School rezoning proposals cause concern over property values

October 16, 2012 06:00PM

A proposal in Park Slope that affects the boundaries of school districts is causing some parents serious concern, possibly affecting not only their children’s education but also property values, the New York Times reported.

A standoff over an affirmative action program for Public School 133 has left zoning for the popular but crowded P.S. 321 and P.S. 107 hanging in the balance, causing worry among real estate brokers who herald the schools, and among parents who fear their children will be shut out.

“If somebody invests a million dollars and they want their kids to be in 107, and they’re not, I don’t know if  ‘devastating’ would be a little too much, but it would be a big deal,” Bernadette Twente, a Betancourt & Associates Realty agent, told the Times.

The rezoning involves a transfer of the western reach of P.S. 321’s zone to a new school at 8th Street and Fourth Avenue; meanwhile, some of P.S. 107’s most southern blocks would be transferred to P.S. 10.

Kiersten Feil, who last year purchased a condominium on Fourth Avenue, told the Times that “We were looking for [P.S.] 321 — and it’s priced into the real estate around here.” She said she was concerned “for my property value and for where my daughter will go to school. But property value is the biggest risk.”

A similar situation is unfolding in Uptown Manhattan, where the Community Education Council is considering three proposals to eliminate zoning so as to widen the gates for people to apply to more schools. It has struck a nerve with those who moved there to send their children to P.S. 187.

New York City real estate agents are often advised by their firms not to discuss school districts because of concern about Fair Housing laws. [NYT]