2009-08-21 / Letters

Improving Beach 116 Street

Dear Editor,

The proposed affordable housing project for Beach 116 Street is the direct result of the block's rezoning to R7A.

Beach 116 Street is the west end's primary commercial area. The blight of the street is concentrated on the beach block, most notably the east side with a number of vacant buildings— vacant, in some instances, for more than twenty years. This deliberate vacancy added to the case that upzoning the block would bring improvement.

More housing will not improve the block. The Ocean Grande, self described as a luxury condominium building, has overgrown weeds and dog feces lining the entrance from the boardwalk past their parking lot on Beach 117 Street and looks as terrible as the vacant lot next to it. This is improvement?

Beach 116 Street needs to be rezoned as a special district from Ocean Promenade to Newport Avenue to encourage commercial growth. The beautiful rehab of the train station and stores is a look we should strive for. Tax incentives and matching grants need to be offered to the merchants so they can make a decent living and pay their rent and taxes. Until this is done, expect more housing projects.

MAUREEN WALSH

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