Capital New York:
The de Blasio administration is ending 2015 by addressing a long-standing controversy over the fate of 43 community gardens on city-owned land with a decision that has prompted mixed reactions among New Yorkers close to the divisive issue.
The administration is preparing to build more than 800 below-market-rate apartments on nine gardens — including two unused ones —while preserving another 34 gardens, according to several sources briefed on the plans.
City officials gathered representatives of the gardens at a meeting in City Hall on Wednesday afternoon to reveal the plans and distribute a list of which spaces will be preserved and which would be turned into development sites.
The city promised that when it builds on current gardens, it will create a new gardening space within a quarter of a mile of the original, but it is unclear whether the new spots would be the same size.
The two sites already being prepared for low- to moderate-income housing are Sparrow's Nest Community Garden in Queens and A Small Green Patch in Brooklyn. The other seven include one on East 111th Street, another in Coney Island, the Pleasant Village Community Garden II, Jackie Robinson Tenant Association, Mandela Community Garden, New Harvest Garden and space at Van Siclen Warwick, according to a list distributed at the City Hall meeting and obtained by POLITICO New York.
The city is promising that all apartments built on these sites will be entirely below-market rents.