Activist Group Blasts Chin on SPURA; Chin Responds

Council member Margaret Chin.

Earlier today, we noted that an activist group is stepping up its ongoing war on City Council member Margaret Chin over the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Plan. Last week, Chin urged Community Board 3’s land use committee to vote “yes” on the city’s framework for the 1.65 million square foot project. She acknowledged the community board’s reservations about the proposal due to a 60-year term on the affordable housing units. Chin and her colleague, Council member Rosie Mendez, vowed to fight for permanent affordability.

Coalition Presents Zoning Plan to Chinatown Working Group

Note: an original version of this story erroneously stated that the Coalition plan would mandate 100% affordable housing in Chinatown and the LES.  The proposal does call for 100% affordable housing in specific areas, such as the Seward Park development site. But it also allows developers to receive density bonuses, if the community agrees and at least 60% of the housing is affordable.

The Chinatown Working Group (CWG), a community planning organization, is locked in a seemingly endless debate about how to govern itself.  But that hasn’t kept CWG members from developing their own proposals to deal with the thorny issue of affordable housing in Chinatown and beyond.

Back in December, we reported on a new zoning study conducted on behalf of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, a non-profit housing developer and advocacy group. This week, another CWG player, the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side, took its turn.