Compromises have already been made
I am disappointed by The News’ March 2 editorial calling for “flexibility” with respect to the proposed Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.’s Elmwood Avenue development. First of all, it is simply not true that in every dispute the best result is some sort of compromise. Sometimes there is a correct answer, and in this case the correct answer is to build to the Green Code standards.
This is not a dispute about a few inches in height. The proposed project is a full floor taller than the code permits, but more importantly, it violates the Green Code provisions with respect to frontage and square footage.
It is discouraging to be marginalized in this way by The News. The people who are opposed to this project are the same people who went to the hundreds of community meetings that hammered out the Green Code. There was much that was enacted that were compromises between competing commercial and residential interests. The compromises are baked in, they’ve already been made. Further compromise undercuts the entire purpose of having a new code.
It is misleading to suggest that the developer was somehow caught flat-footed by the new code. I went to a lot of those meetings, and we all know that Ciminelli had its voice heard during the drafting and revisions.
The neighbors are the people who have made the Elmwood Village desirable to developers. We are depending on the law to protect us from buildings that do not fit in our neighborhood. As Assemblyman Sean Ryan said at the last meeting, “The law says three stories. We say follow the law. I say it’s pretty easy.”
William C. Altreuter