That didn’t take long.
Sen. Hillary Clinton backtracked on last week’s headline-generating opposition to a controversial state plan for a condo-and-open space development on the Brooklyn waterfront.
As reported by The Brooklyn Papers, Clinton condemned aspects of the so-called Brooklyn Bridge Park at a Sunset Park campaign stop on Aug. 9. Her comments were also reported in the Daily News.
The current plan requires the 1.3-mile-long waterfront development linking DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights to be self-sustaining. Its upkeep would be paid for through maintenance fees on the private luxury housing within the project.
Last week, Clinton questioned that scheme, saying, “If parks had to be self-sustaining, would anyone have ever built a park?”
The state’s junior senator also called the plan “disingenuous,” adding, “It’s not luxury housing we need. We absolutely need affordable housing.”
But this Wednesday, Clinton sent a painstakingly nuanced letter to the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation — the state agency overseeing the project — suddenly expressing support for the self-sustainability requirement.
“Although I believe public revenues should support public assets … like parks and their maintenance, I understand that cities across the nation, including New York, have had to struggle to find dedicated revenue sources to fund park maintenance,” wrote Clinton.
Going further, Clinton also took at face value a state contention that the amount of luxury housing could decrease if revenue from it exceeds current projections — a prospect that some opponents of the state plan believe is laughable.
“I was joking about how long it would take all of the Brooklyn elected officials to get to Hillary [to make her change her position]— I was guessing it would be less than 10 days,” said Roy Sloane, a Cobble Hill community leader who was involved in an earlier park design, but opposes the current plan.
“I think every mayor and governor across America will look at this project and say, ‘Look, all we have to do is add a couple of luxury apartments, and we can get parks off our tax rolls,’” added Sloane.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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