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Warbasse Houses residents speak out against proposed city council maps ...

Residents of Coney Island’s Warbasse Houses are blasting the most recent City Council maps, claiming the current redistricting plans will tear the Mitchell-Lama affordable cooperative housing development in two.

The new maps, approved Oct. 6 by the New York City Districting Commission, will see the Warbasse Houses — a nearly two-block housing development bordered by West 5th and West 6th streets and Mitchell Wesson Place and Sidney Jonas Walk — split between council districts 47 and 48. The complex is currently a part of District 47, where buildings one through three will remain if the new maps are finalized. Under the new maps, buildings four and five would sit in District 48.


‘Oddly-shaped district’ splits other communities

Warbasse residents aren’t the only ones in dismay over the recent redrawing of lines. Advocates for an Asian-American majority district are not satisfied with the current proposal, as it carves out a section of Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park — a major commercial corridor for the Asian community, where a large number of community members are concentrated.

“The Eighth Avenue section has the highest concentration of Asians and they will be divided between District 38 and District 43,” the Asian Wave Alliance wrote in an Oct. 11 press release. “The southern appendage of D38 is a clear cannibalization of the Asian community, and should instead be kept whole with D43.”

The group’s statement went on to admonish the effects their reinvented Asian-American majority district has had on other catchments in southern Brooklyn — specifically Dyker Heights being represented by a Staten Island councilmember, and the contentious Coney Island-Bay Ridge “tunnel.”

“Finally, we see that the creation of the Asian district has required adjustments to all adjacent districts. It is unfair that 3,000 of our neighbors in Dyker Heights would have to drive over the Verrazzano Bridge and pay $16 to meet with their councilmember in Staten Island where the other 98% of the district resides,” the advocacy group added. “Lastly, we can’t help but notice the forced joining of Bay Ridge with Coney Island through a one-block corridor in Dyker Heights. This oddly shaped district looks like a Frankenstein of communities that have little in common and splinters marginalized communities, particularly ones in the southern section.”

The city Redistricting Commission did not respond to requests for comment. The city council is expected to approve the map or make changes and send it back to the redistricting commission this week.

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