City extends deadline for comments on House of D expansion scheme by two weeks

Not our House: Locals demanded the city take its plan to replace Atlantic Avenue’s House of Detention with a jail eight times its size back to the drawing board in order to incorporate more community involvement in the scheme proposed by Mayor DeBlasio as part of his plan to reduce the number of inmates on Rikers Island.
Photo by Zoe Freilich

Officials are giving locals more time to provide written comments on the city’s plan to replace Atlantic Avenue’s House of Detention with a jail eight times its size, setting a new Oct. 29 deadline for feedback.

The two-week extension of the previous Oct. 15 deadline came weeks after a public meeting on the scheme drew a standing-room-only crowd of people who largely blasted Mayor DeBlasio’s proposal to build a jail as high as 40 stories with the square footage of roughly 24 football fields, and with about half a football field’s worth of space for community organizations or potential retailers, in his quest to cut the population of inmates locked up on Rikers Island in half over the next decade.

But in order to break ground, officials must first sign off on a rezoning of the current House of D lot and three companion sites in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, as part of a collective Uniform Land Use Review Procedure that will unfold in each borough the facilities would be located in — which could kick off as early as the end of this year, after locals’ written comments are received and Department of Correction officials host wrap up similar community meetings in those three outer boroughs.

Written comments on the proposal can be submitted to Howard Fiedler at 75-20 Astoria Blvd., Suite 160, East Elmhurst, NY 11370, or e-mailed to boroughplan@doc.nyc.gov.

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