De Blasio bumps heads with Council allies over development issues

de blasio rift

Mayor Bill de Blasio and (from top) Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Councilman Carlos Menchaca and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

Differences on land-use policy are causing clashes between Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and the City Council, and threaten to create a serious rift between the two traditional allies.

In neighborhoods ranging from East New York, where Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito refuses to sign off on de Blasio’s proposed rezoning, to Sunset Park, the site of an impasse between Councilman Carlos Menchaca and the New York City Economic Development Corp. over redevelopment of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, the mayor is facing pushback from leaders with anti-development positions, according to Crain’s.

“The administration is trying to move forward with their bold housing and development agenda, and much of the council is mired in shortsighted NIMBYism and local politics, where new construction is generally unpopular and viewed as a precursor to displacement,” one real estate insider told the publication. “Increasing conflict between the two sides of City Hall is a likely outcome.”

A year into de Blasio’s term, the industry’s view of the mayor and self-styled affordable-housing champion range from uncertainty to frustration with a lack of specifics on his housing plan.

De Blasio’s clout with elected officials is beginning to slip at a time when he needs community partners on bold initiatives such as the decking of the Sunnyside rail yards, according to Crain’s.

“We may be heading for a tougher era,” said a council member. [Crain’s] – Rich Bockmann


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