After 43 years of bitter battles over the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, Community Board 3’s land use committee approved a set of planning guidelines tonight for the 7-acre parcel next to the Williamsburg Bridge. Only one member of the committee, Damaris Reyes of GOLES, voted against the proposal. This evening, State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver gave a big boost to the plan, endorsing CB3’s guidelines:
“I want to commend the leadership and members of the Community Board 3 Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing Committee for their effort to achieve, at long last, a true consensus about the future of Seward Park. From the outset, this process was conducted openly, transparently and fairly and went to great lengths to give voice to the broad range of views that make up our extraordinarily diverse community. While there were, at times, deep and principled disagreements among stakeholders, I believe that ultimately this process brought our community together. The final guidelines that were approved by the committee tonight strike an appropriate balance between the needs and concerns of all stakeholders and will result in a development that will ensure our neighborhood continues to thrive. At a time when civil discourse to resolve seemingly intractable problems is in exceedingly short supply, I hope this process can serve as a small reminder that when we come together with a willingness to listen to each other and a commitment to civility, there is no problem too great that we can’t solve together as one community.”
And from State Senator Daniel Squadron:
“The community board vote is a huge win for the community. It is appropriate that after 43 years, a community-driven process has moved SPURA forward. Over the last few months, I was honored to work with members of the committee, community members and my colleagues in government –Speaker Silver, Councilmembers Chin and Mendez, and Mayor Bloomberg — to support an open and productive process that will lead to real results.”
CB3’s full board votes on the proposal tomorrow evening. A full report from tonight’s meeting is coming up tomorrow morning.