Political controversy about the Ex-Gasometri project


The Comitato Ex-Gasometri asks: “If Holler asks for a zoning variance for tourist residences, how will Mayor Brugnaro respond?

July 24, 2020

VENEZIA. A clear response from the city administration: that is what has been formally requested by the Comitato Ex-Gasometri, an organization made up of students, residents and associations that has the goal of preserving the area located at San Franceso della Vigna. The request arrives in the aftermath of the City Council in which the question of the Ex-Gasometri was on the agenda. It is a thorny issue because since 2017, when the property passed from public (Veritas) to private ownership (first a real estate company from Mogliano and now MKT), the fate of the area has remained uncertain. “In the past few years we have asked Mayor Luigi Brugnaro and the city administration many times to clarify their intentions, inasmuch as it falls to the City to concede, or not, the change in zoning which remains to this day public, but the new owner would like to change to tourist lodgings – explains Jorge Molia Ruiz, one of the students in the Comitato – The other day, during the City Council videoconference meeting, we hoped to finally get a definite answer, but it didn’t go that way”.

In fact, the members of the Comitato accuse the majority and Councilor Massimiliano De Martin of having distracted attention from the relevant issues regarding use of the area by “accusing” some of their members of engaging in election campaign propaganda. “I haven’t accused anyone – responded Councilor De Martin – it is a given fact that there are people in the Committee who are candidates on the list of Martini for Mayor, the list of names is on their web site”.

But the Comitato recalled that the protest against the possibility of transforming the area into tourist residences dates back to 2017 and therefore at a time above suspicion. “Instead of discussing the area and the real needs of the community such as the gym for the students, unfounded accusations were made ad personam at residents – write the members of the Comitato in a memo – The message we have always put forward is that of demanding a livable city, not one that is for sale, and this is consistent regardless of the current political context. The demonstration in 2017 and the recent formation of the Committee have denounced the problem to the public. The Comitato’s work did not start and neither will it finish with the election of a Mayor, but only when the needs of Venetians are respected both in words and in deeds”.

Meanwhile the site preparation work continues and has reached about halfway of what is in the original project. It’s a question of thousands of Euro invested by Ivan Holler and MKT, the same company that built the hostels in Mestre.

It’s a considerable investment that that requires a return, and it is about precisely this that the Committee poses its question: “If Holler asks for a zoning variance for tourist residences, how will Mayor Brugnaro respond? The citizens have the right to get an official response, clear and unequivocal from the whole political class, and for this we ask the Mayor-candidate and the candidates for Mayor to formally make a commitment with the citizens in this sense, declaring that they would not grant the zoning variance”.

Source: Il Gazzettino

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