Coney rezoning plan unveiled
The citys Planning Commission yesterday certified a proposal to rezone 19 blocks of Coney Island a move aimed to convert the iconic but struggling Brooklyn neighborhood into a year-round amusement destination and to attract economic development to an area where residents complain theres nowhere to buy clothes.
In a 50-minute presentation to the commission, city officials unveiled plans to create a 27-acre indoor and outdoor amusement and entertainment district, which would include a 12-acre amusement park on land controlled by the city. The rezoning would allow for up to 800 hotel rooms in the amusement district, hotel towers of up to 27 stories and other entertainments venues such as a water theme park, a movie theater and restaurants.The waterfront districts current C7 zoning prohibits, for example, enclosed amusements and sit-down dining.
Today we are certifying what I believe is one of the most important rezoning plans this administration has sought to date, said Amanda Burden, the citys planning commissioner. Coney Island is one of New Yorks greatest icons.
About a half-dozen people silently protested the citys proposal during the meeting, holding up signs that read, Save Coney Island. Preserve C7 Amusement Zoning.
John Daquino, a member of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, said after the meeting that he opposed the plans to allow for hotels or large commercial franchises on blocks now reserved strictly for amusement parks.
I think the hotels will ultimately be turned into condos, Daquino, 32. Its like saying, Central Park has a lot of space; lets put a condo up, or lets put a Sizzler in there. [Coney Island] is a park."
The rezoning will now undergo an approval process that is expected to take about seven months. The proposal will go before Brooklyn Community Board 13 and then Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who can recommend changes. It then must be approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.