Willets Point Off to Sour Start (Update)
April 21st, 2008
Just as the Bloomberg administration announced it would pursue a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure to develop an “environmentally-contaminated” area in Queens, a majority of the City Council went on the record opposing it.
The Willets Point development, which would create a mixed use community, complete with convention center, hotel, office space, retail and affordable housing on 62-acres in northern Queens, would go before community boards, the Queens borough president’s office, the City Planning Commission and eventually the City Council. The proposal has been spearheaded by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which has extensive plans on its website here.
The fact that 29 City Council members are already rallying against the proposal, including the area’s representative Hiram Monserrate, does not bode well for the administration (Granted, the ULURP procedure is just getting kicked off and it is expected that community input and revisions are a given for the process).
A spokesman for Monserrate, who has been vocal opponent of the plan prior to the letter’s release today, said the list of opposition is still growing.
Noticeably absent from the letter, via the Daily Politics here, is Council Speaker Christine Quinn. We’re checking in with her office now on her position.
Quinn, however, rarely hesitates to lend support to the Bloomberg administration, so this could be a real test for her — especially when her members already are perturbed over her proposed reforms on the allocation of the body’s discretionary funding.
Update: Here is a statement just released from Quinn’s office:
By Courtney Gross on April 21, 2008, 4:44 pm
“When a majority of council members signal their concern about a project, all parties involved should take notice. While there is still time to work out any differences, I am disappointed that the plan was certified when there is clearly such adamant opposition in the council.”
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