If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed that we here at Borough Hall have been waging war against the introduction of R-7 zoning to our borough. That zoning, coupled with certain programs and waivers, will allow for buildings 26 and 27 stories tall. The first two of these are planned for Stuyvesant Place in St. George. And after that…where else? Why not in the rest of the borough?
Our strong opposition is based on a number of things, and going forward we’ll explore and explain them.
Let’s start with this: all too often Staten Island has had an influx of new residents without any attention being paid to upgrading the infrastructure needed to handle the increase in population. This has always been caused by failing to address the density permitted by the zoning in any particular area, in essence selling more tickets than there are seats in the stadium. Too late for some neighborhoods, to be sure, but eventually we had the presence of mind to downzone in an effort to mitigate the problems this caused.
Recognizing this history, in what possible way can we consider UPZONING in an already dense area such as “downtown” Staten Island. These buildings are projected to house 900 new residents driving an additional 500-600 cars, in this small and already extremely difficult to navigate corridor. Have you ever driven up Stuyvesant Place? With one car parked at the left curb, and another parked at the right, there is barely room to drive in between them.
Have we learned nothing about the problems caused by building first and trying to deal with infrastructure problems later? How many times are we going to get this wrong? Roll up your sleeves, my friends. This is our borough, not theirs, and we should be setting the priorities.