The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not so Green mayor

I get even more concerned about the future of the Ridgewood Reservoir when I read articles like the following. This is from Metro NY:

City has fuzzy math on Randall’s Island redo
Number of new fields lowballed, bypassing eco-review

By Patrick Arden / Metro New York

FEB 19, 2008

MANHATTAN. Arithmetic may be on the docket when the Bloomberg administration returns to court over its “pay-to-play” deal at Randall’s Island. And the most challenging question might be, what’s the difference between 13 and 28?

That’s because the city had originally declared the project wouldn’t need an environmental review based on its claim that only 13 new athletic fields would be built.

In a July 28, 2006, memorandum, Parks Department planner Joshua Laird said 64 new athletic fields “will replace 51 existing fields.” City attorney Lawrence S. Kahn later explained, “An [Environmental Impact Statement] is not required, because the construction of the fields constitutes ‘in kind’ replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of the ballfields on the same site.”

Yet at a Feb. 13, 2007, hearing of the Franchise and Concession Review Committee, which approved the deal, Parks Department Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanaugh put the figure for existing fields at 36, bringing the number of new fields to 28, or more than double the 2006 claim. The city declined to comment after Metro mentioned the disparity to the Law Department.

“I don’t believe there were even 36 permanent fields on Randall’s Island,” said Geoffrey Croft of the watchdog group NYC Park Advocates. Croft was once a photographer for the Randall’s Island Sport Foundation, which runs the public park, and at a community meeting in East Harlem last week he showed “before” and “after” photos to illustrate the full extent of the construction project. “They’ve wiped out most of the vegetation on the island,” he said. “They acted in bad faith to avoid doing an EIS.”

“It’s unbelievable, just total destruction, trees uprooted, everything demolished,” said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was at the forum. “It’s pretty sad.”

Construction on the island has not stopped, despite a recent state Supreme Court ruling that the project should have gone through the city’s land-use review process. The judge hopes to now take up the issue of whether it also needed an environmental review.

Send us an email

No comments: