The New York Observer writes:
...this weekend, a Department of City Planning spokeswoman sent over a statement from planning director Amanda Burden that effectively fired a shot over the Municipal Art Society's bow, saying that the city welcomes new ideas—but not any that would change or interfere with its own rezoning plan for the area.
"It is imperative that the rezoning process and timeline not be jeopardized by any reconsideration of our proposed rezoning boundaries or urban design parameters," Ms. Burden said in the statement.
The reason? Timing. The city wants to act quickly to rezone the area, starting the seven-month review process by early next year. "[O]therwise the Coney Island amusement area that we know and love will cease to exist," the statement said.
The full statement from Burden is below:
As part of the public planning process, the City has engaged in scores of meetings with a wide variety of local and citywide stakeholders in shaping its current rezoning proposal for a year-round 27-acre amusement district with outdoor and enclosed amusements. We of course welcome innovative ideas for a 21st century destination that keeps and enhances Coney Island's unique edgy character and open accessibility.
However, it is imperative that the rezoning process and timeline not be jeopardized by any reconsideration of our proposed rezoning boundaries or urban design parameters. After two scoping sessions and significant public input, we expect to begin the public approval process in early 2009, which will culminate in a vote on the plan by the City Council in the summer of 2009. It is imperative that this rezoning proceed expeditiously, otherwise the Coney Island amusement area that we know and love will cease to exist. We welcome ideas about how to best design, structure and program a year-round amusement district with an open and accessible Amusement Park as its centerpiece.