Friday, October 26, 2007

Trying to Predict the Coney Island Zoning Announcement

Coney From Above Two

The most interesting question about Coney Island, of course, is what the city's zoning recommendations will be and when they will be announced. They've been delayed repeatedly and the subject of intense speculation, given that there have been some fundamental differences between what the Coney Island Development Corporation and city planners envision in terms of an amusement district free of housing and what developer Joe Sitt and Thor Equities are seeking. Do not be deceived. Even though the zoning discussion is about an soup of alphanumeric zoning designations and the allowed uses and floor-to-area ratios that go along with them, the outcome will determine the future of Coney Island. In other words: It's all about the zoning. The decision will determine the skeleton of the creature. Everything that comes after will be based upon it. In that sense, speculation now centers around Mayor Bloomberg's speech at Gargiulo's Restaurant on November 8. Will the mayor himself make the announcement? Has a deal been cut with Mr. Sitt? There's an ongoing discussion over at the Coney Island Message Board.

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