Coney Island 'Mayor' to City: Drop Dead
Six weeks after Mayor Bloomberg abruptly revamped his Coney Island rezoning plans to include fewer outdoor amusements and more 30-story hotels, Sideshows by the Seashore director and "mayor of Coney Island" Dick Zigun has quit the board of the Coney Island Development Corporation, the city-spawned agency in charge of the redevelopment plans.
"The [original] CIDC Plan promised a world class tourist attraction with an entertainment core: lots of rides complimented by year round nightclubs and enclosed waterparks," wrote Zigun in his resignation letter, which he posted to his own Coney Island USA's message board.
"Instead the core will now be rezoned for a shopping mall full of NikeTowns, Toys R US and 4 thirty story hotels. ... We worked four hard years for consensus and I for one feel betrayed."
At the recent beach-opening protests against the city's Coney plans, Zigun told the Voice that he'd offered to resign from the CIDC when the new plan was first revealed, but was talked into staying on. The final straw, it seems, was when the city scheduled its first hearing — a "scoping" hearing to take comments on what will and won't be addressed in the rezoning — for June 24, three days after Zigun's group is set to stage its biggest summer event, the Mermaid Parade, and before the CIDC's next scheduled meeting.
"The final straw was when when I found out that the CIDC itself would not get to weigh in on these changes," says Zigun. "I am defending the CIDC plan against the CIDC now."