Monday, February 24, 2014

SI green space saga sounds like the same old story

From CBS New York:

Residents say the sale of Mount Manresa – a 15-acre parcel of land owned by the Jesuit Church – to Savo Brothers for $15 million was fueled by money and greed.

A property that also includes one of the city’s oldest water towers and trees dating back to the Revolutionary War era.

“It’s basically untouched land,” said President of Save Mount Manresa John Bolembach.

Protesters told Burrell their biggest gripe is that the developer has already submitted permits to build townhouses on the land, which could mean tearing down the century-old buildings as well as the greenery.

While the sale has already gone through, protesters are hoping that lawmakers will step in and turn the property into a public park.

“We were hoping for landmark status. We couldn’t get it. We were hoping to get a national designated area,” said Bolembach.

Now, some elected officials are joining the group’s cause, hoping their online petition with the more than 12,000 signatures will make a difference.

“I am urging the landmarks commission under the de Blasio administration to take a second look at Mount Manresa,” NYC Public Advocate Letitia James said.

Save Mount Manresa has appealed the sale of the land in court. It is awaiting a ruling in the case.

It's called eminent domain. It's used ALL THE TIME by the City to enrich developers, instead of for its intended purpose, which is for public use, like a park.

If this sounds like the St. Saviour's story all over again, it is. And we know how that turned out. The developers of this property have likely already lined the pockets of the local electeds, which is why none of them showed up for your rally. Once again, a similar story.

See previously.


Snake Plissskin said...

Lets face it - community preservation efforts are broken - we need a complete reset.

I am tired of my in basket filled with breathless reports on a tiny elite's successes in handful of well heeled neighborhoods while the rest of us get the shaft.

I am tired of that the Queens borough historian tours communities like he is walking around in a zoo - showing different breeds of specimens - while conceding our communities to developers' backhoes.

I am tired of closed door clubs like Coogan's 4 Borough Preservation Alliance that drone on endless pointless discussions on preservation.

I am tired that places like Pratt and Columbia justify degrading of community preservation principles that have been accepted for generations - for things like development on brown-fields without adequate infrastructure -

or programs whose benefit is only accepting more development (how many people have you seen using bikes as transportation the past three months?)

Throw the landmarks law out the window.

Demand that your councilman treat other community's effort with the same disdain they treat their own constituents.

Demand the the preservation community take a deep breath and go back to roots.

We will go around in senseless circles until we wise up - and by then there will be little to work with and damage that will take centuries to undo.

Anonymous said...

Religion = $$$$$
That's all the church wanted.

Anonymous said...

Snake Plissskin is right on!

Anonymous said...

I never heard of the "Jesuit Church."