But a private developer who owns almost 11 acres of land the city needs to redevelop the crumbling neighborhood by the Brooklyn boardwalk says he still wants to play a major role in the project.
"I'm the stakeholder. I'm the guy who controls this -- it's my sandbox,'' Joe Sitt told The Associated Press as members of the Council's Zoning Subcommittee and Land Use Committee voted in favor of the city plan.
The full City Council is set to vote on the plan July 29, but Tuesday's decision was seen as the last real opportunity for major changes.
Council members voted to allow Coney Island to be rezoned for commercial use and a new entertainment complex from its original all-amusement designation.
It "gets us one step closer to a final approval of our plan to revitalize Coney Island, protect and expand the historic amusement district and create jobs and housing,'' said Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent. "We're hopeful the council will adopt the plan when it convenes next week.''
The city would like to turn the aging waterfront once dubbed the "People's Playground'' into a year-round entertainment complex with an updated amusement park. That includes a complex of high-rise hotels, retail stores, movie theaters, an indoor water park and the city's first new roller coaster since the landmarked Cyclone was built more than 80 years ago.
Under the city plan, the core of the 27-acre amusement district would be 12 open-air acres as part of $14 billion in fresh economic activity linked to 6,000 permanent jobs and 25,000 construction jobs. On 20 additional neighborhood acres, the city promises the seaside community 4,500 new housing units and a new neighborhood park.
But there are still salient sticking points.
Despite months of negotiations, Sitt's Thor Equities company has not announced any agreement to let go of property the city would like to purchase.
"I am hopeful that we'll be able to reach a happy medium that makes all sides happy and includes the ability of the city to play some role, together with me, in Coney Island,'' Sitt told the AP.
"The city cannot be successful without me,'' he added.
Neighborhood activists and preservationists are concerned the new commercialized entertainment will demolish historic properties and mom-and-pop operations that are part of Coney Island's allure.
But Sitt, a 45-year-old Brooklyn native, insists he wouldn't destroy one of his notable childhood memories.
"I am extremely passionate about preserving the legacy of Coney Island and not letting anybody do anything to harm it,'' he said Tuesday, adding that his company has "knocked down no buildings.''
He said the waterfront still offers amusements including "everything from rides to sword swallowers to exotic animals to all kinds of games to an Italian-style street festival.''
Thor purchased the land under the Astroland amusement park in 2006. The Albert family that owned the bulk of the rides for decades closed Astroland after failing to reach a lease agreement with Sitt.
Other glitches in redevelopment include demands from union leaders and activists that new jobs come with living wages and benefits and that half of all housing units be affordable. In the city's current plan, 35 percent of the new housing units are affordable.
Community representatives also want better public transportation, a new school and hospital emergency room, and a supermarket to serve year-round residents.
The mayor says his staff is working with City Council members, unions and residents to consider the various demands.
Before the full council votes, the plan will undergo some modifications, Brent said.
"We hope that the city will continue to improve the plan so that this development will benefit the entire community,'' said Matt Ryan of the nonprofit advocacy group New York Jobs with Justice.