Thursday, March 09, 2006

"Yankee Stadium Hearing Postponed Amid Traffic, Parkland Concerns" in New York Sun, 3/9/6

Yankee Stadium Hearing Postponed Amid Traffic, Parkland Concerns

By RUSSELL BERMAN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
March 9, 2006

The New YorkYankees' proposal for a new stadium is facing obstacles in the City Council as a long-planned hearing scheduled for today was postponed amid community concerns over the city's plan to deal with traffic and parkland.

The last-minute postponement came after the council's Bronx delegation raised questions with administration officials in a meeting yesterday. "We had several concerns that neither the Parks Department nor the administration could answer," a council member who represents the district where the stadium would be built, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, said. "We thought it was more prudent not to proceed until these concerns were addressed."

The proposed development would be built on 22 acres of Macombs Dam Park and John Mullaly Park in the South Bronx, and the city has said it plans to spend $135 million on 28 acres of parkland and playing fields to replace the lost parks. The new public space would come in sections along the Harlem River and at the site of the existing stadium.

Ms. Arroyo said the city had not provided enough details about what it planned to do with parkland north of the new stadium, nor about its plans to accommodate increased traffic caused by added parking spaces.

The city "hopes to address any outstanding concerns as quickly as possible so this important project can move forward," a Parks Department spokesman, Warner Johnston, said yesterday.

The council needs to act on the proposal by its meeting on April 5, the last scheduled meeting before the expiration of a 60-day period following approval by the City Planning Commission. A spokeswoman for the speaker's office, Maria Alvarado, said the delayed subcommittee hearing would not mean that deadline will be missed. The hearing will be rescheduled in the next couple of weeks, but no date has been set, she said.

The delay follows efforts by stadium opponents to step up pressure on elected officials, who they say have ignored the community. Parks advocates had scheduled a protest rally before today's hearing at City Hall. "The biggest problem is that the local electeds are not representing the needs and the wishes of the local community," an organizer of the rally and the president of NYC Parks Advocates, Geoffrey Croft, said. The group has opposed the plan on the grounds that it would eliminate historic Macombs Dam Park, which Mr. Croft called the "Central Park" of the South Bronx. He said the group would hold its rally as planned today, despite the hearing's postponement.

A spokeswoman for the Yankees, Alice McGillion, said the team looked forward to the hearing being rescheduled. The team is paying about $800 million of the estimated $1.2 billion cost of the development and hopes to have the stadium ready for the 2009 season. The Yankees have championed what the team says is the "largest private investment in the history of the Bronx." The project, they say, will generate more jobs than the current stadium provides as well as nearly $300 million in economic benefits.

1 Comments:

At 9:03 PM, Anonymous ic said...

Anybody who reads this article, should send without delay an e-letter to the mayor and their councilperson. ***ic*** go to www.ny4p.org and they make it easy 4-U.

 

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