The City’s Planning Commission was urged to vote yesterday to approve the Mayor’s plan which calls for high-rises and chain retail within the 60 acres of Coney’s current amusement zone. Those 60 acres of amusements have already shrunken since Coney’s hey-day. The city’s early plan, which consisted of about 27 open-air amusements, was later revised without consensus from its board, resulting in Coney Island USA creative director, Dick Zigun to part with them. The revised plan diminished the amusement area to an insulting mere 9 acres.
Now the plan has moved from the community, through the Borough President office, and on to the City Planning Commission, which apparently voted yes on it without any consideration whatsoever to advocates for a vital Coney Island.
In a press release yesterday by ‘Save Coney Island’:
“This plan spells disaster for Coney Island. In refusing to make urgently needed revisions to its Coney Island rezoning plan, the City threatens the very future of a world-renowned amusement destination,” said Juan Rivero, spokesman for Save Coney Island. “The City continues to defy calls from the community and amusement experts to fix its plan.”
'Save Coney Island recommends:
If it fixes its current rezoning plan, the City can revitalize Coney Island’s historic amusement district — and preserve it as a beloved New York playground, a world-class tourist destination, and an economic engine for the neighborhood and the city as a whole.
To create that win-win situation, Save Coney Island recommends the following:
- Expand the acreage for outdoor rides and amusements. Twelve acres, as proposed by the City’s plan, is not enough. At a minimum, the land between the Boardwalk and the Bowery should be reserved for open-air amusements.
- Keep high-rises out of the heart of the amusement district. Move the proposed hotel towers north of Surf or west of Keyspan Park.
- The rezoning should include a greater mix of maximum footprints to encourage a more diverse and desirable mix of businesses, and to protect local entrepreneurs.
According to the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) process, the plan will next move to the City Counsel for review and hearing. Afterwards it probably make its way to the state where it may not be handled with kiddie gloves.