Commission chair Amanda Burden said on Wednesday that the plan to create a 27-acre amusement and entertainment district incorporates recommendations that arose during meetings with the local community board and borough president Marty Markowitz. Revisions to the plan "strengthen the ground-floor requirements for traditional amusement uses--such as arcades, games of chance and rides--to maintain Coney Island’s one-of-a-kind amusement character in the Coney East amusement and entertainment district," Burden said Wednesday.
Burden added, "We’ve also reduced the height limits for building streetwalls along Surf Avenue in Coney East to ensure direct visibility to the amusement park and boardwalk upon arrival in Coney Island." She said other modifications will encourage "extraordinary design" as well as the integration of Coney Island’s historic icons in the future development.
In a statement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the plan approved Wednesday "ends decades of speculation and disinvestment and expands the active amusement district into a 27-acre 21st century attraction. We cannot allow Coney Island’s decline to continue, and the opportunity to create 6,000 permanent jobs and 25,000 construction jobs in addition to 4,500 new housing units--900 of them affordable to low- and middle-income families--cannot be passed up."
Wednesday’s CPC meeting was disrupted by protestors who said the plan doesn’t ensure that the newly created jobs provide prevailing and living wages and benefits. "The city is prepared to make a massive, taxpayer-fueled investment in Coney Island, but the current plan and the recommendations from Community Board 13, Markowitz and now the CPC aren’t nearly enough to ensure new development preserves the people’s playground that New Yorkers love and benefits the entire community," says Matt Ryan, campaign director for New York Jobs with Justice, in a release.