Bronx Garden Update
A Holiday Reprieve....
Gardens Vote Delay Pulls Plug on Protest
By GREG GITTRICH Daily News Staff Writer
Thirty angry Bronx residents - some dressed as birds -
flocked to City Hall yesterday expecting to protest a
decision to bulldoze community gardens in favor of new
But the gardeners were left with little to gripe about, as the City
Council delayed its vote until next month at the earliest.
"It's frustrating - and we're not feeling too hopeful," said Lesley
Wood, a member of Bronx United Gardeners.
The Council's land-use subcommittee already has backed a city plan to build
200 homes for moderate-income families in
Morrisania. Wood and other protesters admitted that it would be
"very unusual" for the entire Council to stray from the
By most accounts, the wild card remains Councilman Wendell
Foster. The Morrisania Democrat has been a big backer of newhousing for the
area but wants to find a compromise to save the
Protesters insist 10 gardens would be lost if the housing
developments are approved. But city officials say only seven lots
would be bulldozed.
Even with Council approval, construction could not begin
State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer won an injunction in February
that temporarily bars the city from bulldozing any community
gardens. The Morrisania plots are covered by the court order, but
could be plowed under if the city can prove the housing to be built
would have no negative impact on the environment.
The mayor's office favors returning many of the city-owned lots to
the tax rolls. When the city attempted to auction off 114 gardens last year,
the beloved public spaces were saved at the last minute,
thanks to a $4.2 million deal sealed with the help of actress Bette
Midler (Adam's Note: and the Trust for Public Land.)
Original Publication Date: 12/20/00
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