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Lawmakers Call For Changes To Willets Point Plan

Posted by admin | Queens News | Posted on August 13th, 2008

The City Planning Commission is holding hearings today for rezoning plans involving Manhattan’s East Village/Lower East Side and Willets Point in Queens.¬†

Thirty-one City Council members have sent a letter to Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden threatening to block the Willets Point plan unless the city guarantees not to use eminent domain to obtain land.

Willets Point is the industrial area behind Shea Stadium and the soon-to-be completed Citi Field.

The lawmakers are threatening to kill the plan, unless the city agrees that it will acquire the land through negotiation – rather than forcing landowners to sell by declaring eminent domain.

The council members are also calling for the addition of more affordable housing, a benefits package for the neighborhood, and a relocation plan for several hundred businesses.

The Planning Commission is holding a hearing on the plan this morning at the NYU School of Law.

Proposals to develop Hunters Point in Queens and The Lower East Side and East Village are also on the agenda.

Critics have complained the city is trying to rush through approvals on the projects, by addressing all of them in the same hearing. However, a spokesman for the Planning Commission says officials will not move from one hearing to another until everyone has spoken.

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