fight is not over.
"It's just beginning," she said. "We will have a legal fight."
But Councilman Rodriguez feels the rezoning is a good thing.
“This rezoning is not pushing people out, it is investing millions in preservation,” he said. “I believe what we are doing is acting responsibly, saying that the community could not control how tenants have been pushed out for 30 years, unless we build affordable housing.”