If you’ve been reading this site for long enough, you may remember the battles over the public parkland destroyed to make way for the new New York Yankees stadium, and whether the new parkland belatedly created was of equal size and usability. (Short version: not so much.) According to today’s New York Post, however, the subject is about to rear its ugly head again, as the city is preparing to take four acres of promised Yankees-related parkland and instead use it for affordable housing:
The area lost more than 25 acres of parkland after the Bronx Bombers in 2005 were greenlighted to build their new ballpark.
At the time, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. George Pataki and the Yankees promised to eventually create more parkland than was lost. But only about 21 acres of new green space has been delivered.
Killian Jordan, a member of Bronx Community Board 4, called it “spectacularly inappropriate” that the city would be dangling the hope of bringing the neighborhood much-needed affordable housing at the expense of losing promised parkland…
The [city-run Economic Development Corporation] said it is considering acquiring a 2.5-acre lot, five blocks south of Mill Pond Park on East 144th Street, to build another park there.
There is a slim chance that all this would be illegal, thanks to the fact that the old parkland was decommissioned on the condition that equal new park space be created. As we’ve seen before, though, the laws surrounding parks alienation are pretty weak beyond “enh, whatever the city council and legislature decides is probably fine,” so this is likely to come down to how big a fight council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito wants to pick with Mayor Bill de Blasio. And either way, all the parkland still hasn’t been replaced, 11 years after it was obliterated. It’s just a win-win for everybody!