Thursday, August 12, 2010

EDC afraid of allowing the sun to shine in

From the Daily News:

...some land owners - bitter over a cancelled state hearing on the project scheduled for this week - said a controversial ramp project for the Van Wyck Expressway should red light the plan.

"We could be at the beginning of a long process," said Richard Lipsky, a lobbyist for the local business owners' group, Willets Point United. "This deal can't be done behind closed doors."

Some business owners had hoped to use the state Senate hearing as a platform to call for an independent review of the plan.

The meeting was to be chaired by state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn), head of the Transportation Committee. It was cancelled two days after it was planned because of a scheduling conflict, a Dilan spokesman said.

"It's disappointing to us and mysterious that it was cancelled within 48 hours [of being scheduled]," said Lipsky...

Dozens of land owners in the so-called Iron Triangle are also calling for more transparency in conversations between the city Economic Development Corp. and state Department of Transportation as they try to hammer out an environmental assessment of building on- and off-ramps near Citi Field.

"There's too cozy a relationship," Lipsky charged of the two agencies.

Still, the city doesn't expect plans to redevelop the area to be hindered in any way.

The EDC plans to submit the environmental assessment by early next month, sources said.

The plans will then go under public review to create a revised Access Modification Report - a detailed summary of the project. It must be approved by both the state DOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

The EDC obviously is scared of allowing the public to hear and see what has been going on behind closed doors. We're here to lift the veil.

Stay tuned, this is going to get good.