From the Queens Chronicle:
Members of the College Point Corporate Park Task Force were furious with plans announced on Thursday for the city’s police academy, calling it an “as of Mike” plan with no community input.
Officials from the Mayor’s Office and Economic Development Corp. outlined plans for the proposed $1 billion building to be built in the corporate park at the site of a 30-acre city tow pound. It will be bounded by Ulmer Street, College Point Boulevard and 28th and 31st avenues.
“We have had no prior meetings with the city and now they tell us they want to start the ULURP process on May 4,” task force Co-Chairman Chuck Apelian said, referring to the Uniform Land Use Review Process. “Nobody was happy with it.”
The review process is for site selection only. When asked about rezoning, officials told the task force none was needed since a “mayoral override” would be used. “We are calling it ‘as of Mike’ because Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing whatever he wants to get the academy built,” Apelian said, playing on the land-use phrase, “as of right.”
Adrian Joyce, the other co-chairman, said no one has ever heard of mayoral override as a way to get around zoning variances. “This ties our hands,” Joyce said. “It gives the community board no power.”
From the Times Ledger:
“So one man gets to decide? I just think it’s despicable,” Apelian said. “It’s just like they don’t care. If something doesn’t change immediately, I’m not even going to hold hearings on it. I’m just going to vote it down.”
Bloomberg’s office did not return calls for comment.
City Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside) said use of the executive power would be a “disgrace.”
“That would be the epitome of dictator Bloomberg,” he said. “To have that kind of audacity, it’s just unbelievable.”