Tuesday, January 02, 2007

City Moving Slow On Thor's Rezoning Wishes

Image from CIDC website

According to reports in the Courier Life, Thor has already submitted a master plan to the city a while ago. But the city is taking their sweet time in deciding what they want to rezone and not. However, a preliminary comprehensive rezoning is expected to take place this coming spring. And while the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and the Uniform Land Use Review (ULURP) proceedings are taking place, there will be a hearing for public comment.

Thor Equities who’s been meeting with city officials and the Coney Island Development Corporation (
CIDC), says that the city has studied their plans, which they submitted over a year ago, and they had hoped that the city, which has been extremely slow, would have made their response by now

“The city’s in control. We then fill in the blanks. We’ve done our master plan work, but we’ll have to modify to fit in with what the city does,” they added.

The city's lack for a quicker response may be due to the fact that two key people have left their positions with the city.

As Courier Life reported:
These include Josh Sirefman, who under Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff spearheaded the city’s initiative to redevelop Coney Island, and Regina Myer, who served as the Department of City Planning Brooklyn Borough Director. While a replacement for Sirefman has not been named yet, Purnima Kapur, the former Planning Department director of the Bronx, has already replaced Myer. “Ms. Kapur has been actively looking at it [Coney Island], as has been Amanda Burden [City Planning director] to evaluate the approaches and preserve the amusement character and help it to evolve to a year-round destination with increased economic opportunity and a mix of uses appropriate to the area,” said City Planning spokesperson Rachaele Raynoff. ……

……. Silberstein said, "The time the public gets to review a plan like that is in the ULURP [Uniform Land Use Review Procedure] process. We want it to be in the ULURP process already. We were hoping that we would have been certified with the ULURP already. We were hoping they would have finished a year ago already …….

…… In terms of residential, our goal is not necessarily just year-round residents …...

…… A lot of our residential we hope are going to be folks on time share, folks that come and buy like two weeks out of the year and/or some second homeowners like they do at a lot of resort and vacation spots, but the biggest part that make up where people sleep is going to be the transient folks — people who sleep in the hotels and/or the time shares, as an example. There’s no rule that says sorry, you are too wealthy to come visit Coney Island and sleep in a hotel. Part of democracy is you want anybody at any income level to welcome them to be able to sleep in Coney Island.

In keeping with his promise for job developments, Sitt has hired someone who will focus on job development and other job programs for Coney. “That is earlier than any developer that I know of. We don’t even have a defined project yet. We certainly don’t have zoning yet and Joe is willing to invest and start creating and developing a jobs program so that the jobs created by the Coney Island project stay in the community”, says Silberstein. “That is an enormous commitment to the community early on.”, he concluded.

‘Springtime’ for Coney rezone [Courier Life]
Q & A with Coney Island mega-developer [Courier Life]

No comments: