Tonight: Important Community Board 15 Meeting

Community Board 15 is meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Kingsborough Community College’s faculty dining room. The meeting, the second to last before it breaks for summer, has on the agenda a number of issues recently discussed on Sheepshead Bites.

Board members will hear a presentation from the attorney representing the two Sheepshead Bay Road developments seeking variances for their parking. As we wrote last week, the developer that owns both properties – 1501 Sheepshead Bay Road and 1401 Sheepshead Bay Road – is seeking to build a nine-story building (and here), the parking from which will also supplement his other building, which is short nearly 70 spaces. In total, the buildings need 178 spaces, but the owner is asking it to be reduced to 101 spaces. The plans have been criticized by neighboring businesses and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (who has also requested a DOT traffic study).

The issue will be put to a vote following the hearing. Two variances for Manhattan Beach homes (represented by the same attorney) are also on the agenda.

The board will also vote on two Department of Transportation projects that affect the area, following presentations last Monday. The first is the replacement of the B44 Limited with Select Bus Service / Bus Rapid Transit along Nostrand Avenue. The new bus configuration seeks to improve commute times and efficiency with off-board fare payment, dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal priority, and low-floor buses. Neighbors are criticizing it for taking away parking and travel lanes, and being an excessive expenditure in the face of massive service cuts.

The second DOT vote regards the Safe Streets for Seniors program, for which Sheepshead Bay is an early deployment site. Several intersections along Ocean Avenue and Coney Island Avenue will receive improvements such as extended curbs, longer walk signals and pedestrian refuges in the middle of the street.

As a reminder, the Community Board is an advisory panel to government agencies and elected officials. Its vote signals to these entities the general neighborhood sentiment, and it is not binding but does help coordination and increase community involvement. So make sure you turn out so that the community’s feeling can be accurately accounted for!

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