Testimony on Encroachment of Parkland
Thelma Fellows, September 23, 2013 — The Sierra Club has a long standing position against alienation (taking) of park land for other purposes and intervenes when it can at the local, state, or national levels. The NYC Sierra Club learned that developers were trying to take over the parking area of Citi Field to build a shopping center. This was actually park land that was being used by the Mets as a parking lot since the stadium was built. The Sierra Club decided that it was time to act. This land has never been legally alienated and still has park status. This testimony was presented at a hearing before the City Council on September 3, 2013 in opposition to this taking of park land for private use.
New York City Sierra Club
Testimony presented to the NYC Council regarding
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The New York City Sierra Club opposes the siting of a new shopping Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The land in question, a space being used by the Mets for parking, is classified as public park space, and the Mayor is trying to circumvent the requirement to alienate parkland through the state legislature by offering long term leases to commercial interests.This treatment of public park space is totally wrong. (The same thing has happened at Damrosch Park where they even removed the Park signage. However, the park signs were recently putback after a lawsuit was filed.)
The NYC Sierra club believes that the intrusiveness of a permanent structure on acreage intended for public recreation in Fresh Meadows Corona Park should disqualify this proposed shopping mall from further consideration. This facility could be located elsewhere. The area that has been used by the Mets for parking was never intended for commercial use, other than to assist the Shea Stadium operation.
According to Patrick Arden (Monday, Jul 30, 2012) “….as recently as 2001, New York’s highest court ruled parkland can’t be taken, even for temporary use, without an explicit act of alienation passed by the state Legislature and approved by the Governor.”
On behalf of the NYC City Sierra Club, I thank you for accepting our testimony for the record.
Thelma Fellows Member
NYC Sierra Executive Committee