Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Developer lobbied Coney's community board

From the Daily News:

Local pols approved dramatic new changes to the city's plan for Coney Island at a developer's urging, infuriating city officials, sources said.

Thor Equities officials floated a half-dozen recommendations - and Community Board 13 even adopted some of the wording, city sources said.

"Having a for-profit developer write these zoning amendments is the equivalent of having a Big Tobacco lobbyist write anti-smoking legislation," a city official said.

The developer's changes included a controversial provision to allow 10,000 square foot retail of space along Surf Ave., sources said - a dramatic change that favors major retail chains at the expense of mom-and-pop operations, critics charged last week.

Thor Equities or other Joseph Sitt ventures paid more than $190,000 since 2005 to lobby Community Board 13 among other agencies, city records show. The community board's votes are not binding, but they can affect the borough president and City Council, which must also vote on the plan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does this really surprise anyone? I mean look at our own CB7 and what they did with Willets Point after lobbying from Claire and Wellington. Community Boards and Borough presidents should be abolished. Let's have community boards that are elected by people to represent sectors of our communities and not appointed by politicians.