Tuesday, December 11, 2007

When Is Enough, Enough? Dysfunctional Development In New York City.

(photo credit: emptyhighway on flickr)

You can call me an idealist, you can call me naïve, hell, you can call me a N.I.M.B.Y for all I care, but one thing is for sure: something is rotten in this town of ours.
We have a mayor who is hell-bent on development without adding sufficient new infrastructure. We have a building's department stretched to its limit, unable to keep up with all the reports of unsafe, unauthorized construction going on around the five boroughs of New York City. We have no-reveal deals struck by our Building Department Commissioner with rogue architects like Robert Scarano and we have self-certification. We have sweetheart deals put together by politicians and developers. At the same time, there are threats of eminent domain used against home-owners.
Quite a combination! This would make one exciting movie if it were not reality.
I know what you are going to say: " It's always been like that. Money makes the world go round, Ms. Pardon Me! ." Well, yes, but only until the residents of this city say stop! There are so many voices out there saying exactly that. It seems like every neighborhood, especially here in Brooklyn, has a group that is demanding some sanity from the city when it comes to developing new housing stock.
Residents are banding together, documenting and protesting out-of context construction and dangerous building sites.
Now I guarantee you that the city would listen if all these groups banded together, spoke with one voice. How about the creation of one organization to include all neighborhood groups? Just a thought, dear reader, just a thought.

Related reading: Call To Arms: Over-development Foes Anxious For Action ( Carroll Gardens Courier)

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Anonymous said...

Katia, You speak from your heart but it's like it's coming out of my own mouth. You say all of the things that I am feeling; all of the things that I am angry about; and I really like your suggestions about creating one organization to include all of the individual neighborhood groups. What do you suggest as the first step?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the disgruntled voices speaking out against "overdevelopment" are property OWNERS. It seems that the majority of the shout comes from RENTERS who are not paying any taxes and are only worried about their rents going up. I am a property owner and along with many others who OWN property, look forward to development and a return on my investment. BE HONEST! Everyone talks about the "American Dream" and who, if it knocked at YOUR door, would turn it away? Do you actually expect me to believe that you would consider the "neighborhood" above your selves?