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September 23, 2009

Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471

City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden Made The Following Statement At The Commission's Unanimous Vote Approving The FRESH Zoning Text Amendment To Promote Neighborhood Grocery Stores With Healthy Food

September 23, 2009 - Affordable fresh produce is essential for good health and that is why the FRESH zoning text we are voting on today is so important. These zoning incentives will make it more advantageous to open more neighborhood grocery stores in areas of the city that are not only most underserved but also are disproportionately afflicted by the twin epidemics of diabetes and obesity.

The city is combining zoning based incentives with tax benefits and energy savings that will not only catalyze the development of new grocery stores, but also help operators of existing stores to upgrade their facilities.

The nationally innovative program will bring fresh food choices into over 45 underserved and low income communities and importantly, also bring jobs to those neighborhoods. Our goal has been to create an environment where New Yorkers can maintain a healthy lifestyle and where grocery store operators can more easily find opportunities to open new stores.

In response to comments expressed during the public review process, the Commission is making minor modifications to the proposed text to reduce costs for new grocery stores in affordable housing developments.

I am delighted to vote yes.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth and development in the City, in part, by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography and public space.

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