Public Shut Out from CPC’s Public Hearing on ZQA/MIH
Were you left outside, too? The Historic Districts Council, NY Landmarks Conservancy, MAS, Friends of the Upper East Side, Landmark West!, and the Society for the Architecture of the City were unable to testify at the City Planning Commission’s public hearing for ZQA/MIH this morning because the room was at capacity by 9:15 am–the hearing commenced at 9:00 am. By 10:30 am, representatives of City Planning explained that attendees who wished to speak could choose to wait outside with no guarantee of entry. Even worse, the City Planning Commission has not given any indication that they will hold additional hearings to ensure the whole of the public will be heard.
This is a public hearing, not a line on Black Friday. ALL of the public should be able to speak, not just those who got in line several strategic hours earlier than everyone else. There must be allowances made so that all the people of New York can have a voice.
Please send a letter to Carl Weisbrod, Chair of NYC City Planning Commission and tell him that this morning’s situation was untenable and that our voices deserve to be in the record on this unprecedented rezoning proposal. Everyone deserves a chance to be heard and not be left out in the cold.
Dear Chair Weisbrod,
I am one of hundreds that your agency, the City Planning Commission, turned away this morning at the only public hearing for ZQA/MIH. It is critical that the public have a voice in this process. Blocking access to a public hearing is alarming public policy and issues of this magnitude need to engage the broadest band of the public, not just people who arrived early.
The failure of your agency to anticipate a large turnout for the most crucial rezoning proposals of our City (ZQA & MIH) was short-sighted, and not accommodating the profound public interest in this issue is opaque, undemocratic, and violates the spirit and intention of the Uniform Land Use Review Process.
I respectfully request that a second public hearing be held for everyone who was left in the cold today. Allow us to speak, the same way certain groups were able to speak to your Commissioners this morning. Submitting written statements is not equivalent to face time with your Commission on this enormous citywide proposal.
-The Historic Districts Council