Friday, November 09, 2007

Regarding Coney Island, Bloomberg pledges public input

From Mayor Mike Bloomberg's speech yesterday unveiling the complex plans for Coney Island, which call for only amusements in the zone developer Joe Sitt would like to build housing, though high-rise housing would be allowed to the west near KeySpan Park (so much for any alternate arena location):
The framework that I've just described launches that process, one in which the public will have abundant opportunities to help shape the outcome. In the days and weeks ahead, we'll continue to share this rezoning framework with the community, with an eye toward beginning the formal public review and approval process early in 2008. And I'm confident that, just as public input has strengthened every other rezoning we've undertaken in Brooklyn, the comments we get on this plan will produce a consensus about Coney Island's bright and exciting future.

It sure helps when it's a rezoning, though, rather than a state override of zoning, as with Atlantic Yards. (The New York Times once couldn't tell the difference.)

Remember what Municipal Art Society President Kent Barwick said at the town-gown panel on Tuesday, that the Bloomberg administration “came late to the notion that it has a responsibility to protect communities.”

(Note the curious absence in the rendering of the Luna Park Houses across from the Cyclone.)

No eminent domain?

More than one correspondent pointed me to a passage in the coverage from Crain's New York Business:
But Mr. Bloomberg will have to get approval from the state legislature, and acquire the land from Mr. Sitt through a cash or land swap deal. Only then could the city issue its request to developers for proposals to build the amusement park. If Mr. Sitt doesn’t cooperate, he would be entitled to rebuild his lots according to present zoning rules, which prohibit condo or time-share developments.

Is eminent domain in this case not on the table?

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