We’re trying out a new format for meeting coverage, which for now will be called “Bullet Points.” It will be published the day after Community Board 15’s monthly meeting, featuring all the takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant to only be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles. If you like this format, or have suggestions for improvement, or see an item you’d like to know more information about – let us know in the comments section!
Board votes to approve expansion of Manhattan Beach home: The Board voted 29 to 8 to approve a special permit to enlarge a single family dwelling at 186 Girard Street, at the corner of Oriental Boulevard. The owner is seeking to increase the floor area from 5,400 square feet to 8,855 square feet, increasing the floor-area-ratio (FAR) to 0.82 (maximum allowed is 0.5). Neighbors on Falmouth Street objected, saying the expansion would block sunlight and their view of the ocean. Another neighbor pointed out that the home’s previous owner objected to his immediate next door neighbor’s expansion, saying it was too large and causing the construction to halt. Ed Eisenberg expressed his opposition, calling it a “mega-mansion.”
Other Board actions:
- The Board voted unanimously to request a meeting with Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey in regards to Manhattan Beach Park. Alan Ditchek, Community Board 15’s first vice chairperson and president of Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, made the motion, saying the department has neglected to make repairs even though the funding has been made available.
- The Board voted unanimously to send a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, voicing opposition to his proposal to eliminate the “spousal refusal” allowance in New York State. Boardmember Debra Greif, mother of a child with a development disability, proposed the motion, noting that the proposal would also eliminate the right to parental refusal, causing financial burden to parents of children with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
Reports from elected officials:
- Councilman Lew Fidler delivered good news on behalf of his Democratic colleague in the State Assembly, Helene Weinstein, saying that the legislature has come to a budget agreement that has preserved several services New Yorkers care about. Some of the good news includes investment in capital projects that will put people to work, an increase in $185 million in educational aid, assistance for private schools, and increased funding for homeless shelter beds. The budget will be on-time, allowing the City to move forward with its budget process, he said. In the City Council’s education committee budget hearing, they announced no new layoffs, but the school system will lose approximately 2,500 teachers to attrition, meaning larger class sizes. He also noted his continued opposition to proposed cuts to after school programs, and that he is against property tax increases during a time of high foreclosure rates. He said the budget is due to be finalized in May.
- Councilman Michael Nelson promoted his offices free legal assistance services, now being held in four locations. Call his office for details. He also said they are beginning free entitlement screening days, in which constituents can be screened for up to 40 government assistance programs. He has also introduced legislation to protect homeowners with a city bus stop in front of their home from getting Sanitation tickets for litter that commuters leave on the ground. Nelson added that he is for implementing a real time database for tracking prescription fulfillment in New York State called i-STOP to help prevent the abuse of prescription drugs.
- A representative for Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein announced that as part of the budget agreement, the representative had won a two-year-long battle to get state funding to reimburse yeshivas and private schools for providing state-mandated bus service for students dismissed after 5:00 p.m.
- On Friday, April 6, the Sanitation Department will provide regular garbage collection to every block in the district. Please put your garbage out after 5 p.m. on April 5 for collection during the night.
- There will be a public dumpster located at James Madison High School Sports Field (south side of Quentin Road between East 26th Street and East 27th Street) all day on April 6 to service Jewish residents in need of disposing leavened foods ahead of Passover.
- People in charge of burning chometz either in front of a home or a synagogue must ensure that the fires are small and controlled so that the fire department is not called to an out of control fire. Chometz burning should end at 11:52 a.m. on Friday, April 6.
- Alternate side parking rules are suspended April 5 to April 8 to accommodate the holidays.
- Next month’s Community Board 15 meeting will begin at 6 p.m. to accommodate a larger-than-usual agenda.
- Don Brown, liaison to the United States Postal Service, noted that rumors persist about the closing of branches near the community. He said no such closures are proposed at the time.
- Chris Greif informed attendees about the upcoming 23rd Annual Brooklyn Family Support Fair. The event will take place on May 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Brooklyn College’s Student Union Building (Campus Road and East 27th Street). The event is organized by the Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Council.