The Effect of the Spitzer Injunction and Law Suit On Garden Preservation
This was excerpted from URBAN OUTDOORS, the monthly newsletter of
Neighborhood Open Space
Coalition and Friends of Gateway. This organization is at the center of our
NYC struggle to make community
gardens a governmentally recognized and accepted land use. Dave Lutz, the
editor of the Neighborhood
Open Space Coalition and Friends of Gateway, and a skeleton legislative and
office crew do wonders for community
gardens in NYC and have staved off the bulldozers on many occasions. I have
attached their information at the bottom of
NEW MOVES FOR GARDEN PRESERVATION
In a report entitled Disposition Disputes, the Citizens' Housing and
Planning Council notes that disposition of city land that is not
being used for community gardens continues to move forward quickly.
The report further states that the judicial hold won by Attorney
General Elliot Spitzer against garden destruction has had the effect
of excluding the green oases from the expedited land sales.
In addition, behind the scenes negotiations between agency personnel
and elected officials are taking into account the text of proposed
legislation to provide a process for garden preservation, according
to an agency source. This is happening, even as the proposed bill
appears to be stalled in Council. While the temporary restraining
order is in place that prevents gardens from being bulldozed, many
gardeners believe that passing the Council legislation is an
important step to provide a permanent solution to the impasse.
Perhaps it is time for Community Garden supporters to call Councilman
Fisher and ask his help in moving the City legislation forward.
In a related move, legislation has been reintroduced in Albany that
would require state Universal Land Use Review Processes ("ULURP"s) to be
reconsidered when the land is being
used for other purposes. Some gardens are on land that has been zoned
for redevelopment using the city's ULURP process more than twenty
years ago. At that time, before most gardens were founded, the social
capital or environmental benefits of the small parks had not been
considered in preparing the land for expedited disposition. A call to
state elected officials asking their help in moving the legislation
is also in order.
Neighborhood Open Space Coalition / Friends of Gateway
356 Seventh Avenue ¥ New York NY 10001 ¥ 212.352.9330
Fax: 212-352-9338 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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