With a number of serious questions still outstanding, the City Council has scheduled a July 1 public hearing on the comprehensive development and rezoning plan for Coney Island — a full vote on the fate of the proposal is expected to come as soon as mid−summer.
Those interested in weighing in on the plan, which calls for the construction of a 27−acre indoor and outdoor amusement park, hotels, 4,500 units of housing and new retail, should report to City Hall Chambers in advance of the 10 a.m. start to sign up for speaking time.
Last week, several groups hoping to squeeze more affordable housing, as well as guaranteed job opportunities out of the city’s proposal rallied at City Hall. Coney Island CLEAR, ACORN, New York Hotel Trades Council and Pratt Center for Community Development were among them.
“As residents of Coney Island, we want our children to be able to afford to live here in the future,” ACORN member Carmen Gonzalez said. “Any redevelopment must include a significant portion of affordable housing.”
Borough President Marty Markowitz has called for a 35 percent affordable housing model for some new development in Coney Island — but not on the bulk of the land where Taconic Investment Partners hopes to build much of the new housing units planned for the western end of the neighborhood.
“We’re really looking beyond Taconic on city−owned property to come up with the 35 percent affordable housing of mixed income,” Markowitz told this newspaper back in May.
Both the borough president and City Councilman Domenic Recchia support an “affordable housing umbrella” for Coney Island comprised of “mixed incomes.”
“To me, there has to be a mix of incomes,” Markowitz explained. “There’s not one group only that are hurting in terms of a lack of affordable housing.”
Coney Island CLEAR supports the use of an affordability model based on the average median income (AMI) of existing Coney Island residents.
“We need to specifically gear it toward the AMI of the community,” Gotlieb said. “I would hope that the City Council focuses on that.”