Monday, September 12, 2005

"Community Board" and the BTM

In the continuing demonstration of what's wrong with the city's land-use review procedure, Community Planning Board #4 in the Bronx took its first step toward the approval of a mammoth development project at the site of the BTM. The board did this, as we mentioned last week and as the Daily News reports today, at a vote last week of its land use and municipal services committees.

What's truly fascinating here is the role of a municipal services committee in a land-use vote. In an effort reminiscent of one of the great events in American history, FDR's lamentable attempt to pack the Supreme Court, Bronx Democratic leaders, sensing that the project would be defeated if only reviewed by the land use committee, simply added another committee and proceeded to add a few new members to it-just in case.

So the folks on the board ignored the community concerns, the fact that the ULURP was certified in the summer to avoid scrutiny, the fact that not a soul seems to have even bothered to glance at the 500 page aggregation of misleading info submitted under the rubric of an EIS, and faithfully voted as they were told.

No one on the municipal services committee seemed to have been at all concerned that the merchants at the BTM site might have been illegally evicted from their businesses. Nor, it seems, did anyone even briefly glance at the questions raised about the less than adequate traffic analysis provided by Related’s consultants. Memo to CB#4: There will be a quiz on the EIS on Wednesday. Anyone failing will be in line for the next district manager spot.