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Death by Planning: Will Zoning Wait Kill Dutch Kills?

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[Image courtesy of LIQcity]

Anyone that doesn't know where the heck Dutch Kills is, might recognize it when passing through Long Island City by the unusual amount of work there on hotels. Over the weekend, the Times offered another look at the weird Dutch Kills Dilemma: an announced intention to rezone the neighborhood that has led to one of the city's weirdest hotel booms beyond the confines of Gowanus. There are hotel plans on at least 14 sites within an eight-block area. The Dutch Kills Hotel Boom came about because of a 2005 City Planning proposal to rezone the neighborhood and clamp down on commercial construction. The trouble is that the review process for the rezoning hasn't even started and, in the meantime, developers have been playing Beat the Rezone and a lot of people think the hotels will be converted to condos or apartments down the road. The city says it's working really, really fast. Residents aren't seeing the speed, except of construction. Says one: "With all the delays, by the time we get our zoning, we most probably will have lost our neighborhood." Us, we can't wait to see the marketing pitches for hotels in Dutch Kills.
· For a Raft of New Hotels, the Sound of Grumbling [NYT]