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Another article about the NYC garden settlement

  • Subject: [cg] Another article about the NYC garden settlement
  • From: Lenny Librizzi plantlot@rcn.com
  • Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 11:45:05 -0400

Another article from a local paper in Queens:


Public Gardens And Housing Get Official OK

By Victor Ross

Public garden sites, for the past three years an endangered species in Queens, were rescued as part of a citywide 
agreement announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

The pact not only ensured the retention of 24 borough public gardens, but also provided four local sites for the 
construction of critically-needed public housing. Three of the housing developments are slated to be constructed in the 
Jamaica area, and one in the Arverne section of the Rockaways.

The agreement makes permanent local gardening sites operated by the Parks Department and the city school system. 
Breathing a sigh of relief are hundreds of local gardening enthusiasts, some who raise flowers in the Jamaica Center 
Botanical Garden, as well as the hardy Flushing senior "urban farmers" who raise Asian vegetables in the Kissena 
Corridor Community Gardens.

Lauding Mayor Bloomberg’s offer of cooperation, Spitzer said, "We need to preserve as much green space as possible, 
while at the same time allowing for development where appropriate."

Local community boards are carefully examining their records, because development of housing can begin on lots where 
routine land-use approvals have already been completed.

The pact marks the end of a bitter legal battle between two highly vocal New York City advocate groups—public housing 
vs. green space supporters. Leading the public housing group was Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who wanted to end the two-
decades public gardens program by building badly-needed homes. When Giuliani ordered the gardens closed, Spitzer 
filed suit in May 1999 to stop the city from auctioning community gardens to developers.

With this agreement in place, elected officials and local activists are already turning their attention to the type of 
residences that are going to be constructed, and their potentially unique impact on the primarily residential communities.

Councilman Allan Jennings (D-28th CD), in whose district three of the housing projects are scheduled to be built, has 
already begun a detailed examination of the housing proposals. HPD Commissioner Jerilyn Perine has already indicated 
that her agency is ready to start construction of homes and apartments for working families and low-income senior 

Queens BP Helen Marshall hailed the agreement that ended the three-year battle, by declaring, "God knows, we need 
affordable housing!"

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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