2009-09-04 / Letters

Upzoning Beach 116 Street

Dear Editor,

I can only imagine Maureen Walsh's disappointment upon learning that the Beach Club property on Beach 116-117 Streets may, in fact, not be developed for affordable housing.

Ms. Walsh's repeated failed attempts to link all of our neighborhood's ills to the approved upzoning of Beach 116 Street—well-documented in her previous Letters to the Editor—must indeed be frustrating to her.

In what universe will the "blight" (her word) be eased by continued non-development? And what is a "deliberate vacancy"—a term she applies to the empty properties along the street?

Her negative attitude towards the upzoning of Beach 116 Street is followed closely by her repeated denigration of The Ocean Grande. Her sarcastic description—"self-described as a luxury condominium building"—

reflects either a head-in-the-sand attitude towards the building, or a willful disregard for the quality of the building itself.

Her distaste for the Ocean Grande also extends to her treatise on dog feces—admittedly a disturbing health and environmental concern along Beach 117 Street. But she errs (accidentally, one wonders?) in lumping the problem (pun intended) in with her larger, anti-development stance.

Certainly she is aware that the eyesore (weeds and all) is adjacent to the former Beach Club parking lot, and not, as she alleges, "… lining the entrance from the boardwalk past their (the Ocean Grande's) parking lot on Beach 117 Street… " This minefield of poo (my words) should not be confused with the well-manicured frontage of the condominium she loves to hate. Perhaps she should take her complaint to the appropriate city agencies or the owners of the Beach Club property.

(Ironically, I'm writing this just several minutes after sidestepping two deposits of dog feces directly in front of Ms. Walsh's office on Beach 116 Street—really! Obviously the problem with inconsiderate—and unlawful—dog owners is not limited to the one small sliver of the neighborhood she's singled out as her target).

The most puzzling part of Ms. Walsh's challenge to the upzoning is that she clearly recognizes and deplores the current state of so much of the beach block. Why then does she turn her back on what is arguably the only improvement to the area in memory? Nobody disagrees that the upgrading of the train station and adjacent businesses is a step in the right direction. But such positive redesign is not mutually exclusive with further development on the street.

Finally, she states as fact that "more housing will not improve the block"; and she knows this how? Let's Letters not confuse her strong opinions with the real world we all live in and the vision of an improved neighborhood we all share.

ROBERT JOSHUA

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