Following the city’s decision to nix its downzoning plan for Brighton Beach, locals are wondering what will happen to the neighborhood.
For nearly a decade, community residents complained about overdevelopment — specifically multi−story condos erected adjacent to one−story bungalows — and the strain these large developments put on Brighton’s infrastructure of gas, electric, water and sewage lines.
Part of the goal of the city’s proposed downzoning plan, which was withdrawn because of a stalemate between the Department of City Planning and City Councilmember Mike Nelson, was to limit the size of new buildings in Brighton, thereby lessening the burden on the infrastructure.
But without a downzoning plan, who will play watchdog for Brighton Beach to ensure that future developments don’t overtax the infrastructure?
Nelson says he “will continue to advocate for his constituents with the appropriate city agencies responsible for matters concerning the infrastructure.”
A City Planning source said residents can bring concerns about new developments to the appropriate city agencies.
But it seems that much of the responsibility to protect Brighton’s infrastructure will go to firefighters.
The Fire Department has said it won’t approve new buildings more than 35 feet tall. That’s because fire trucks are unable to navigate the bungalow district’s narrow lanes. And in such instances, firefighters go on foot with portable ladders, which cannot reach building windows over three stories high.
“The FDNY has told us in a letter that they will not approve multi−family developments on these private streets, so that will help fire safety as well as infrastructure concerns,” according to the City Planning source.
©2009 Community News Group
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