New York Times editorial on the city’s current plan:

“This zoning proposal would allow a row of four hotels between the Stillwell Avenue subway stop and the outdoor entertainment area. The hotels could too easily become a wall, blocking public access to the sideshows and the rides, the boardwalk and the ocean. The hotels also squeeze the outdoor rides into a narrow strip of about 12 acres — an area that is simply too small to attract enough rides and attractions to bring back the big crowds.”

Municipal Art Society on the city’s current plan:

“The MAS is… concerned about the substantial reduction in the size of the area set aside for open-air amusements from 16 to 9 acres in the revised plan released in April. We are not aware of any other amusement areas of a comparable scale that come close to achieving the number of visitors that is the market for a revitalized Coney Island or even Coney Island today. We are concerned that the proposed area set aside for open-air amusements is of insufficient size and that as a result this revitalization effort will not be successful.”

Dick Zigun, founder of Coney Island USA, on the city’s current plan:

“[S]hopping and hotels are not amusements and will not be a draw…. the lure of Coney Island will never be NikeTown and a 30-story hotel.

“If the city gets its way, it won’t be Coney Island anymore. And if we lose Coney Island now, it will be gone forever. That is why I oppose this plan.”

Charles Denson, executive director of Coney Island History Project, on the city’s current plan:

“This rezoning… reduces what was once known as the world’s playground to something the size of a children’s playground…. Coney Island’s future as a world-class tourist destination is being sacrificed. What could have been an economic engine for New York City and the Coney Island community is being smothered by politically motivated, uninspired development.”

Lars Liebst, CEO of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens, world’s second-oldest amusement park:

“I think the whole area out there could be an area where not only the locals or the domestic travelers but also the international travelers would love to go…. you can make this a destination. But if you make it a destination, you should really think big…. That’s not what they’re doing at the moment. [The city’s] plan, it is getting smaller and smaller every time I see a new plan. I think there’s a huge danger that this plan won’t work.

“I think you have to come up with a much larger perspective for the development of Coney Island… First of all, it will get a lot of the locals jobs; it will serve the purpose of getting a new income source for New York… and it will be a destination or it could be a destination like the Chrysler Building, like Central Park, if you do it right….”

Michael Immerso, author of “Coney Island: The People’s Playground”:

“New York’s goal of making Coney a year-round tourist destination is worthy of support — but not in a way that leaves insufficient space for seasonal attractions and amusements that have become synonymous with Coney Island. The city hasn’t yet struck a proper balance. Under the current plan, too little land is allotted for the outdoor amusements, arcades and game stands that have long been Coney Island summer staples. The redevelopment zone comprises some 47 acres, and with the right zoning there can be ample space for year-round attractions without confining classic Coney Island amusements to a fraction of that area.”

Leaders of six key unions and community advocacy organizations:

“Through years of disinvestment, the active amusement area at Coney Island has been shrinking and must be strengthened to become a destination for all New Yorkers and tourists once more. To strengthen the “people’s playground,” the City must preserve more space for outdoor amusements and the small businesses and vendors who have kept Coney Island alive, invest in historic icons, develop an interim plan for amusements before construction is completed, and reinvest the revenue from City-owned land back into the community.”

Fifteen historians of New York City
on the city’s current plan:

“Coney Island is a place of great national historic significance. It is the birthplace of the modern American amusement industry. The City’s rezoning plan for Coney Island, however, dishonors its past and sacrifices its future.”

Ned Jacobs, son of urban visionary Jane Jacobs, on the city’s current plan:

“While I cannot speak on behalf of my mother, the late Jane Jacobs, or predict what she would think about particular proposals today, in my view, this rezoning plan for Coney Island does not appear to reflect the urban values and planning principles she espoused.”

Christine Quinn, City Council speaker, on the campaign to save Coney Island:

“If anyone thinks Jane Jacobs’ tradition is dead, they could go to the City Council phone line, where Coney Island folks have been calling in on a regular, regular basis.”

Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President:

“My vision is clear: Number 1: the amusement area must be protected. Number 2: we have to make the amusement area as large as possible. If the city needs to purchase land, it should purchase land to preserve it.”