Thursday, July 07, 2005

Gateway Project to be Certified Monday?

With the regularly scheduled meeting of the City Planning Commission slated for next Monday (7/12/05), it is looking more and more likely that the agency will move to certify the land use application at that time. This means that Related, confident of political support, will not bother to spend a great deal of time wooing the good folks at Community Board #4.

Given the ULURP time clock, and given the fact that CB#4 like most boards is in recess for the summer, there is absolutely no time for any meaningful community review of this massive 1,000,000 sq. ft. redevelopment of the Bronx Terminal Market site. Put simply, the local planning board normally has 60 days to review a land use application. In this case that means that the ULURP clock runs out on board 4 on September 11th (which is exquisite timing).

Further, this means that the board has only the one week after Labor Day to review this enormous application. Related, which spent the better part of a year wining and dining CB#10 for its proposed BJ’s project, now has taken a different tack. The new strategy: we’re going to fix this at the top and the hell with the local community.

What about the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA)?

Remember that last week Jesse Masyr, Related’s skillful advocate, had told the City Council that a CBA would be negotiated before the land use application was forwarded to the legislature for disposition. When is all of the difficult negotiating going to occur? Who will be the negotiating partners? Who is going to be monitoring compliance with the terms of the CBA?

In our conversations with ACORN and the other folks who were instrumental in the Atlantic Yards CBA, it is abundantly clear that a CBA needs to be carefully negotiated before a land use review begins. From our discussions with community members and members of the community board only one thing is clear: no one from Related has begun discussing any aspect of a CBA with any reputable representative of the impacted area.