Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What exactly does the Atlantic Yards plan have in common with the plan for a new Yankee Stadium?

Read the following and ask yourself if the same couldn't be applied to the Yankee Plan:

"The planning for Atlantic Yards is all backwards. Normally, government does a plan for the area, then looks at the potential environmental impacts of the plan, decides what to do, and then either does it or puts it out to private developers to bid on. In Atlantic Yards -- and increasingly in other megaprojects throughout the city -- it is just the reverse. First a private developer does a plan for the area, gets government officials to back it, then does an environmental impact statement, and in the process of looking at the environmental impacts all of the big planning issues that were never addressed in the first place come up for discussion. But the people who live and work in the area and will be most affected by the plan have the least to say about it."

This is from an article in the Gotham Gazette titled "Atlantic Yards: Through The Looking Glass" which is actually a perfect summation of the plan for a new Yankee Stadium.

The Gotham Gazette article continues:

"Is Environmental Review Backwards?

"In this looking glass world, the environmental review process has been spun around and is now backwards. The laws establishing environmental review procedures by the city and state were designed to provide decision makers – the governor, mayor and borough president, for example – with information about potential impacts of new projects so that they could make informed decisions. Government could then determine what measures would have to be taken to mitigate the impacts before they approved or disapproved the project. But with Atlantic Yards, government leaders have already made up their minds, and given away the store. The environmental impact statement could very well end up as a useless exercise that satisfies no one except the project sponsors. Or it may turn out like the nonsensical poem, Jabberwocky, that Alice discovered in the Looking Glass World, filled with unintelligible jargon. Its multiple volumes will be more than your average community resident or business person can digest in the course of a normal lifetime. If past practice is any indicator, they will barely have enough time to get past the introduction before the state agency moves to put the final rubber stamp on the project."

We at Save Our Parks were lucky to have a professional city planner by the name Lukas Herbert sift through the 700 page DEIS for the Yankee plan. He was able to expose, using the words of the DEIS, why it is such a disaster for our community and the city at large. You can find his comments on this blog.

The article continues:

"The most troubling part of the Atlantic Yards project is that it seems to be part of a much bigger reversal in the public process set up to handle development proposals. The same thing happened with the Jets Stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, the rebuilding of lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park. State authorities under the governor’s control make deals with private developers, then use their powers to override local land use procedures. And compliant local politicians pave the way, undermining the few regulatory tools they have at their disposal to empower their own constituents in the planning process. And while these mega- developers go through the back door and benefit from the magic mirrors, the thousands of neighborhood developers that are the backbone of local improvement have to follow the rules and go through ULURP.

It's what we have been saying for a while. The ULURP process has been perverted.

"New Yorkers from the boroughs outside Brooklyn who think Atlantic Yards has nothing to do with them should think twice. Atlantic Yards could be the place where the mirror gets shattered, the King is captured, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum have to walk away in shame."

Absolutely! And now the state is alienating parkland to build stadiums for private companies, how long till they do the same for a large retail establishment? Do you like your neighborhood park? Think it's a permanent asset for your neighborhood? Think again.

Click the title to read the whole article on the Atlantic Yards project. At the end of the article is a link to leave a comment on it. You can't because you aren't a registered user, but you should read them. They are also illuminating.


At 10:51 AM, Anonymous ic said...

BCEQ saw this and more coming down the pipe when our NYC state legislators voted so easily to alienate North Bronx Parkland despite the objections of the local assemblyman and residents. We've slipped down the slope, so to speak.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is BCEQ?

It is a very slippery slope.


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