Southern Brooklyn

Bullet Points: Community Board 15 – September 24, 2012



Manhattan Beach dog run vote tabled: Besides getting a surprise visit from a process server notifying the Board that they are defendants in a $180 million lawsuit, the two-hour long meeting got heated during a hearing on the future of the Manhattan Beach dog run. The proposal to move the dog run to a new location and establish a beautification garden at its current site was tabled after several speakers went back and forth about its merits, and the full Board decided that there wasn’t enough concrete information to take a vote. We’ll have more on this story in a separate post.

Elected officials (video above):

  • “I’m back kicking ass and taking names,” said Councilman Lew Fidler, who has suffered health issues stemming from a bad reaction to medication during his State Senate campaign. He added that reports of his health problems have been greatly exaggerated. Fidler discussed two issues he is working on, including a bill that will require gas stations to post all prices for all methods of payment on their roadside signs, bringing to a halt the annoyance of pulling into a gas station and finding that the price posted is for cash only. The other issue is in regards to looming budget cuts the mayor has ordered following the failure to push through the sale of additional taxi medallions and the five borough taxi plan. He said the mayor should arrange for a compromise that would allow for outer-borough taxi service and provide $600 million in revenue for this year alone. “The mayor and the administration need to get to the table, sit down, get over themselves.”
  • Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein promoted her free flu shot programs, for which you can find the dates by calling her district office at (718) 648-4700. She is also hosting a free shredding day on October 11 in the parking lot of Roosevelt Savings Bank on Avenue U.

Zoning items:

  • 2359 East 5th Street (between Avenue W and Angela Drive) – The Board voted 33-to-2 to approve an application for a special permit to enlarge this single family dwelling. The owners plan to increase the square footage of their home to 4,174 square feet, 1,774 square feet more than is legally allowed. They’re adding an additional floor to the structure, as well as expanding its footprint into its side and rear yards. Only one neighbor said she was against the project, but did not give a reason, while a boardmember who lived nearby said she saw no problem with the plan. It was pointed out that an apartment building is just three doors down.
  • 2410 Avenue S (between East 24th Street and Bedford Avenue) – The Board voted 34-to-2 to approve an application to increase the height and footprint of this single family home. The owner plans to increase the wall height two feet above what’s legally allowed, as they add a second floor and attic to the existing one-floor structure. They will also be expanding into the side and rear yards. No objections were raised by neighbors.
  • 2771 Knapp Street (between Harkness Avenue and Plumb Beach Channel) – The owner of this property – a commercial property that houses a deli, pizzeria and salon near the United Artists theater – is seeking to expand the structure to accommodate a fourth business. The new establishment will be a restaurant that has outdoor rooftop table service. The structure will be built out approximately 25 feet over the neighboring parking lot, and a portion of it will hang suspended over six parking spots. Some boardmembers expressed skepticism that it would worsen the traffic situation at the Knapp Street intersection, and possibly endanger children at nearby Amity School. Others wondered if the architect had taken into account the effects on houseboat residents in the marina behind the structure (they had not). In the end, the Board voted 26-to-10 in favor of their special permit to allow the use of an enlarged one-story building as four eating and drinking establishments.
  • 1713 East 23rd Street (between Quentin Road and Avenue R) – The Board voted 35-to-1 in favor of allowing a front and rear enlargement to this single family home. The property owner seeks to expand it by nearly 400 square feet. There were no objections from neighbors.
  • 154 Girard Street (between Hampton Avenue and Oriental Boulevard) – The Board voted 29-to-7 to allow the enlargement of a single family dwelling. The owner plans to add more than 1,000 square feet to the property, nearly 800 square feet more than zoning allows. All the work is being done on the front yard.

Board actions and other information:

  • The Board approved a motion to allow Chairperson Theresa Scavo to submit the district’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2014. The list includes requests for more funding to rehabilitate parks, sewer infrastructure, streets and roadways as well as the 61st Precinct station house, local firehouses, structures on Kingsborough Community College’s campus and elsewhere. They’re also asking for funds to restore after-school programs in local schools, sidewalk repairs, additional personnel at the 61st Precinct and a garbage basket pickup truck for our local Sanitation garage, which does not currently have one.
  • The Board voted overwhelmingly to send a letter of “resounding lack of support” to the Department of Transportation, regarding a proposal by the Kings Bay Y to turn a section of roadway near TD Bank at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U into a pedestrian plaza. Many were concerned about increased traffic problems, especially in light of the nearby bus routes.
  • Madison-Marine-Homecrest President Ed Jaworski repeated his hopes that boardmembers would be more transparent by introducing themselves and briefly discussing their qualifications. He also asked the Board to appoint a committee to examine the high number of Stop Work Orders on construction sites in the area, and also to study the amount of revenue the Department of Buildings has failed to collect on fines issued for building violations. He also requested a committee form to examine the sanitation concerns of the community, particularly underneath the Brighton line subway overpasses.

Bullet Points is our new format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles. If you like the Bullet Points format, or have suggestions for improvement, or see an item you’d like to know more about – let us know in the comments section!