Gowanus and NY Blood Center Rezonings Approved

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Local News

  • The New York City Council voted to approve the Gowanus rezoning by a vote of 47 to 1. The plan claims to mandate a deeper level of affordability than previous of Mayor Bill De Blasio’s administration’s rezonings, but concerns remain about environmental hazards and luxury developments that will result from the rezoning.
  • The City Council also voted to approve rezoning the site of the Upper East Side’s New York Blood Center, which notably breached the longstanding tradition of member deference for the first time in a decade. Prior to this vote, the Council traditionally voted on rezonings in line with the wishes of the local council member.
  • The Gowanus and Blood Center approvals come shortly before the last major rezoning fight of De Blasio’s administration, in Soho, which, despite its relatively modest scope compared to other neighborhood-wide rezonings, is the most significant rezoning attempted by City Hall in a largely wealthy and white neighborhood.
  • Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in New York State, enabling her to cease non-elective surgeries if she chooses, due to increased COVID-19 caseloads following the spread of the new Omicron variant.
  • The City Council is expected to approve a non-citizen voting measure in early December. If it passes, more than 800,000 green-card holders and people with work permits will be able to cast ballots to help determine how their city is run, though they won’t be able to vote in state or national elections.
  • After previously calling for a rollback to New York State’s 2019 bail reforms, Mayor-elect Eric Adams partially walked back his remarks by advocating that judges should use their authority under the existing law to set bail for violent offenders more often.
  • Columbia University’s graduate students, unionized under the United Auto Workers, are striking for the second time this year to pressure the university for a more favorable contract.
  • The New York State Assembly finally released the results of its investigation into former Governor Cuomo, finding “overwhelming evidence” that he committed sexual harassment.
  • Steve Banks, who led the City’s reorganized Department of Social Services in an effort to overhaul the City’s handling of homeless services, will resign at the end of the year, leaving the position to be filled by Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
  • Governor Hochul has appointed former prosecutor Shirley Toutman to the New York Court of Appeals. If she is confirmed, four of the Court’s seven seats will be held by former prosecutors.

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