The public approval process is strangling the economic development of New York. Or not. Everyone has their own take on this hot topic, but what can't be argued is that community boards and the citizenry are truly flexing their muscles this week. On a plot of land begging for something iconic, developer Sheldon Solow was forced to dramatically scale back his East River waterfront plan because local residents were worried about shadows. He was able to fight to keep the one office building planned, even though locals said it didn't belong in a residential neighborhood. By the way, the plot of land is a stone's throw from the UN, which apparently is an apartment building of some sort? Then, Community Board 5 unanimously voted to deny the air rights transfers needed for Jean Nouvel's dazzling 75-story MoMA skyscraper, with one neighbor calling the building "inappropriate in a low-rise area." Midtown, apparently, being the "low-rise area" discussed. The restaurant scene is also suffering under the grip of community boards, as our friends at Eater have taken the time to point out. Now, though, it may be going too far.
Water Taxi Beach, in its few short years of seasonal existence on the Long Island City waterfront, has become one of those summertime traditions that?and this may only slightly be hyperbole?makes life worth living. And now, the Queens Gazette reports, some LICers may want to take it away. The issues are the fairly standard public nuisance complaints that come with any facility selling booze, but this paragraph jumps out as being particularly WTF?:
But, detractors said, when the sun goes down on summer weekends, trouble begins, particularly toward and into the early morning. An alleged source of disruption is P.S. 1, the Museum for Contemporary Art, which holds weekend events in its yard on Jackson Avenue. When they are concluded, according to this version of events, many of the celebrants go looking for further alcoholic consumption down at Water Taxi Beach and other places in Hunters Point. WTB gets the main share of attention because it can handle hundreds of persons at a time.So, "according to this version of events," some people like to go out on Friday and Saturday nights in New York City? PANIC! LIC, what will you do when all of those new condo buildings open? We're not saying Vernon Avenue is going to look like Ludlow Street, but if a couple hundred people are enough to send the 'hood into a tizzy, look out...
· Water Taxi Beach Draws Fire At Special Board 2 Meeting [Queens Gazette]
· The Drying of NYC: The Community Board Backlash [Eater]