Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Board Deflates Columbia Expansion... Again

Posted to Real Estate
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Board Deflates Columbia Expansion... Again

In a move many saw coming, Manhattan Community Board 9 voted against Columbia University’s plan to expand into 17-acres of land in West Harlem for the second time in eight days. The meeting, held in the Manhattanville Community Center’s gymnasium, was much tamer than last week’s, but ended with the same result. The board will not support the proposed expansion unless Columbia agrees to a 10-point set of conditions, including the removal of the use of eminent domain to procure businesses unwilling to move out of the area on their own.

La-Verna Fountain, assistant vice president for public affairs at Columbia, had a different take on the vote. “Last night’s Community Board 9 vote reiterated CB9’s support of Columbia University’s expansion if certain important concerns are addressed,” she wrote in an email, listing affordable housing, quality jobs, environmental sustainability and educational opportunities as main issues of concern from the community. “We are prepared to continue addressing those concerns in our negotiations with the West Harlem Local Development Corporation, the group CB9 told us to work with,” she added.

The board will have its final say come September 19, when the group will reconvene to vote on Borough President Scott Stringer’s land proposal for West Harlem. Although the board’s votes are nonbinding, the City Council and City Planning Commission consider the community’s stance when making a final decision.

Posted by Carla Zanoni at 3:38 PM


NB - Apparently from above statements CU still does not understand that the "land use" issues must be negotiated with CB9M and that CBA does not create a quid pro quo.

The CBA is what CU will provide to the community in compensation for the 30 years of disruptions, displacements, loss of jobs and effective elimination of affordable housing due to their expansion.

The "land use" related issues have nothing to do with the CBA but everything to do with the impact of their 197-c plan and its required mitigation versus the community's 197-a Plan.

The fact that a CBA might be agreed by the LDC does not eliminate or facilitate their 197-c in any way or fashion and the outsiders that suport CU cannot help them with their dealing with this Board and community based on any potential CBAs, on the contrary the outsiders create resentment, distrust and further estrangement. - JRM

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