Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
Elected officials oppose Richmond Avenue development
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Borough President James Molinaro, Councilman James Oddo, Councilman Vincent Ignizio, Senator Andrew Lanza, and Assemblyman Lou Tobacco today expressed strong opposition to a proposed multi-level development on Richmond Avenue in Eltingville and are calling for an emergency meeting of the Growth Management Task Force to discuss this and other community facility issues.
The proposed buildings, to be located at 4243 and 4247 Richmond Avenue, would encompass four levels of medical offices and apartments. The elected officials are concerned about the impacts on the neighborhood and the deficit of parking in the plan.
Last night, Community Board 3 heard a presentation from the architect, and voted unanimously to oppose the request to increase “the bulk” beyond what is permitted “as-of-right.” In effect, the request was to increase two bedroom apartments to three bedroom apartments.
“My colleagues and I agree completely with the Community Board’s concern about this project, and we feel there is a strong likelihood it is in violation of zoning laws. We intend to meet with the Department of City Planning and the Department of Buildings prior to the emergency meeting and discuss our concerns in detail. It should be stated that this is the same architect who built three houses in Ocean Breeze when he had a permit for only two—and simply paid the fine imposed, essentially getting away with abusing the rules,” Molinaro said.
Councilman Oddo said: “While overdevelopment might not be as much of a buzzword in certain circles, improper development continues to be improper development. This specific example highlights the broader, long-standing issue that the rules regulating ‘community facilities’ are grossly insufficient and out of date. Yes, the City Council changed these rules several years ago, but one drive across Staten Island shows how critical it is to comprehensively update them as quickly as possible.”
Councilman Ignizio said: “This is a textbook example of out-of-character development that warrants pre-emptive action to put an end to what could be a disaster for our community”
Senator Lanza said: “The established rules are insufficient to protect Staten Island from inappropriate, “squeeze in” development. We must stand together to prevent people from circumventing the rules without consideration for the people of Staten Island.”
Assemblyman Tobacco said: “We need to build on the success of the Growth Management Task Force and prevent these community facilities from damaging the local residential character of our neighborhoods.”
December 11, 2008