As Sewell Chan is reporting in today's City Room post, the City Planning Commission has certified the application by Columbia to expand its campus into West Harlem. Chan highlights the areas of disagreement between the university, its community critics and the area's community board. Chief among these concerns is Columbia's use of eminent domain to eject local businesses from the impacted neighborhood.
The community board now has 60 days to consider the plan after CPC rejected the community's call for further delay so that CB#9 wouldn't have to act on this application in the summer while many people are away. CPC spokeswoman Rachaele Raynoff told the Times that a two week delay had already been granted which, considering that the final disposition would be pushed to the middle of August, amounts to little more than ice in the winter (or heat in the summer). This issue will certainly heat up in the next few weeks as Columbia prepares to bring its act to the community board.