Do Mike Bloomberg and Amanda Burden ever listen to anybody? Ever?
Yesterday, City Planning Commission yesterday approved—by a 12-0 margin—the rezoning plan that accompanies the City's plan for redeveloping Coney Island that is almost universally disliked, by everyone from Coney preservationists to the New York Times editorial board to disingenuous Coney mega-developer (destoyer) Joe Sitt. The former don't like it because it drastically decreases the amount of land devoted to amusements (down from 60 acres to a tiny 12), thus revoking Coney's historical character and reason for being.
Sitt doens't like it because, if put into effect, it takes away some of the land he's acquired with the supposed intent of developing the area. “The whole concept of the government taking over the site and building it … and then dealing with the state is mind-boggling,” Sitt told The Brooklyn Paper. (Welcome to the eminent domain era, Joe! How do you like it when it's the developer, not the small businessman or homeowner, who gets shafted?)
Bloomberg and Burden used the same smoke-screen argument they do to push through every rezoning and development plan they have ever wanted instituted: affordable housing units and construction jobs. "We cannot allow Coney Island’s decline to continue," said Bloomie, "and the opportunity to create 6,000 permanent jobs and 25,000 construction jobs in addition to 4,500 new housing units – 900 of them affordable to low and middle income families – cannot be passed up."
900 out of 4,500? Sound like a good ratio to you? And what happens when those temporary construction jobs are gone? We're stuck for life with a lousy new model for Coney. Trusting these two to rezone a New York neighborhood is like hiring a fox to plan a reorganization of your chicken coop.