Coney Island is a peninsula, formerly an island, in southernmost Brooklyn, with a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood is in the western part of the peninsula, with Seagate to its west; Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east; and Gravesend to the north.
The Municipal Art Society launched the initiative ImagineConey in early 2007, as discussion of a rezoning plan that highly favored housing and hotels began circulating from the Department of City Planning. City Planning certified the rezoning plan in January 2009 to negative responses from all amusement advocates and Coney Island enthusiasts. The plan is currently working through the ULURP process. Thor Equities has said it hopes to complete the project by 2011. The Aquarium is also planning a renovation. In June 2009, the city’s planning commission unanimously approved the construction of 4,500 units of housing and 900 affordable units and vowed to “preserve, in perpetuity the open amusement area rides that everyone knows and loves,” while protestors argued that “20 percent affordable-housing component is unreasonably low.”
The beach Coney Island still maintains a broad sandy beach from West 37th Street at Seagate through the Coney Island and Brighton Beach to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach , a distance of approximately 2 ½ miles. The beach is continuous and is served for its entire length by the broad Riegelmann boardwalk. A number of amusements are directly accessible from the land side of the boardwalk, as is the New York Aquarium and a varity of food shops and arcades.