Inwood rezoning protesters sleep in councilman's office, refuse to leave

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Dave Evans reports on the Inwood protests. (Ydanis Rodriguez)

Eleven demonstrators camped out overnight in New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez's office in Washington Heights to protest a rezoning plan for Manhattan's Inwood section.

Many longtime Inwood residents expressed fear that the new rezoning plan will speed up gentrification and push out low-income residents.

They say a scaled-down plan to rezone Inwood east of 10th Avenue for new buildings up to 30 stories in height will push out low-income neighbors.

The plan also calls for about 4,100 so-called affordable housing units. But that's based on average incomes from not just Inwood, but all of New York City and even Westchester County.

Councilman Rodriguez said he listened and fought for what he's calling "deeply affordable" housing to be built on publicly owned land.

"I fought all the way to the last minute," Rodriguez said. "I did the same thing in 1991, so for me, when it comes to using peaceful meetings or finding different ways to elevate he message, I have listened to their concerns."
The plans also come with $200 million in city investment for waterfront improvements, new parks, a library and even a first-of-its-kind immigrant research center.

Protesters remained skeptical.

"Councilmembers have to allow developers to do whatever they want in a neighborhood in order to get investment, that's really a shame," said Ava Farkas with Met Council on Health.

A vote is set to take place on Wednesday.

WATCH: Protesters speak Friday morning


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