Green Thumbs Down: Community Gardeners Concerned About Proposed City Rules

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Community gardeners are concerned about proposed new rules that would further regulate 300 gardens overseen by the city.

Gardeners like Edward Coleman, who has been growing vegetables in the East Village for 10 years, worry that the new rules will allow the city to seize community gardens to put up housing.

"We'll fight tooth-and-nail," he says. "And I think we can do it better because we can have crying little children on TV and they can't. Bloomberg can't cry for a new building."

Two city departments -- Parks and Recreation and Housing Preservation and Development -- published their proposed rules today. A public hearing will be held August 10 at the Chelsea Recreation Center before the rules are finalized.

A spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development said the new rules are meant to mirror a 2002 agreement that balanced the need for affordable housing with the need for community gardens.