Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Council Supports DUMBO Against Residents' Wishes

The City Council voted to support the Dock Street Dumbo development, against the wishes of New Yorkers in the neighborhood. The vote was 40-9 with Council Members David Yassky, Bill de Blasio, Tony Avella, Vincent Gentile, Alan Gerson, Eric Gioia, Charles Barron, John Liu, Vincent Ignizio and Peter Vallone voting against. Yassky, who represents the district that includes DUMBO, repeated his opposition to the project because of the loss of views of and from the Brooklyn Bridge: “. . . not [just] those of people from their apartments, but the views of those millions of New Yorkers and others who walk or bike over the bridge. We have a handful of treasures in this city, the bridge experience is one of those, and we shouldn’t tamper with it in any way." Barron, who complained that the 80/20 ratio of affordable housing included in the project was “not affordable enough,” added, “I am also opposed to the project because I think development should be from the community up and not from the Planning Commission down. The community needs a stronger voice.” Gus Sheha of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance, which led the opposition to the project, said after the meeting that he and other opponents feel “disenchanted and disenfranchised by our elected officials” and “we believe the will of the people was disregarded.” He also said, “Community and civic mobilization, always promoted by elected officials as a way for communities to be heard, was completely ignored.” Tony Avella has led the fight in the City Council against overdevelopment by Bloomberg.

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