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New threat to NYC gardens




--------------------------------------------------------------------
News from CYBERPARK@treebranch.com
---------------------------------------------------------------------
This is the text of the lead story on this weeks newsletter to be broadcast
tommorrow. Edie asked that I post it early. I was out of contact with the
list for a couple of days, and needed some time to catch up. 
 
-dave lutz 
 
MAYOR TARGETS MORE GARDENS 
Mayor Rudy Giuliani continued his reign of terror on community gardens last
week in the form of a Request for Proposals to develop market rate housing
on 47 NYC owned properties. In a city with over 11,000 truly vacant lots, to
the best of our knowledge, 47 of the 66 properties chosen from the City’s
vast inventory were on the same sites as active Community Gardens. Over 20
more gardens would be destroyed by this initiative alone. In the few short
months since the cliffhanger purchase of more than 100 gardens by the
philanthropic community, over 100 additional lots with gardens have been moving
through the development process and are on bulldozer watch.  
 
Once again, the Mayor has used an administrative loophole to bypass the
normal city processes, which allow Community Planning Boards to have input into
their futures. Gardeners are denied the same due processes that most land
with existing uses must go through. The UDAAP shortcut continues to be used
even after HPD Commissioner Richard Roberts promised two-years ago not to
dispose of land without Board input. Once again, the City, in its press release
resorts to a big lie, saying, “these sites are among the last unimproved,
derelict, and vacant lots in their communities”. Once again, community gardens
will be developed with no public discourse about the wisest use of city
land, no planning for open space needs, and no requirement that truly vacant
lots be developed first. Once again, community gardeners were not informed of
the impending destruction of their green oases.   
 
While the Department of Housing Preservation and Development continues to
frame the issue as gardens vs. affordable housing, the one to four family
homes to be built under this RFP will all be “market rate”. According to HPD
“There will be no income restrictions for homebuyers and no limitations on the
rents which may be charged by any homebuyer for any rental”  
 
NYC has the smallest amount of parkland per thousand people of any American
city. Brooklyn and Manhattan have 1.7 and 1.8 acres per thousand. Boston,
the least well-served American City outside of New York has over 4 acres per
thousand. Most American cities have over 6 acres of parkland per thousand
residents 
 



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