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New York community group sues to stop zoning change

Residents and groups concerned about a rezoning plan for Inwood, New York, have filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, seeking to stop it.

The plan calls for Inwood, which is at the northern tip of Manhattan, to be rezoned to allow greater commercial and residential density.

But advocacy groups say not so fast. They contend in their lawsuit that an environmental review that was done didn't consider the effect such a change would have on people in the area who had affordable rents or what would happen to small businesses.

"The plan to rezone Inwood will speed up gentrification & push out low-income residents. It will have a long-term devastating impact on the future of our community & potentially uproot [13th district] residents, families, and family-owned businesses that call Inwood home," Congressman Adriano Espaillat shared with his constituents via social media.

Under the plan, 59 blocks north of Dyckman Street will be rezoned to allow for denser residential and commercial development. Another part of the plan calls for blocks west of 10th Avenue to have zoning that will limit building heights to preserve neighborhood character.

In the wake of the lawsuit, one city councilman said the change will spur business and provide jobs that pay well.

The City Council approved the plan in August.

The residents who have made Inwood what it is today have a right to stand up and fight for their community, as do all New Yorkers. They could find that relief they are seeking against this zoning measure through the court system.

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