Printer Friendly Format

PR- 208-03
July 22, 2003


Initiative Aims To Protect Staten Islanders' Quality Of Life & Address Overdevelopment

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the formation of the Staten Island Growth Management Task Force to address overbuilding and development issues on the Island. The task force’s goal is to outline specific actions to better regulate development, and to preserve and reinforce the quality of life and traditional neighborhood character of Staten Island.  In response to the explosion of new housing and population on Staten Island, which over the last decade grew at a rate almost double the City as a whole, the task force will also look at the borough’s changing needs and recommend ways to manage future growth consistent with the infrastructure capacity of the Island.  The task force consists of elected officials, City agency commissioners, and representatives of civic and other groups, with a direct stake in the future of Staten Island. 

“Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to comprehensively address the problem of rapid development, infrastructure support and quality of life issues that are facing the communities of Staten Island,” Mayor Bloomberg said.  “I am confident that the carefully selected members of this task force will examine all of the issues and provide appropriate solutions that we can quickly put into effect.  The investment that we make today in thoughtfully planning out transportation, infrastructure and other development initiatives is vital to the future of Staten Island’s neighborhoods.

“I’m also pleased to announce that because of our concern about growth management, we have withdrawn six Staten Island parcels of land from the auction of City-owned land scheduled for tomorrow,” added Mayor Bloomberg.  “As part of our overall effort to address the issue of growth management, we need more time to evaluate the most appropriate use of these properties and therefore, felt it necessary to pull them from tomorrow’s auction.” 

The Growth Management Task Force announcement followed a tour of questionable developments throughout the island that were identified by Borough President James Molinaro and City Council Member James Oddo.  City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden, and Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster joined the Mayor for the tour and announcement that followed at a construction site where a single-family residence had been demolished to make way for a townhouse development, across from the newly restored South Beach boardwalk.
“I would like to thank the Mayor for recognizing and responding to the concerns of the people of Staten Island,” said Borough President James Molinaro.  “I am confident that this task force will address many of the misinterpretations that cause over and out of character development on Staten Island.”

“I made an appeal to Mayor Bloomberg on behalf of all Staten Islanders describing the frustrations of inappropriate development in this borough,” said Councilmember James Oddo. “We asked for Mayor Bloomberg's assistance, and he responded by establishing this task force.  In my mind, this group can address opportunities for change and manage future growth that is consistent with the capacity of the public infrastructure and public services.”

“Growing up on Staten Island was a wonderful experience for me, and with the work of this task force, the Mayor is committed to maintaining the quality of life that Islanders deserve,” said Senior Advisor to the Mayor Vincent La Padula. “This initiative coupled with our success in keeping crime down, our efforts to ensure that the Fresh Kills remains closed, and the work of the Homeport Task Force, will all go a long way to preserving and improving the character of this great borough.”

“Over the past several years we have actively pursued new controls to restrict inappropriate development,” said City Planning Director Burden. “In February of 2002, zoning amendments were adopted that mandate all new developments built on private roads to build wider private streets, sidewalks, front yards and landscaping.  We are also working closely with Borough President James Molinaro to implement his downzoning applications.  Although many issues remain, I look forward to working with the Task Force to develop ways that preserve and enhance Staten Island’s unique character, its traditional low-scale neighborhoods, and its rich open space resources.” 
“The Task Force will ensure the continuing vitality of Staten Island,” said Buildings Commissioner Lancaster.  “By seeking ways to sensibly regulate growth, it will balance the need to preserve the current standard of livability while still encouraging the construction of much needed housing.”

The task force is charged with examining the issues of overbuilding and development on the Island, and identifying short-term solutions, potential legislative changes, and strategic long-term planning that will protect and enhance the quality of life on Staten Island.  Recognizing that planning, transportation and building issues have become crucial to the quality of life for Staten Islanders, the group will begin working together immediately to establish an action plan that addresses these concerns. The Task Force, which will hold its first meeting on August 5th includes:

  • Amanda M. Burden, Director, Department of City Planning
  • James Molinaro, Staten Island Borough President
  • James Oddo, Council Member
  • Andrew Lanza, Council Member
  • Michael McMahon, Council Member
  • Patricia Lancaster, Commissioner, Department of Buildings
  • Iris Weinshall, Commissioner, Department of Transportation
  • Anthony Licciardello, Staten Island Director, Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit
  • Pamela Adamo, Vice President, Community Development, Keyspan, Inc.
  • Robert Englert, President, Staten Island Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
  • Lester J. Figueroa, Real Estate Attorney
  • Joseph E. Markowski, President, New Dorp Central Civic Association
  • Michael Morrell, Westerleigh Improvement Society, Inc.
  • R. Randy Lee, Leewood Real Estate Group, Builder
  • Dr. Kenneth J. Saccaro, Former President, Staten Island Greenbelt Conservancy
  • James Scarcella, President, Natural Resources Protective Association
  • Pablo Vengoechea, Architect, Zone Architecture


Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

Katie MacCracken   (City Planning)
(212) 720-3471

More Resources
Watch press conference in 56k or 300k