But the Queens Borough Board this week, and community board across the city over the past few months, are sending a clear message to the city that if sweeping changes are going to come, they need to work for neighborhoods that have worked hard to preserve their unique character.
A one-size-fits-all solution that the de Blasio administration is taking with its two proposed citywide zoning text amendments won't work.
The zoning text amendments ignore longtime issues such as overcrowding and overdevelopment. The amendments are focused on creating affordable housing, which is a distinct need in the city, but they do so at the expense of infrastructure, such as schools and open space, or even something as seemingly inconsequential as parking.
The city needs to work to create affordable housing, but it needs to do so in conjunction with managing that development and encouraging it in places where it can work – neighborhoods with space, neighborhoods that can handle the influx of residents, neighborhoods that have access to mass transit.
Overhauling the city's zoning codes – the very framework for the city manages its growth to work for all residents – isn't the way to address the very real need for affordable housing.