Legal Dispute Forces Free Concerts to New Venue in Coney Island
Opponents of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s plan to build a $64 million amphitheater have succeeded in banning summer concerts in Asser Levy Park, at least for the time being.
Amplified Sound Forbidden
The free concerts were banned based on a law which states that amplified sound is forbidden from being played within 500 feet of a house of worship. By moving the venue for the summer concerts to a West 21st Street lot owned by Taconic Investment Partners, Mr. Markowitz will be able to continue in what is now a 31 year old tradition of summer concerts in this part of Brooklyn.
Still Wants Amphitheater
President Markowitz is not yet defeated, and says he still intends to push through his plan to build an outdoor concert amphitheater in Asser Levy Park, but has not yet discovered how he will overcome the law about amplified sound.
“In spite of their selfishness, the shows will go on,” Markowitz said of the opponents. “At this moment, NIMBYism has won. There are people in life, when you’re happy they’re miserable. Unfortunately that’s what we’re up against here….I hope they’re happy with what they’ve done. In my opinion, they have taken away happiness from many people.”
The concerts will take place on Thursday evenings, the opening night taking place on July 14th. There will be six shows during the course of the summer, instead of the usual seven. Markowitz explained that the Borough had to cut one concert in order to pay for renting a stage and generators at the alternative site.
Markowitz also explained that the delay caused by needing to find a new concert site made it hard for bookers to reserve the best performers, due to uncertainty about where the concerts would be held. Nevertheless some great entertainment can be expected this summer, Markowitz insisted.
Opponents are Pleased
Brighton Beach activist Ida Sanoff is happy about the move, saying “This is a win-win for everyone and it should have been done years ago.” She is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that forced the removal of the concerts from the park.
Geoffrey Croft from New York City Park Advocates said that Markowitz had “violated the law for many many years and tried to shove this unwanted amphitheater plan down people’s throats….For him to blame anybody but himself is ludicrous.”