Last week, the Times reported that the City’s proposed plan for Coney Island may not go forward without an environmental review:

“The city wants to rezone Coney Island’s aging amusement park district to attract the development of stores and apartments, while preserving historic attractions like the Parachute Jump. Its proposal calls for swapping 9.6 acres of city-owned parkland next to KeySpan Park for 10 acres in the amusement park area owned by a shopping center developer, Joseph J. Sitt. The transaction would require state legislative approval.”

Carl Kruger, Senator from Brooklyn, has called attention to a Nov. 30 decision that requires environmental review for any change in public parkland to non-park use.  According to the article, “The opinion adds another stumbling block to a project that already appears to be at a standstill, since Mr. Sitt has balked at the land swap. It is likely to present Robert C. Lieber, the mayor’s new deputy mayor of economic development, with one of his first big challenges as he takes office on Jan. 8.”

Today, the Post speculates that Sitt is building up his cash-in-hand in “preparation for a long holdout over Coney Island.”

In the meantime, Sitt’s company, Thor Equities, has been busy stirring up controversy by sponsoring the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Swim.

Photo via Project for Public Spaces article on Coney Island as a Great Public Space.

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