Regular reader, Bill forwarded this article from the New York Daily News calling it an “outstanding collection of anti-density and anti-market propaganda presented (as always) as objective journalism.” The article is riddled with misconceptions (aka Urbanism Legends) about zoning and development and is a perfect example of the quality of journalism that touches on city development issues referenced in today’s earlier post, Journalists and Cities.
Let’s spot the more egregious statements from City and residents aim to keep Rockaway low-density:
“The hope is to spur investment by maintaining low-scale development that fits into the area’s historic character. Similar zoning changes in Bay Ridge, Park Slope and the West Village along the Hudson River inspired great growth.”
hmmm, restrictions inspire growth?
Rockaway’s last zoning change came in 1961, allowing multifamily homes to be built where single-family homes once stood. The results were rapid development and streets butchered by an ungainly mix of large and small apartment buildings and homes.
Wait, growth is bad?
“We don’t have the space to be densely populated, and the owners of these big buildings don’t even live here”
more space :: more density? not the equation I learned
“Home prices should begin a steady increase if this zoning gets us better transportation.”
This “zoning” that brings transportation sounds even nicer than the tooth fairy, and just as real.
“I don’t know if the new upzoning of 116th St. will work, but I do know that the old, low-scale zoning on 116th St. did not bring in the amount of new businesses and investment required to improve the area.”
Then again, density is good for retail…
To ensure that parking does not become a problem, Gaska worked with Burden’s city planners to ensure that each new development has parking for at least 85 percent of the residents, not the usual 50 percent.
They want walkable neighborhoods, but more importantly parkable neighborhoods.
“This is the case where the city representatives are supporting developers, not the community. I personally think gentrification would have taken care of itself.”
By “community”, they mean the ones who want to exclude other people from the community to boost their own home values.
“The old zoning was like the Wild West, with people putting up anything they wanted anywhere,” says city planner Burden
The good ‘ole Wild Wild West analogy… People who are willing to pay for it should not have what they want, Burden knows whats best for you.
Predictability creates value… …That’s our plan citywide.
Does predictability really “create value” or does it release value by not obscuring what someone can do with their property? And if you really want to release value, let people build as they please like the “Wild Wild West” of the old zoning.
I guess by confusing the reader with a bunch of contradictions, it makes planners seem like real geniuses. Wow, how could they take all that information, process it and come out the best solution for all of us? Amazing minds, those planners – what would we do without them?