Responsible, Community-Led Development

In the largest, and most expensive, city in the country, land use decisions are critical to creating an affordable, sustainable city and are key to Bronxites’ quality of life. As a former Community Board District Manager, and now as City Council Land Use Chair, Salamanca knows better than anyone how to leverage the rezoning and ULURP processes to prevent displacement and gentrification and achieve real and substantive improvements for Bronx communities and families. By failing to utilize city-owned vacant land, or maximize community benefits from rezonings, we are missing out on prime opportunities to increase access to affordable housing and parkland.

Overseeing the Committee on Land Use, Salamanca uses the pulpit to raise awareness on how we can bring positive change to communities through smart, community-focused development of private and public land. Salamanca has stood firm that any development seeking approval must speak to the needs of the community.  He has overseen initiatives to incentivize developments that provide community benefits such as public green spaces and green markets, and public transportation infrastructure improvements. Furthermore, the Council Member oversaw the historic decision to close Rikers Island and rezone the island to ensure it could never house a prison again. Legislatively, Council Member Salamanca has sponsored bills addressing administration housing policies that unfairly target black and brown communities, including a bill co-sponsored with Public Advocate Jumaane Williams that would require the Department of City Planning to conduct a racial impact study to review the impacts of neighborhood rezonings on minority communities.

Salamanca's Plan for Land Use

As Land Use Chair of the City Council, Rafael understands the importance of this power and the role it can play to create affordable housing and jobs, improve infrastructure, and stimulate the local economy. Salamanca will:

                 Prioritize development that improves public infrastructure, green space, green markets, and community health clinics.

                 Reevaluate use of public land and identify locations for development, including along the waterfront.

                 Build relationships between labor unions, developers and Bronx community leaders so that local projects use local union workers as much as possible.

                 Reimagine development of Kingsbridge Armory and specifically focus on creating youth spaces.

                 Push for greater use of sustainable building materials, green roofs, and green infrastructure.

                 Work with local communities on how to identify potential rezonings to fit the character of their neighborhoods.

                 Commission a study to determine potential uses for Rikers Island and the Barge -- they are Bronx land, and the Bronx should be able to decide their future.

Community Boards play a vital role in the land use process and as we work to ensure all developments benefit the neighborhoods they join; Community Boards must be empowered to make decisions. Rafael will:

                 Work to empower Community Boards so they have the resources to properly participate in the process and evaluate projects.

                 Make sure that our Community Boards reflect the full diversity of their communities

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