Island officials send out distress call for coastal properties

October 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

City Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn) and Borough President James P. Molinaro slammed the city for short shrifting past efforts to develop Staten Island’s waterfront and called on the Bloomberg administration to put capital dollars behind the borough’s plans.

At a press conference held Tuesday under “Beach Closed” signs at New Dorp Beach, the officials joined Staten Island Chamber of Commerce president Linda Baran in asking the third-term seeking mayor to assist in borough efforts to reclaim its waterfront.

On the heels of the American Institute of Architect’s R/UDAT study — the work of expert volunteers who joined the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team to create an unbiased vision for Staten Island — the Island leaders said they plan to cultivate city-owned properties along the coast and to identify the top 10 promising properties to be reclaimed for positive use.

Having reviewed the R/UDAT plan, Oddo, Molinaro and Ms. Baran also called on the city to consider taking action on six Staten Island properties:

* On the North Shore: The Blissenbach Marina property in Mariners Harbor; the St. George promenade to the east of the Ferry Terminal with a collapsed bulkhead; the undeveloped Port Richmond Avenue terminus at the Arthur Kill shoreline near Ferry Street in Port Richmond, and the park property across from the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Livingston.

* On the East Shore: The New Dorp Beach property that lacks beach access and bike lanes.

* The South Shore’s city-owned property adjacent to Mt. Loretto, identified as a prime site for a fast ferry.

“Whenever you propose something, they commission a study, then say there’s no money to fund it,” Molinaro said of city agencies he chided for being uncooperative. “Parks has a big budget that’s not spent on Staten Island.”

Despite the economic crisis, the borough president said capital funds already exist to facilitate waterfront development.

“Nothing is in the R/UDAT or in any other study that can be accomplished without the cooperation of other agencies,” Oddo said, blasting city “commissioners” for forgetting that Staten Island belongs not to them but to its people. “We need to start kicking and screaming.”

By TEVAH PLATT
Staten Island ADVANCE

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Entry filed under: Go Coastal, Public Waterfront, Staten Island. Tags: , , , , .

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