Willets Plan Approved But Opponents Hang In

Despite yesterday's approval of the City Planning Commission, the Mayor, and the local community board, the plan to redevelop Willets Point retains significant opposition, and both the New York Sun and the New York Daily News report an ongoing struggle to defeat it.

The Willets Point Industry and Realty Association issued a statement yesterday, calling the plan a "$1 billion plus waste of taxpayers’ money" and expressed "confidence" that "the City Council will continue to stand up to the Mayor as he pressures them to approve his flailing plan."

The Sun refers to an earlier letter by 30 Councilmembers promising opposition to the plan and the ongoing role of Queens Councilmember Hiram Monserrate, as does the News, which also notes that the Commission's lone dissenting vote came from Karen Phillips, who was appointed by Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, another plan opponent. (Gotbaum reiterated her opposition on her own blog, saying "we don’t know who is going to be the ‘master developer’ for the site, to hold accountable for what the actual plan will look like at completion.")

Gotham Gazette says that the "modifications" to the plan prior to its passage were all of the green variety including incentives for car sharing and "solar orientation of buildings," which do not address the concerns of the small Iron Triangle businesses which will be displaced by it.

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