From A Walk in the Park:
City Council Member Peter Vallone doesn't believe the mapped parkland in Flushing Meadows the City and developers want to build a mall on is parkland.
Mr. Vallone, one of six candidates running for the office of the Borough President, said last night he supports the Willets Point project, including taking 40 plus acres of Flushing Meadows parkland currently used for Citi-Field parking, in order to build the city's largest mall.
"It"s not parkland, and anyone saying that Willets Point is parkland is relying on some technical definition from the 60's," Vallone said.
"You know what Willets Point is….It also involves the Mets parking lot. I want to see that development happen," he said.
"I want to make sure what goes there is what you want but that needs to be developed. That can't stay the way it is, and it's not parkland," Vallone claimed.
The Councilmember was a bit confused last night as candidates squared off.
It is the City, in fact, that is desperately trying to rely on a 1961 bill that it used when it took over the parkland to build Shea Stadium.
The City and Bloomberg-preferred developer the Related Companies in partnership with Sterling Equities, the real estate firm controlled by the owner of the Mets - are attempting to use the parkland without seeking State Alienation legislation as is required under state law to use parkland for non-park purposes.
The City and the developers are also attempting to bypass City Council approval.
Critics of the plan argue that if the 40-plus acres being proposed for mall use are no longer needed for baseball parking then it should revert back to its original recreational use.
Mr. Vallone's Bloomberg-esque moments came last night during the Bay Terrace Borough President Candidate's Night.
And Peter is considered to be the "smart" brother...