Saving Governor’s Island

Kim’s Submission to City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises on Governors Island

April 5, 2021

I stand with the Metro Area Governors Island Coalition (MAGIC), Community Board 1 (CB1), and countless New Yorkers in opposition to the Trust for Governors Island (TGI) zoning proposal. 

Plans to boost outdoor living and wellness, as well as reinvigorate NYC tourism, are desperately needed as we emerge from the pandemic and economic upheaval of the last 14 months. However the TGI rezoning plan is wildly out of line with current issues that we face as a city. It is a development plan based on corporate influence and high finance, not community input and fiscal reality. Moreover, limited feedback and engagement from the public via a single zoom hearing today, represents the worst of rushed government decision making. New Yorkers are fed up with this level of duplicity and disrespect.

I agree with the December 22, 2020 Resolution by CB1 which highlights the expansion of this rezoning relative to the 2013 FSGEIS. CB1 goes on to express that they do not want “Governors Island to be converted into some kind of private or semi private area that would prohibit residents and workers and tourists from coming onto the Island. That would include residential communities or campuses.” This level of neighborhood feedback, especially as it pertains to protected green and open spaces, is exactly the type of engagement that decision makers need to respect if we want our city to move forward sustainably. 

I also support the CB1 call on the Trust to “identify and consider what the State and Federal government each provide currently to the Island and how this might be increased under the new administration to provide additional support to the Island.” 

Finally, New Yorkers cannot afford to pay for yet another construction project that will line the pockets of already wealthy developers when many of us are still struggling to make ends meet. I call on the City Council to reject this proposal and send stakeholders back to engagement and redesign, with greater consideration paid to MAGIC’s vision, in order to protect Governors Island for future generations.

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