NYELJP advocates for West Coney Island residents and community gardeners against planned $53m amphitheater development

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The Boardwalk Community Garden in 2013, before it was bulldozed by the City

On December 15, NYELJP will return to court on behalf of Coney Island community members, gardeners, and environmental activists for a rehearing in a suit against the City and a private developer, who together are seeking to build a $53m amphitheater and commercial space along the Coney Island boardwalk.  The development, a pet project of former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, consists of a 5,100-seat theater, stage, restaurant area, and paved pavilion, and would provide space for both free and private events, including Markowitz’s annual seaside concert series.

However, the project would provide few benefits to the local Coney West community.

Not only would the development exacerbate the many environmental problems in the area—in particular flooding and inadequate sewerage—but the project is to be built on top of parkland that was managed for years by Parks Department, used for park purposes, and which served as one of the few open green spaces in the community.  And though the development has languished, this parkland remains enclosed today, nearly a year after it was bulldozed, in violation of state alienation laws, and inaccessible to the local community.  Moreover, the community is frustrated that the city would rather spend its money developing prime, beachfront real estate than on improving local infrastructure, such as streets and sewers, which are both prone to flooding.

Community members further remain incensed that that City demolished the garden in the middle of the night, destroying thousands of dollars of equipment and ruining a treasured public space that had been tended for years and even rebuilt by the community in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

All so the City can transform this:

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And this:

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Into this:

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The case will be argued on December 15, 2014, at 12:00 in Kings County Supreme Court, part 73. 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn.  A press conference is scheduled for 11:00 am on the courthouse steps.

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