Saturday, October 6, 2012
More privatization of public parkland
From The Brooklyn Paper:
Fenced-off yards attached to planned condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park are a greenspace-hogging affront on precious public land, frustrated park-boosters say.
A proposal for a controversial housing complex on Pier 1 calls for landscaped private terraces linked to ground-floor residential units — a design that betrays the very definition of “park,” according to recreation advocates.
“The principal is ridiculous,” said yards-in-the-park opponents Roy Sloane, who sits on the park’s advisory council. “They’re taking up land that should belong to future generations of park-goers.”
Sloane and other critics say the architectural misstep turns the park into a literal and figurative backyard for wealthy developers and their future tenants.
He also fears the private yards will set the stage for yard-style activities — such as laundry-drying and tiki-torch-burning — near the park’s stunning promenade, potentially tainting the valuable public commodity.
The new design revives a long-simmering battle over the use of the waterfront space and ultimately how to fund the park’s $16-million annual maintenance budget — a dilemma that stems from a 2002 agreement requiring the park to raise its own cash so it won’t drain public coffers.