Willets Wests decision sets a good precedent
Jul 08, 2015 | 11752 views | 0 0 comments | 264 264 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A recent decision by The New York State Appellate Court to strike down a development of a mall at Willets Point West sets a good precedent for New York City. Major projects need more oversight and the city needs more green space and less development.

The hope now is that the sides can find a happy medium. The developers, if they want to proceed, need to get approval from the state – or continue to drag this through the court system, which will just delay everything.

We're not coming down on one side of this project or the other, but we also can't just have the city handing over what is technically parkland to a private developer without proper oversight. It would set a bad example for future development.

A parking lot adjacent to Citi Field may not look like much now, but it’s still parkland and preservationists have the right to fight for it.

Essentially, that’s what this decisions means; it gives more oversight on the project, which is never a bad thing. Anytime a second, third – or a few hundred – sets of eyes get to scrutinize a project, there’s more room to make it appeal to the masses instead of a few.

In the short term, this decision is also good news for the small communities surrounding Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It means less locals leaving the community to shop at a big box store until a resolution can be found that takes into consideration the needs of the developer and the small business community.

At the end of the day, this project could still end up a destination mega-mall with not a square foot of green space. But at least every inch of the project will be picked with a fine-toothed comb, which makes it all the more difficult to argue with the final outcome.

The state court’s decision will end up being better for the area and better for the city in general. The only entity it really hurts in the short term is the developer.
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