By SHAKIRA SEALEY
A group of city and state officials on Tuesday criticized the Bloomberg’s administration’s plan to rezone Midtown as the rushed effort of a “lame duck administration”.
“ A lame duck administration is swaddling us and future generations of New Yorkers with a substandard zoning plan,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman at a press conference on the steps of City Hall. “We are missing a once in a lifetime opportunity to truly value the sale of air rights, build new infrastructure in mass transit, preserve historic buildings and improve the public realm all for real estate values. The public needs to be paramount. No more quackery from a lame duck administration.”
The criticism came one day after the plan was approved by a unanimous vote by the City Planning Commission. urgency of the proposed plan. The City Council has 50 days to approve, deny or change the plan.
“ The plan is incomplete,” said Councilman Daniel Garodinick. “ Even a proposal with merit can fail for lack of planning.” Garodinick speculated that the impetus to approve the rezoning sprang from Mayor Bloomberg’s desire add to his “legacy” before leaving office in January. This, he added “will not be a justification to rush an incomplete proposal.”
State Senator Liz Kruger echoed this concern: “We cannot rush this through because someone is on a timeline to run out of City Hall. We cannot get this wrong because it would change the entire character of midtown.”
The proposed Midtown rezoning plan would create millions of square feet of new office space within 73 blocks bounded by East 39th Street to
the south, East 57th Street to the north, Second and Third avenues to the east and Fifth Avenue to the west. Advocates say the plan would expand the tax base, add thousands of permanent jobs in East Midtown and fund improvements to the subway and pedestrian network, allowing New York to maintain its status as a world-class business mecca.
Some Local community boards and elected officials counter that the bigger office towers attract too many people, burden the infrastructure, block views and cast shadows.
Garodnick said a Council vote was expected sometime in November.