Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Scoping #1: Big Turnout for Coney Meeting

June 25th, 2008 · No Comments

[Photo courtesy of GerristensBeach.Net/flickr]

The second Coney Island rezoning Scoping Meeting took place last night in front of a large crowd with testimony that ran toward performance art. An earlier meeting had been held, but the process has had to be redone, because the plan has been revised since then. Kinetic Carnival said the meeting “was a bit livelier with ‘Coney-lujah’ praises including the night’s theme song by Amos Wengler.” Urbanite described the atmosphere this way:

Colorful Coney Island regulars turned the public comments portion of the evening into a rock concert of sorts. There was Reverend Billy standing on a first-row chair screaming “Coney-lujah” to the audience at Lincoln High School. Then there was songwriter Amos Wengler strumming on his acoustic guitar while singing “Save Coney Island” as though he were at an open-mic night.

Of course, Scoping Hearings are actually technical proceedings to determine the parameters of the review for a big land use plan, but many of the public comments were of the “for” or “against” kind. Some people spoke in support of the revised plan, but a significant number spoke against it, most notably Coney Island USA’s Dick Zigun, who resigned from the Coney Island Development Corp. in protest of the plan. Mr. Zigun said of his resignation: “Two months ago, the process broke down. I didn’t change my mind on the plan; the city gutted our plan. I didn’t leave the CIDC; the CIDC left me.” Mr. Zigun said the city is intent on turning a significant part of the existing amusement district into a dressed up shopping mall: “It’s FAO Schwartz with a keyboard you can dance on. It’s Radio Shack with a demonstration video game. It’s a shopping mall by other names.” About 100 people signed up to speak.

Tags: coney island · Rezoning