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In the video, Dick Zigun, founder and artistic director of Coney Island USA and the permanently unelected “Mayor” of Coney, asks YOU to contact your City Councilmembers to deliver the message “Don’t Kill Coney! Fix the Plan!”

“The City came up with an acceptable master plan, but at the same time, a private developer, Thor Equities, came in and purchased most of the property on the south side of Surf Avenue,” Zigun says in the video. “Thor Equities started lobbying and pressuring the city, and suddenly, the plan changed…there are some things in there that are frankly no good, and that’s the plan that’s going to be voted on at the end of July.”

Zigun’s recommendations include moving the 27-story high rises north of Surf Avenue, a change endorsed by the Borough President and Community Board; expanding the acreage for outdoor rides and amusements; and protecting Coney Island’s historic structures instead of creating financial incentives for tearing them down.

“Politicians DO listen to the public. Make some noise; July is the month,” says Zigun, who rallied on the steps of City Hall last month with the grassroots group Save Coney Island.“The future of Coney Island is being decided now. It’s an American treasure; let’s develop it the right way, the good way.”

To find your City Councilmember, type in your street address and borough on the City Council’s About page.

An email blast posted on Coney Island USA’s website urges people to make three phone calls by Monday, July 13, the City Council’s deadline for requests for changes to the City’s plan.

Call #1:
If you want to help save Coney Island, PLEASE CALL your City Council member TODAY (the sooner the better!).

Call #2:
Call your friends. If everyone forwards this to three friends and the chain continues, we can affect change to this plan!

Call #3:
If you REALLY want to Save Coney Island, also call Speaker Christine Quinn and deliver the same message.
Christine Quinn’s legislative office: (212) 788-7210.

PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS. WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET!

If you are not a New York City resident, ATZ suggests that you phone and leave a comment for Christine Quinn, the Speaker of the City Council. Legislative Office Phone (212) 788-7210. We also recommend calling 311 (1- 212-NEWYORK outside of NYC) and leaving a “Don’t Kill Coney! Fix the Plan” comment for the Mayor.

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Related posts on ATZ…

December 18, 2009: Ciao Coney Island! Will Ruby’s, Shoot the Freak, Astrotower & Other Oldies Survive?

October 9, 2009: A Rare Peek Inside Endangered Old Bank of Coney Island

July 27, 2009: Tall, Skinny & Destined to Kill Coney Island: High Rises on South Side of Surf

June 11, 2009: Coney Island Amusement Advocates Rally for More Acreage for Outdoor Rides

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Save Coney Island volunteer collecting signatures on Mermaid Parade Day in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Save Coney Island volunteer collecting signatures on Mermaid Parade Day in Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

The grassroots group Save Coney Island says this is your final chance to make your voice heard prior to the City Council’s vote on the City’s rezoning plan. You can sign the group’s petition here and learn about the group’s position here.

ATZ received an email from Save Coney Island that they would be winding up their online petition drive this week. Organizers plan to submit the results of the online and paper petitions to City Council by the middle of next week.

Our online petition will complement the thousands of signatures that we’ve collected on the ground (somehow, the interweb has proven a poor substitute for the old boots on the ground approach). As we prepare to deliver our signatures to Council members, we have had to switch our petition from the old site to a new one that collects the information necessary for us to sort signatures by Council district.

Please take a moment to transfer your signature to our new petition (even if you already signed the old one). In the next couple of days, we will sort the signatures by council district and deliver them to the appropriate representatives, asking them to fix the City’s plan or, barring that, kill it mercilessly.

As previously reported, the group rallied on the steps of City Hall asking the City to expand the acreage for outdoor rides and amusements, keep high-rises out of the central amusement district, protect small businesses, create amusement jobs and preserve Coney Island’s historic structures such as Nathan’s and the Shore Theater.

UPDATE: When I signed the online petition, a window appeared requesting a PayPal donation to the site that hosts the petition. But you do NOT have to donate to sign. I closed the window and that was the end of it.

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I just confirmed the info with staffers in both Councilmember Avella’s and Katz’s offices. The Coney Island Rumor Mill was sayin’ the hearing had been moved up to July 1, but the wording on the City Council website is incredibly opaque. It’s as if the powers that be would like to keep the public hearing an insider’s secret so that fewer people will show up. This calendar listing must have gone up today, because when I looked last night nothing was listed yet for July 1.

citcouncil

Council Meetings for July 2009
Zoning & Franchises * Addition Tony Avella, Chair
Wednesday, July 1, 10:00 AM
Council Chambers – City Hall
Details: See Land Use Calendar Available in Room 5 City Hall

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