“Bullet Points” is our format for Community Board 15 meeting coverage, providing takeaways we think are important. Information in Bullet Points is meant only to be a quick summary, and some issues may be more deeply explored in future articles.
Neighbors Demand Board Rescind Support For Drug Counseling Center: Residents of East 17th Street near Kings Highway rallied at last night’s Community Board 15 meeting, demanding the Board rescind a letter of support for a proposed drug treatment facility at 1670 East 17th Street.
Led by Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association President Ed Jaworski, a group of residents took to the podium, claiming that the Board failed to inform the community that the issue would be discussed and voted on in December.
“The City Charter and the Community Board bylaws say that the Community Board should serve the community, should communicate within the community, should act as a liaison agency, should review services, should develop plans for the community. None of this was done regarding the drug center being located on East 17th Street,” Jaworski said. “What took place at the November meeting was a shortcut. It was cutting the community’s input.”
Community Board 15 voted in favor of permitting one drug rehabilitation center in the neighborhood, but voted down another, saying that the owners’ attitudes made all the difference.
At the November 27 meeting, the Board gave the nod to One World Counseling, a newly-formed entity proposing to develop a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center at 1670 East 17th Street, just off Kings Highway. The Board’s 31-4 vote came just minutes after nixing plans of an existing center, First Steps to Recovery at 2990 Brighton 12th Street, to move to 2634 East 21st Street, with a no vote of 34-1.
During the hearing for First Steps, representatives for the outpatient addiction treatment clinic explained that they served “elderly” Eastern European patients who have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the struggles of integration. The clinic dispenses medications and has been operating in Brighton Beach since 2002. They were seeking to move to the 2634 East 21st Street location because their current space is too small.
But the approval is still welcome news for local leaders, who continue to tout the 250 unionized construction jobs the development will bring, in addition to the retail positions once it opens – not to mention the renovation of a currently dilapidated waterfront space, opening it up to the public.
To meet concerns about the traffic, Bensonhurst Bean reports, Assemblyman Peter Abbate is trying to nab state funding for traffic mitigation. Possible measures include relocating the Belt Parkway’s Bay Parkway exit east of its current location.
No word yet on Markowitz’s demand that Thor include a “destination restaurant” as a tenant on the property. We’re betting there won’t be one.
Thor’s plan calls for a two-story 214,000-square-foot retail space near Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center. The four-unit commercial project, to occupy 1752 Shore Parkway (at Bay 38th Street), is being called Brooklyn Bay Center, and will house a BJ’s Wholesale Club, with three remaining retail units, including, they hope, a restaurant, on the second floor.
The plan went by Community Board 11 with nary a whisper in opposition, save for a long-time small business advocate who wants establishments like this to be built inside existing commercial corriders, driving foot traffic to area merchants.
The community is also asking for a few commitments from the developer, like the construction of a park, public access to the waterfront and even an Eco Dock.
The project goes before the Borough President tonight, at 5 p.m. in Borough Hall. His recommendations will be passed on to the Department of City Planning.
Oh, and the cherry on top for taxpayers? Assemblyman Peter Abbate is looking to secure state funds to relocate the eastbound Belt Parkway entrance further east to keep it clear of the development site.