Thursday, December 17, 2015

City planning holds sham hearing; freezes out the public

From Historic Districts Council:

"Were you left outside, too? The Historic Districts Council, NY Landmarks Conservancy, MAS, Friends of the Upper East Side, Landmark West!, and the Society for the Architecture of the City were unable to testify at the City Planning Commission’s public hearing for ZQA/MIH this morning because the room was at capacity by 9:15 am--the hearing commenced at 9:00 am. By 10:30 am, representatives of City Planning explained that attendees who wished to speak could choose to wait outside with no guarantee of entry. Even worse, the City Planning Commission has not given any indication that they will hold additional hearings to ensure the whole of the public will be heard.

This is a public hearing, not a line on Black Friday. ALL of the public should be able to speak, not just those who got in line several strategic hours earlier than everyone else. There must be allowances made so that all the people of New York can have a voice. Please send a letter to Carl Weisbrod, Chair of NYC City Planning Commission and tell him that this morning’s situation was untenable and that our voices deserve to be in the record on this unprecedented rezoning proposal. Everyone deserves a chance to be heard and not be left out in the cold."


I submitted a protest letter and received the following reply at 8pm:

"Thank you for your message regarding the ongoing public hearing on the MIH/ZQA text amendment proposals.

We are sorry that you encountered long lines in the morning. We appreciate your interest in appearing before the Commission to testify on these important initiatives. Please note that the the City Planning Commission hearing on these items is ongoing, and the Commission will continue to hear every speaker who signs up and is present to speak.

There are no lines at this point, and we encourage you to come back and sign up to speak. We are continuing to post the Speaker # on our Twitter account and on our website.

If you would like to submit written testimony at any time prior to the vote, written comments on the DEIS will be considered until Monday, December 28 and written comments on the application may be sent up to the date of the Commission vote. You can mail written comments to:

Calendar Information Office - 31st Floor
120 Broadway, New York NY 10271"

Familiar government story:

  • Call a public hearing
  • Call your cronies to reserve prime speaking slots
  • Schedule hearing for a room that's too small to accommodate crowd
  • Sit and laugh as opponents get frustrated and leave
  • Claim that you were available to listen to all the testimony and there was minimal opposition
  • Enjoy the lazy media's reporting that suggests that suddenly everyone loves what you proposed
  • Use this as justification to proceed as planned


JQ LLC said...

Brazen Passive Aggressive Oppression, I am as speechless as the people unjustly and certifiably deliberately shut out of the hearing

Anything to further this market rate housing and development utopian nightmare. By all means necessary.

Anonymous said...

NYC holds its public hearings in a manner that Vlad Putin would be proud of.

Man With No Name said...

Wake up to your worst nightmare Manhattan. You now know that under this admin, we are all in Queens.

Those from Queens chaffed to feel that they were left out in preservation - that all the attention went to a few select areas in the city - mostly Manhattan and Brooklyn.

With a smirk you would tell us to 'talk to your representative' knowing that our local drooling knuckle-dragging neanderthal would consign us to a friendly smiling intern. A totally clueless intern.

Now with DeBlas, you are getting a taste of what our miserable lives are like in this side of the East River. Now you are howling because you are not being treated with respect, or better, now grasp that while we were being ground up into dog food you were being played along too.

Now that we are all in the same boat with the steerage, will you the call a city wide conference with grassroots groups to build a major platform of preservation in EVERY community? Or are you still worried that if you interfere in someone's affairs your budget will get cut?

We are now all in Queens. IF you treat us nice and share your rations we might not throw you overboard because our goons can pretty much do anything to you they want. After all, you sat idly by watching them hone their talents on us.

Henry Euler said...

I attended and testified against Mayor deBlasio's two zoning proposals at the City Planning hearing on Dec. 16th. I arrived at 8:15 AM, had to stand outside for over an hour, and finally got into the hearing at 9:45 AM. There must have been 200 people ahead of me outside on line and another 300 to 400 people behind me. The people ahead of me were mostly union members. They were upset with the Mayor because there is no guarantee that union labor have jobs on new construction projects. They therefore opposed the two zoning proposals. Their leaders spoke for the members during the hearing.
There was only one metal detector to handle the checking in of all of the people. The auditorium was packed.
I was # 96 to speak and only got to testify at 6 PM. There were still a few more speakers ahead of me. The electeds spoke first and got unlimited time to speak. Other speakers were given four minutes each. The Commissioners had lots of questions which took took up much time since the responses to the questions posed were not timed.
I only learned when I got home that so many people and groups were turned away and were not allowed to speak. I believe that the City Planning Commission must set up another hearing so that all who could not testify on Dec. 16th have a chance to express their concerns. These two zoning proposals will have a serious impact on our communities and are a threat to the contextual rezonings that so many community and civic groups have fought for over the years.

