This goes well beyond the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement or housing advocate Bertha Lewis of ACORN candidly saying, "I can't do environment. I can’t do traffic."
And it's not a developer-funded poll, as with the New Domino development, that sets out a false choice between tall buildings with affordable housing and smaller buildings without it, without presenting the details of the project under discussion.
From the 12/14/07 Rail Yards blog:
As promised, here’s a quick discussion of the break-out sessions moderated (in some cases) by members of Friends of the High Line at the community forum presented by Community Board 4 on Monday. The graph above represents some of the main concerns expressed by the various groups (there were 13 groups in all, so you can get a feel for what concerns people most). Some surprises: That the parking and traffic issues generated by a project of this scale fall so low on the list of priorities for its neighbors, and that job creation (surely not something that is the responsibility of real estate developers?) gets almost as much attention as does that of affordable housing. One thing that’s not shocking in the least is the fact that the pure size of the project gets so much attention and concern, although one might argue that at this point there’s no stopping the behemoth on that score. You can view the Working Group Conclusion Summaries for more detailed information about the conclusions the break-out groups reached. Please do tell us where your priorities lie in the comments.
This doesn't mean community input will have a definitive impact. But it shows the difference between a competition, as with the West Side yards, and a project, as with AY and the New Domino, presented in an effort to gain state approval or a zoning change.