Monday, June 30, 2008
New Willets Point video + tweeding by CB7
Community Board 7 playing hardball on Willets Point redevelopment
BY JOHN LAUINGER
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Community Board 7 has threatened to nix Mayor Bloomberg's Willets Point redevelopment plan Monday night unless the city consents to giving the Queens Borough Board a binding vote on the proposal.
The community board is balking at being forced to vote on the plan when the city hasn't even purchased the roughly 60-acre industrial zone near Shea Stadium.
"They're asking us right now to sign off unconditionally on a hypothetical plan without a developer and without funding," said Chuck Apelian, who heads the community board's special committee on Willets Point.
Last Monday, that committee approved Mayor Bloomberg's sweeping plan to transform the gritty industrial maze into a glitzy residential and commercial development.
But the committee issued a series of demands that the board expected the city to satisfy by Monday night's meeting - or face a thumbs-down. That vote, however, would only be advisory.
Chief among the committee's demands is for the city to give the Queens Borough Board veto power over the Willets Point plan after it goes through the normal city land-use review process.
Jeff Roberts, a spokesman for the city Economic Development Corp., said: "We're working closely with the committee and the City Council on a reasonable arrangement to meet the requests of the committee."
A city source told the Daily News that the administration is pushing to have the Willets Point redevelopment controlled by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development rather than the EDC.
The community board's request would have the project remain in EDC's hands, because all dispositions of city land controlled by EDC must be approved by the borough board.
"It's a good idea," said Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), chairwoman of the Council's land-use committee.
Katz said the community board's request is one of several options being discussed with the city that would give the community more control over the plan if and when it clears the land-use review process.
You're demanding a binding vote by the Queens Borough Board? You might as well just vote "yes".
DATE: Monday June 30, 2008
TIME: Rally – 6:30PM
Community Board 7 Public Meeting & Vote – 7PM
WHERE: UNION PLAZA CARE CENTER
33-23 UNION STREET, FLUSHING, NY 11354