Hudson River Park needs money for repairs and maintenance. But where can a cash-strapped strip of nature go when it's down on its luck? Private developers, of course! A law that will allow Hudson River Park to sell some 1.6 million square feet of air rights along a half-dozen piers has alarmed neighborhood groups concerned that the precious, restorative nothingness will be replaced by luxury housing.

The Times reports that the bill was passed in June, but has yet to be signed by Governor Cuomo:

"We, as well as other groups in the affected communities, were taken completely by surprise,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit group. “Most of us hadn’t heard about it until the day before the vote. We’re concerned about overdevelopment on the waterfront blocks, which are the visual face of the neighborhood. Knowing that this potential Pandora’s box has been opened is very worrisome to us.”

Bill Borock, president of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, said that he worried about the incursion of luxury high-rises. He called on the city’s planners to ensure that the air rights provision carried the promise of affordable housing. “That should be part of the discussion and not just lip service,” he said.

Affordable housing? Don't we already have plenty of that?