Anonymous said...

So they have another hearing? so what?

It all matters on votes - the city council votes. And we must question if anyone has the backbone to do what it takes there.

In Queens? Doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks that the NYC Council or, for that matter NYC government, is operating using democratic principles is sadly mistaken. The current City Council is THE WORST. It's all about money; money from the Council Speaker, the developers, etc.

Anonymous said...

No fear, Mayor, progressive Manhattan will re-elect you overwhelmingly.

Anonymous said...

a public hearing
a place where you get to bitch and complain for your 3 minutes
you hopefully got it off your chest and out of your system
they can say: you had your voice & we listened to you
and those sitting on high do whatever the #*(k they want & to hell with you all
u get the govt u deserve

(sarc) said...

We have become Rome.

A political class that no longer adheres to the "consent of the governed".

IMHO we should start with Tar and Feathers...

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what the do in Cuba and Russia.
"oops" not enough metal detectors, Oops the AC is not working or just a simple "FU we will do what we want" !!
Only in New York the sheep voters reward them with re-election.

Anonymous said...

NYC holds its public hearings in a manner that Vlad Putin would be proud of.

Maybe you are referring to commie ex-Soviet Union.

Anonymous said...

CITY PLANNING COMMISSION can't even plan a proper hearing where all concerned parties get to speak.

Richard Iritano said...

And, this present argument is the same argument that I made back in November, 2012, when the Public Design Commission unilaterally chose to indulge former Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall (who managed to foist her own false belief system on to a city government agency), that resulted in the capricious and speedy eviction of 'Triumph Of Civic Virtue,' from its 71-year home in Kew Gardens Plaza (that was prominently displayed as a gift to Queens, by former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, in 1941), as it virtually disappeared from the Kew Gardens skyline, under the cover of darkness, like it never even existed!

Worse, to the horror and disbelief of Queens' residents, this breathtaking, 16-ton work of public art was evicted on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, like it was radioactive---without due process, public referendum, Community Board 9 review, or in compliance with any and all of the City Charter rules and regulations!

Enter new monarch Melinda Katz, whose dictatorship style, totalitarian rule refuses to take urgent action and remedy to return this beloved statue to its rightful home base, from Green-Wood Cemetery, where it has remained on 'TEMPORARY LOAN,' since its swift and speedy eviction, on December 15, 2012 (against all public free will and strenuous objection!

Moreover, the plans to remove Civic Virtue were privately-and-capriciously hatched by the previous administration of Helen Marshall (that likewise ordered the statue's precious fountain base to be turned into a 'planted ruin' (and simultaneous memorial garden that was designed to pay tribute to the women of Queens politics), hat no one was ever asked if it wanted in the first place!

Now, I've long ago and sufficiently warned the residents of Queens, that we are no longer a working democracy (where Neo-Fascism only worsens by the hour), that destroys all pretense of the laws of City Charter and public referendum, much less the vacuous rules and obedience that are continually foisted upon us by the profoundly under worked---and vastly overpaid, part-time, empowered idiots of the city council---and, their handpicked City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito (and personal de Blasio pal)!

So, welcome to the Fourth World cesspool (and putrid raw sewage plant) of Queens County politics, all newly scorned and livid Manhattanites---where freedom and rights are now the same illusions of democracy and liberation for your entrenched island, as they always have been for the millions of ravaged and tonsured Queens hostages in our backyard---so ordered by the corrupt powers that be---with a vengeful impunity!

Anonymous said...

Bitch as much as you want folks, they are all paper tigers.

The problem is that none of you have the backbone to stand up to them, and if someone does, everyone else jumps at the chance to stab you in the back so those a-holes can smile at them and call them a 'playa.'

F-en idiots.

Anonymous said...

Two things will happen:

They will back away - because they do not want to stir up Manhattan - with the tacit understanding that they can have their way with the outer Bs (which has always happened in the past).

They will overplay their hand and Manhattan will reach out to us

Anonymous said...

"Maybe you are referring to commie ex-Soviet Union."... No, I was referring to the de facto dictator who currently runs Russia.

Anonymous said...

The people in NYC are at fault, well at least a good number of them for allowing the politicians to get away with pretty much everything.

Silver was doing his gig for decades, finally the feds nailed him.

Here is the intelligence of the average person on the street:

We are doomed.

Anonymous said...

If this was like the commie Soviet Union, they wouldn't even pretend to hold hearings, they'd just shoot anyone who complained.

Molan Labe said...

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure. - Thomas Jefferson

Jerry Rotondi said...

As I have voiced my opinion RE the City Planning Commission in public before....this is really the City Plotting Commission.

Anonymous said...

George Carlin summed it up years ago.
George you were a genius!
May you rest in piece, miss you man!