As part of their renewed push for Staten Island secession, Republican Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo will introduce a bill to the City Council Tuesday to establish a secession task force. As the Staten Island Advance first reported, the task force would have 18 months to gather data showing the “impact and viability” of the borough’s secession. While Matteo and Borelli say Island leaders and lawmakers—including Borough President James Oddo—have expressed support for the legislation, they are the only council members to support the bill so far.
Staten Island officials this week said they will push forward plans for the borough to leave New York City, reviving a fight partially won over 25 years ago. As first reported by the Staten Island Advance, Republican Council Members Joe Borelli and Steven Matteo, who represent the borough, plan to introduce two pieces of legislation that would create a committee to determine the logistics and costs of the secession, as well as a commission a study to look at the feasibility of designating county governments within the city. In 1993, Staten Island residents voted to leave the Big Apple, but the measure never went further after failing to pass in Albany.
The neighborhood of Mariner’s Harbor, near the wetlands in question. Image: Wikimedia cc.
Despite opposition from residents and public officials, 18 acres of forest wetlands near Staten Island’s north shore will be turned into a BJ’s Wholesale Club, a gas station and a parking lot. Gothamist reports that the state has said it will issue a permit to allow the land’s owner, real estate magnate Charles Alpert (operating as holding company Josif A. LLC), to destroy what activists say is an invaluable natural storm barrier in order for the project to move forward.
Reports find open space falls short of key goals in Bushwick, Long Island City, and part of Staten Island, Fri, October 11, 2019
New Yorkers for Parks has released three new Open Space Index reports, a series of in-depth “neighborhood snapshots” of parks and open space in Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor, Bushwick, and Long Island City. According to the reports, the Bay Street Corridor failed 11 of 14 open space goals, Bushwick failed 12 of 14, and Long Island City failed 11 of 14. The goals factor in characteristics including the total amount of open space, access, tree canopy, and overall maintenance. According to the City’s own standards, all of the neighborhoods lack sufficient open space and what does exist is often hard to get to or improperly maintained.
Rendering via Department of City Planning
The New York City Council voted 44-2 to approve Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor Rezoning plan Wednesday, SILive reports. As 6sqft previously reported, the city proposed to convert the area between Tompkinsville Park and Tappan Park from manufacturing to residential while constructing 1,800 new units that would house 6,500 residents in the area. About a quarter of the new residences would be income-restricted affordable housing through the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program. The rezoning plan has drawn opposition from some community groups and Borough President Jimmy Oddo on the grounds that it would add to the area’s traffic and transportation woes.
Image credit: S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman
The fabled and forsaken New York Wheel, Staten Island’s ill-fated answer to the Eiffel Tower, may be getting yet another chance. Last October it was announced that the 630-foot would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring the borough’s North Shore, was a no-go, mired in years of court battles and pay disputes. Now, NY1 reports, plans for a scaled-down version of the wheel may be back on the table. The city’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), who set the original wheel idea in motion, is meeting with a new developer about the possibility of a smaller wheel.
Top, left to right: GAA Firehouse, James Baldwin Residence, LGBT Community Center; Bottom, left to right: Audre Lorde Residence, Women’s Liberation Center, Caffe Cino; All photos courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on Tuesday to calendar six individual sites related to the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in New York City. The proposed landmarks highlight both groups and individuals who have advanced the LGBT rights movement by providing structure for community and political support, as well as raising public awareness. The commission’s decision to calendar the sites comes ahead of next month’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and NYC’s annual Pride celebration. LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said on Tuesday a public hearing to discuss the sites will be held June 4.
Photo by Jeff Reed, courtesy of NYC Council/Flickr
Following a unanimous New York City Council vote back in December, The Wu-Tang Clan was made a permanent part of New York City on Saturday when the Park Hill neighborhood of Staten Island was renamed The Wu-Tang Clan District. As CNN first reported, city officials, fans, community members, and several Wu-Tang members gathered for the unveiling of the new street sign—located at the corner of Targee Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, where the music video for “Can It All Be So Simple” was filmed—that makes it official. “I never saw this day coming,” Ghostface Killah said in a speech at the event. “I knew we were some ill MCs, but I didn’t know that it’d take it this far.”
Via New York Wheel
The city has not put forth a plan for the vacant Staten Island site of the New York Wheel, a project which was called off last year after nearly a decade of planning. According to the Staten Island Advance, the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the property, has not released any request for proposals for the site. Construction of the project, sold as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, was halted two years ago when the contractor walked off site over unpaid bills. Last October, with $450 million already invested, the project was called off.
Rendering via Department of City Planning
Update 4/23/19: The City Planning Commission voted on Monday to approve the Bay Street Corridor rezoning plan, despite opposition from Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo and local community groups, City Limits reported. As the plan now goes in front of the City Council, housing advocates will continue to push for the rezoning to include deeply affordable units.
The City Planning Commission will vote Monday on the rezoning proposal for Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor, an area between Tompkinsville Park and Tappan Park. Ahead of the agency’s vote, questions remain about the plan’s affordable housing portion, expected to bring 1,800 new residential units to the area. According to a report from Clifford Michel of THE CITY, the rezoning sets aside affordable housing for middle-class professionals, allowing developers to build units for households earning as much as $127,000 per year for a family of three. Based on that income requirement, the “affordable” apartments would rent for more than $3,000 per month.