Article from amNewYork
This article was published in amNewYork last Thursday, November 17. Sorry it took so long to have it posted to the blog.
Meeting on contested Yankees plan tonight
By Ted Phillips
With opposition growing to a new Yankee Stadium that could be built on a large city park, the Bronx borough president will host a town hall meeting tonight on the issue.
Residents will be able to raise concerns following the presentations by the Yankees and the city Parks Department. Next week the community board will vote on whether to approve the rezoning necessary for the project, but its vote is only advisory.
"We consider all testimony and that can have an impact on the plan," said Warner Johnston, spokesman for the parks department.
The plan itself has drawn outrage from residents who use Macomb's Dam Park.
"The stadium as it's proposed now is meeting a great deal of community resistance, and rightly so," said Council member Helen Foster. "[The Yankees] are in a community that they've never been too friendly or respectful to, in moving forward it is going to be imperative that the Yankee organization work with the community." Foster suggested that putting a new stadium to the south of the current one would be acceptable to the community.
Foster and many residents have complained that the Yankees and the parks department, the lead city agency on the project,
haven't reached out adequately. The city didn't meet with the public on the project until July, one month after it was announced, Johnston said.
In a community with high rates of asthma, opponents say the loss of vegetation and the creation of 5,235 new parking spaces in four garages has some concerned about the impact on health. Parts of the plan include a park with artificial turf to be built atop a garage.
"We would rather have the shabby park we have now than a $100 million park on top of parking garages," said J.J. Brennan one of the organizers of Save Our Parks, a group that opposes the plan.
Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión has been a supporter of building a new stadium on the park.
The Yankee plan is "about bringing jobs to our residents, restoring our neighborhoods, building news parks, improving the infrastructure and creating opportunities," he said.