The residents of the Oceana luxury condominium complex (50 Oceana Drive West) have some powerful allies. According to a press release coming in via Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s office, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has joined the battle to free Oceana residents of the horrible tyranny of slightly interrupted views due to the Parks Department’s new modular bathrooms lining the boardwalk.
When we last visited this saga, local politicians like Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz were claiming victory because the Parks Department installed temporary bathrooms near Coney Island Avenue and not the construction site. While the construction of the new comfort stations was delayed and the placement of the temporary bathrooms were moved out of the sight of Oceana residents, nothing has changed regarding the Parks Department’s plans to finish the comfort station at the “New Brighton” location.
Apparently, the delay in construction has bought them enough time to petition higher authorities like Schumer. Members of Schumer’s staff visited with Oceana residents, leading to Schumer penning a letter to Parks Department Commissioner Veronica White requesting that the comfort stations be moved citing quality of life and safety issues.
“My constituents have raised numerous quality-of-life and public safety concerns regarding this station,” Schumer wrote. “Perhaps most concerning are safety issues regarding the breakaway components of the stations. During a storm, these components detach under heavy wave action, creating debris that can threaten the safety of residents by breaking windows or building infrastructure.”
The mention of safety concerns seems like a new wrinkle in the debate over the stations. The design and construction of the “state of the art” stations, which cost $2 million a piece, were tailored to meet FEMA’s newest guidlelines. Previously, residents were most concerned that the stations would muck up their multi-million dollar ocean views and attract the presence of homeless people and rowdy teenagers. Now Schumer is requesting that White and the Parks Department detail their environmental, engineering and public review process when it came to selecting the site in the first place.
Cymbrowitz was pleased that Schumer was lending his time to this extremely urgent matter concerning some of the city’s most in need residents.
“Senator Schumer is correct that the resiliency of our coastline infrastructure is important – and so are quality of life and safety issues. We both agree that Brighton Beach residents deserve a voice in this process,” Cymbrowitz said.