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Making 'Fair Share' Fairer

Gotham Gazette has an excellent piece out about the changes to “fair share” proposed under the City’s Charter revision. In a nutshell, it will give neighborhoods like North Brooklyn (home to five or six City Sanitation garages, about half of the city’s commercial waste haulage, numerous brownfields, power plants and a sewage treatment plant).

Currently, the City Charter has a provision that is intended to take into account the impact of Sanitation garages, sewage treatment plants, and the like on a community. The provision is intended to encourage a more equitable distribution of city facilities across community districts. But the current Charter provisions only require that the City take into account facilities on City-owned sites, leaving out the environmental and social impacts happening on privately-owned land. The proposed Charter revision would take into account all “state, federal and private facilities that handle solid waste and transportation in the city facilities map”.

This is a big step forward. It certainly is not a perfect fix – the fair-share provisions only require review, not an actual fair-share distribution (witness the City’s recent approval of expanded Sanitation facilities in CD1), and the new provisions don’t take into account all impacts on privately-owned land – but as Gotham Gazette says, it is a good first step.

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