Even though a Community Board and the City Council approved the rezoning an industrial area in Williamsburg for low-rise housing, a judge blocked any development in order to hear a lawsuit claiming that the process to rezone the area favored whites and Hasidic Jews over other minorities. Now, the NY Times reports that Justice Emily Jane Goodman scheduled a hearing next month "to determine whether the city's plan...would essentially foster segregation."
The Broadway Triangle, 31 acres on the border of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant, won zoning for 1,895 low-rise apartments—905 of which would charge below-market rate rents. Opponents of the plan pointed out that it featured too many three- and four-bedroom apartments, which would "disproportionately accommodate the Hasidic community's large families," and that the buildings were kept at low heights to accommodate Orthodox Jews who can't ride elevators on Sabbath.
Justice Goodman acknowledged that the development lies in Community Board 1, which is mostly white, but some of the land is in Community Board 2, which is mostly nonwhite. According to the Times, she also "noted that more than 90 percent of those on the city’s public housing wait lists are nonwhite and request one- and two-bedroom apartments, and wrote that it was 'questionable' why there was such a strong commitment to build large apartments instead of a greater number of smaller units."