FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 29, 2003
Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk (Mayor's Office) -- (212)
Rachaele Raynoff -- (212) 720-3471
Vito Turso (Sanitation) -- (646) 885-5020
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG
KICKS OFF THE TRANSFORMATION OF FRESH KILLS IN STATEN
Mayor Calls on
Public to be Part of Planning for New York’s
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the official
kick-off of the $3.38-million Master Plan process that
will map out the future use of the 2,200-acre Fresh
Kills site on Staten Island. The creation of a Master
Plan will in two years create a blueprint for reclaiming
the largest landfill in the country for public uses,
and will begin with a public outreach program. The process
to plan new uses for Fresh Kills will be conducted by
a multi-disciplinary team led by Field Operations, a
landscape architecture and urban design firm. Staten
Island Borough President Jim Molinaro, City Planning
Director Amanda M. Burden, Sanitation Commissioner John
Doherty, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian
Benepe, elected officials and other civic leaders joined
the Mayor at the College of Staten Island for the announcement
to urge the public to take part in creating a vision
for the future of the site.
"Today represents a significant milestone in
returning the landfill to the public domain,"
said Mayor Bloomberg. "We are marking the beginning
of a new era for the site, and the City is committed
to moving ahead with the process of reclaiming this
complex site, long considered by Staten Islanders to
be a blight to the borough into an asset for generations
to come. New Yorkers can look forward to a day when
they can enjoy its open spaces and the recreational
uses that will be provided here. The public will have
the opportunity to participate in meetings and will
be part of the transformation every step of the way."
"I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for reaffirming
that the specter of the Fresh Kills dump is indeed behind
us," said Borough President Molinaro. "By
moving forward with this Master Plan, Mayor Bloomberg
sends a clear message to Staten Island that he is committed
to ushering in a bright, new future for Fresh Kills."
"The Master Plan will provide a strategic blueprint
for the creation of a scenic, ecological and recreational
amenity on Staten Island that will benefit local residents
and all who visit New York," said City Planning
Director Burden. "As it is transformed from a
landfill to an accessible landscape, Fresh Kills will
also gain a new identity as an outstanding example of
collaborative planning as the design is developed in
response to the needs of the surrounding community and
"This contract to plan the
future of Fresh Kills confirms the City’s commitment
to the continued closure of the landfill," said
Sanitation Commissioner Doherty. "We hope that
this plan once developed will provide a template for
other landfill and brownfield sites. The City intends
Fresh Kills to be recognized internationally as a case
study for landfill reclamation."
"The reclamation of Fresh Kills is the biggest
expansion of the Parks system since the creation of
the 5,000 Bronx parks network in the 1890’s,"
said Parks Commissioner Benepe. "It will set a
new standard for the transformation of former landfills
into beautifully landscaped public parks. With its undulating
topography, extensive wetlands and navigable waterways,
Fresh Kills will provide New Yorkers with a vast array
of recreational amenities, while it expands the rich
habitat of the Staten Island Greenbelt and William T.
Davis Wildlife Refuge."
Over the coming months the New York City-based Field
Operations, led by landscape architect James Corner,
will be acquiring greater technical knowledge of the
landfill site, its ecology and recreational opportunities,
and its roads and other infrastructure in order to refine
the conceptual design. City Planning and the design
team will initiate a public outreach program to identify
local concerns and needs. This month interviews will
begin with government officials and community leaders
to learn their concerns and hopes for the future park.
In January 2004, the first public meetings will be held
to discuss the conceptual plan with the community and
get feedback, which will be used to develop the Master
Plan. The community has already made suggestions for
active and passive recreation at Fresh Kills such as
field and court sports, golf, boating, a nature preserve,
greenways and equestrian trails. Another priority is
the upgrading of existing landfill roadways to connect
them to public streets; this, community leaders say,
will help alleviate the Island’s traffic congestion.
The consultant contract requires ongoing consultation
and reporting with community participants as well as
partners for the project, which include the Department
of Sanitation, which is funding the Master Plan, the
City’s Departments of Parks and Recreation, and
Cultural Affairs, as well as the Municipal Art Society,
the State’s Departments of State and Environmental
Conservation, and the Staten Island Borough President.
Incorporating land use and environmental/regulatory
review, the Master Plan contract has 3 phases, the first
of which officially begins today and will be completed
in June 2005.
- This two-year first phase includes community
outreach, planning, design and regulatory services leading
to the Proposed Master Plan. An Environmental Assessment
Statement (EAS) and Public Scoping Document for the
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be produced
during this phase.
- Phase 2 covers work involved in the adoption
of the Master Plan. It will take approximately 18 months
to complete the environmental and land use review procedures
(CEQR, ULURP and state and federal regulatory reviews)
and a Final Master Plan.
- Phase 3 is implementation of the first elements
of site redevelopment. The specifics will be decided
as part of the Master Plan process.
The consultant is charged with creating a flexible
plan for a safe and well-functioning environment that
responds to the different topographies, engineering
issues and ecologies of the Fresh Kills site. The Master
Plan contract also calls for creation of financial and
stewardship plans to facilitate implementation, management
and operation of the site.
It is projected that some areas of
Fresh Kills, with immediate planning and design, could
be turned to beneficial use in as few as 5 years. Eventually,
through construction in phases, it is envisioned that
the site will be reborn as a park. The 2200-acre Fresh
Kills site, located on the western shore of Staten Island,
is almost three times the size of Central Park, and
was officially closed as a landfill in 2001.
Department of City Planning is responsible for the
City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including
land use and environmental review; preparation of
plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance
and planning information to government agencies, public
officials, and community boards.
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