CB 1 approves city plans for store parking, waterfront acreage

February 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

Waterfront acreage and store parking lots wouldn’t seem to have much in common.

But design improvements will be common to both, thanks to two Department of City Planning proposals overwhelmingly approved last night by Community Board 1 during their full board meeting in All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Willowbrook.

The Cross Access Connection amendment requires that adjacent parking lots in commercially zoned districts and manufacturing districts be connected to each other. Shoppers, for instance, won’t have to re-enter the main drag to move from one store to another.

The connecting lane will have to be at least 22 feet wide and at least 23 feet from the street line.

Land Use Chairman Vincent Accornero said his committee liked the plan so much, they requested that the plan be allowed for existing developments, with incentives to encourage developers.

The board unanimously approved the proposal.

The second proposal allows greater flexibility in designing privately owned waterfront property for public access, making it more beautiful and inviting. The current 1993 zoning allows only a limited set of design possibilities.

Now developers can eliminate rigid, linear shoreline walkways in favor of more enticing walkway designs, and guardrails will be optional. Landscaping can include canopy and ornamental trees, and seating can feature lounge chairs or even tables.

The board approved the amendment 22-9 with the condition that the public access remain the same.

Surprisingly, there was no debate or even discussion on either proposal. Accornero explained that most of the tough questions were handled during the committee’s two-hour marathon meeting with city representatives last week but admitted some surprise.

“I kind of would have liked to have heard some questions or debate,” he said.

Board members also voted unanimously to send a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg requesting that the North Shore get its cut of the city’s share of the federal government stimulus to fund its fiscal 2010 preliminary budget requests.

The number-one priority: For the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to direct 20 percent of its budget to the Island’s hospital system. Board Chairman Anthony Marra said part of the problem with HHC is that the agency views the hospital system as citywide, stressing that facilities like Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn are a mere five miles away.

“But try to get there on a Saturday night in traffic with a sick child or if you have a heart attack,” he said. “We feel very strongly about this and that’s why it’s the number-one concern on the budget.”

Staten Island Advance


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

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