Alderperson Ducson Nguyen, who stood firmly against the resolution, spoke on how the new zoning could prove to be detrimental to the future prosperity of Ithaca’s downtown core.
“Progressive cities all over the country are going up while we’re going down,” Nguyen said. “Downzoning by one story doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s a regressive move out of touch with our needs for housing and sustainability. It associates height with neighborhood character rather than the people who live and work there. This downzoning doesn’t prevent the demolition of the buildings my colleagues are worried about, which only historic designation would protect, and ignores that W. MLK St. is a part of the urban core.”
Nguyen was disappointed in how the vote turned out, as was Smith. Smith echoed Nguyen’s comments as he remarked that the vote discouraged growth in the city’s downtown center.