Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of CB13 Board Meets

Image courtesy of Neil deMause

The good and the bad comes out of the meetings for voting by the Community Board 13. The better news coming from board's vote is that they recommended any 30 story hotels be moved north of the Surf Avenue, away from the amusement zone. But the worrisome motion that calls for the quadrupling of retail space could endanger the chances of attracting the small operators.

Here's what the Village Voice's
Neil deMause reported:

The CB13 land use committee, in its meeting on Monday, had recommended a "yes" vote, but accompanied by a bizarre hodgepodge of no less than 20 stipulations: Eliminate the "Wonder Wheel Way" that the city wants to build from the Cyclone to the Parachute Jump, retain the Keyspan Park parking lot instead of building on it, redevelop the Abe Stark ice rink, do traffic studies, create a Special Amusement Zone to protect ride operators from being forced out by development, refrain from using eminent domain, fix local infrastructure, build nothing that would "eclipse the height" of the Parachute Jump, create affordable housing, rebuild the Boardwalk, upgrade the Aquarium, provide better subway service, allow stores up to 10,000 square feet, provide funds for the Coney Island Hospital ER, create off-street parking, allow Gargiulo's to expand, fund job training programs, limit hotels to the north side of Surf Avenue, build a new school, and turn the derelict Shore Theater into a community arts center.

In a press relese sent out today The Save Coney Island group writes (The full press release can be read here):

As the rezoning plan moves through the Uniform Land Use Review Process, Save Coney Island urges the City to fix its plan. The City needs to expand amount of land reserved for amusement uses beyond the shrunken 9-acre strip allotted under its current plan and keep high rises and generic commercial establishments outside the core amusement area.

The importance for genuinely protecting Coney Island as mainly an amusement destination has still to get through and collapse the power of greed that seems to be taking place here. It our last chance before what sets in for the future of Coney Island could never be reversed.

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