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NEW YORK CITY-The four declared Democratic mayoral candidates were onhand today in a forum moderated by CBS Channel 2′s chief investigative/politicalreporter Marcia Kramer. The candidates discussed Mitchell-Lama, leadabatement, zoning codes, rent regulations, amongother issues.

All the candidates agreed that the city’s zoning regulations are long duefor an overhaul. “Rose did not develop a constituency to support hisplan,” said City Controller Alan Hevesi. “The issue is not zoning, it’slong-range planning,” he said. “Public officials are reluctant to planfar into the future. It’s all about solving the two o’ clock problem atone forty-five.” Hevesi was referring to Planning Commissioner JosephRose’s largely unsuccessful Unified Bulk Program.

Affordable housing is another issue that will be crucial in the upcomingcampaign and election. “Affordable decent housing is as rare as hen’steeth,” commented Ferrer. Council Speaker Peter Vallone added that thescarcity of affordable housing makes government imposition necessary, tothe annoyance of property owners. “When the vacancy rate drops below 5%, thatis an emergency situation and the government has an obligation to helpeveryone find safe and livable housing,” Vallone said.

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