Saturday, October 15, 2005

EIS in a nutshell

At the CB4 committee meeting on October 13, NYC Economic Development Corporation vice-president Hardy Adasko was asked the question "Doesn't taking parkland to give to a private corporation set a dangerous precedent?" He answered by basically saying that the city has done it before; look at Shea Stadium. But Shea is in the middle of a vast expanse of parkland. The nearest neighbors are tire and auto body shops. Shea probably improved the neighborhood!

But does the city have the right to use public property that its own Environmental Impact Statement confirms will have a negative financial impact on the adjacent private sector community? For a project that will financially benefit a privately owned corporation?

This project will reduce the value of the apartment houses that line Jerome Avenue. The Environmental Impact Statement points this out.

The intrinsic value of this parkland (to both the actual as well as proposed park users, that is: the Yankees) is that it is OPEN SPACE and it is no less valuable to the community and city than a school or hospital or any other public building which is there to benefit the surrounding community.

Would the city be so quick to allow a private corporation to take over a school in order to turn it to some other use, such as a hotel? Highly unlikely.

Three things the EIS is very clear about:
1. The proposed stadium will definitely DECREASE the value of adjacent properties.
2. There will definitely be an increase of pollution, both the kind that causes asthma as well as light pollution from the night game lights.
3. These represent a COST that the citizen (what an old-fashioned word that is nowadays!) must bear without compensation.


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