Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Community Information Session Canceled

Tonight's " 'Community Information Session' on The Proposed Coney Island zoning framework" was canceled at the last minute.

A letter signed by the director of the Coney Island Development Corporation was distributed at the entrance to the site of the planned meeting, the Coney Island Hospital Auditorium. The letter read, in part, "Unfortunately, we reached capacity for the auditorium with RSVPs earlier today, so if you did not contact us advance we would ask that you join us at our next session, which will feature exactly the same information and format and will be scheduled within the next several weeks." However, the CIDC representatives who were distributing the letter (and taking down people's contact information) announced that the meeting had been canceled altogether, as far more people than expected had shown up, and it would not be fair to hold a meeting which not everyone was able to attend.

It is unclear why and when it was decided to cancel the meeting altogether, rather than allow in only those who RSVPed, as the letter indicated.

The meeting had indeed drawn a large and diverse crowd, many of whom milled around outside the hospitals front entrance for a long time, frustrated and reluctant to leave.

It is possible that the CIDC and Community Board 13 (the event's co-hosts) were genuinely caught off guard by the large turnout. It is possible that this was a simple case of poor planning. It is even possible that city cooked up an excuse to cancel a meeting they were not prepared for.

In any case, the information session will hopefully be rescheduled in the near future, and held in a venue that is large enough to hold everybody.

- post by Ben Nadler

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