Friday, September 19, 2008

Civic leader demands CB7 amend Willets Point vote language

September 16, 2008

Queens Community Board 7
133-32 41st Road, 3rd Floor
Flushing, New York 11355
Att: Eugene T. Kelty, Jr., Chairperson

Dear Mr. Kelty:

The Willets Point proposal would involve the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars to be borne by taxpayers throughout the city, not just those who reside within Community Board 7. The use of eminent domain to take private property and turn it over to a private for profit real estate developer, albeit one who would not be identified until after a variance is given, raises city wide implications, not just those limited to Community Board 7. The dislocation of over 1,300 employees and thousands of their dependents is also a city wide matter. In short, the Willets Point Proposal is not the same as an owner of a single piece of property in Community Board 7 who seeks a variance to enlarge his or her home. The scope and the implications of the proposal involve all the residents and taxpayers of this city, all of whom have a stake in this matter and whose voices must be heard. It follows that in deciding the issues of a Community Board vote of 21 in favor, 15 against and with 6 abstentions, which on its face is hardly a mandate, there must be complete accuracy in what is being reported to the City Planning Commission, which cannot do its job unless it is in possession of all of the facts. Suffice it to say, the City Planning Commission is entitled to the respect of accuracy. In this connection, please be advised as follows:

The Queens Community Board 7 Land Use Committee and the full membership board voted by the margin mentioned above to approve the Willets Point ULURP application with conditions, only after being assured by Committee Chair Chuck Apelian and by you, as evidenced by a video tape of the meeting, that a conditional approval would be considered a negative recommendation if the conditions specified by the Board were not adopted. Pursuant to ULURP rules, if a community board intends its conditional approval be considered a negative recommendation under certain future circumstances, it has the right to do so. As I understand it, the written recommendation submitted by your office to the City Planning Commission fails to state that the conditional requirements the Board specified must be met and that a failure to adhere to the same represents a rejection of the application. It is therefore necessary that you issue an amended report accordingly and send it to the City Planning Commission well before the September 24, 2008 meeting. So that I may be assured no further action with regard to the same be required, please send me a copy of your amended report. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Benjamin M. Haber


Ms. Amanda M. Burden
Chair, City Panning Commission

Ms. Christine C. Quinn
Speaker, City Council of the City of New York


Anonymous said...

sour grapes

Jack Reylan said...

Archie Bunker prefers Fred Sanford to George Jefferson.

Anonymous said...

It's a real travesty that Kelty thinks he's going to get away with telling the board one thing, then doing another when it comes time to filling out the papers. All board members should be outraged that Kelty misrepresented to them what the written recommendation papers would state, and take steps to prevent Kelty from doing this with impunity. Whether he's incompetent or a liar, doesn't change the fact the the error must be fixed, immediately.

If board members have any integrity whatsoever, they must insist that Kelty corrects the papers so that they conform to the statements Kelty made right before the vote, on which board members relied. If Kelty doesn't do it, then by any reasonable standard he must be removed.

Bravo to the letter writer/attorney who is bringing this issue to light.

Anonymous said...

A $4 billion project with thousands of lives being affected, and the board screws up the paperwork? Damn right they'd better fix it!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the ignorant mistake
or the overt corruption of CB#7...
let me quote author Alexander Dumas:

"I prefer the wicked to the stupid; the wicked sometimes rest"!

For the benefit of the less literate: