Yesterday, the city voted for the Mayor’s plan, which for the most part is right for Coney, but carelessly voted against the amendment to expand their amusement acreage and move their high-rise hotels out of the south side of Surf Avenue. The amendment was introduced by Councilman Tony Avella, taking into account the obvious points in the Mayor’s plan that would diminish the unique character of Coney Island’s amusements by shrinking it and putting it in danger of being eradicated if large buildings were to shroud it with shades of uncertainty. Hence, since hotels will not do justice to a small amusement park, the vulnerability for condo conversion exists, which will ultimately lead to the removal of any new amusement park followed by beach privatization. This of course, will come after the parkland is re-swapped by the forces of the high-rise residents.
Whirl of contradictions:
At the subcommittee voting yesterday, various diatribes drooled from the mouths of certain city officials, stating that they will take a gander and 'address' our concerns as indicated in the amendment before the whole council votes on the plan July 29, 2009. However, as usual, disrespectful contradictory fumes permeated the air in City Hall. Council Member Domenic Recchia’s contradiction is revealed in his statement yesterday quoted on his website:
I would like to have been able to expand the area available for open amusements, and I have been actively discussing this with the administration. Those discussions have been fruitful and are ongoing. I hope that by the time the entire City Council votes on this plan, on July 29th, I will have great news for everyone. But I am confident that this project, as it currently stands, is good for the city, good for Brooklyn and great for Coney Island.
Similarly, I know that there are those who would like to see lower buildings on the south side of Surf Avenue. We just couldn't make this work and will be moving forward with project that you see today.
In his second paragraph comes the obvious contradiction. You cannot actively discuss the expansion of the open-air amusements and expect to have good news here if you are not able to make the space for it in the first place. This shows that Recchia is placating us.
In addition, while the Land Use Committee ignored our pleas, The Save Coney Island coalition had this to say in their press release yesterday:
Save Coney Island is heartened, however, by suggestions made by Council members that the issues we have raised will be addressed by the City before they council renders a final vote on the plan.
Should the City succeed in its negotiations to purchase Thor Equities’ land in Coney Island, it will gain greater control over how that land is eventually used. The City must expand the size of its proposed amusement park, work to keep high-rises out of the core amusement area and protect the historic buildings that line the south side of Surf Avenue.
The Mayor’s plan also calls for 4,500 more housing units in Coney Island and a need for the expansion of the Coney Island Hospital to accommodate the masses of new residents. Since this sounds like a new facet of the plan, coming from a recent awareness that Coney Island will be overloaded with residents, it seems the city has not really put that much intricate thought into what will really work or not work for Coney Island.
Coney doesn’t not need more low income housing 'per say,' though it could use more desirable residential mixed-income -bracket units. Though this may sound contradictory in itself, the amount of ‘housing’ referred to in their plan seems more like a ticket for more of Bloomberg’s voting power for his internally, self-administered third term.
The City doesn't give a Tillie's hoot about it:
Simply put, the city doesn’t give a damned about having a small space for open-air amusements. They simply don’t feel that this is important enough for the future of their Coney. They simply don’t respect this idea and they don’t care. They have their own vision of Coney Island. On that comes with a 'representation' of Coney’s flavor, as an 'amenity' of their grand gentrified urban redevelopment plan for a crippling neighborhood at the grave expense of one of the city and the world’s most fabled treasures. A place where wonderment and oddity raised out of the ashes in a time where strict social order was the way of the game. It goes down to this; Some people know how to appreciate something very special...and others cannot. They only know how to think; ‘to-from-and-subject’ with black in on the books. Unfortunately, for Coney Island the power is not with the ones who dream it.