Coney Islanders blast developers’ plan to oust residents from at least 28 units for new Surf Ave. project

Surf’s down: Beep pans builder’s request to upzone Coney block

Coney Islanders blasted plans for a Surf Avenue development that would displace residents of at least 28 apartments.

One local slammed the attorney representing the developer at Community Board 13’s meeting on Sept. 26, asking him where the relocated residents would go and implying that they would be forced out of their homes for the new development.

“What are you going to do, sweep them under the rug and forget them?” board member Wanda Feliciano asked attorney Richard Lobel. “You’re going to discard them and throw them somewhere so that your family or whatever can build?”

Lobel and Thomas Lang, an architect at Bricolage Designs, presented plans for the Winiarski Entities development, which includes the construction of a mixed-use residential and commercial building on Surf Avenue between West 22nd and 23rd streets. The building would have about 80 units, with about 20 of them earmarked for families making 60 percent or lower of the area median income, which would be $43,860 or less for a one-person household, or $62,580 for a family of four, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Lobel said at the meeting that the development would displace people living in 28 units on four lots — including at 3016 and 3022 W. 22nd Street, plus 3017 and 3023 W. 23rd Street — but the development’s environmental assessment statement and supplemental report shows that those lots contain 39 units. Lobel did not respond to an inquiry by press time about the discrepancy.

The developers are seeking a zoning change for the lots to match the nearby Special Coney Island District, which was upzoned to allow for six-to-10-story buildings, so the plan has to go through the city’s year-long Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which kicked off with the presentation at the Sept. 26 meeting, and involves review by the community board, the borough president, the City Planning Commission, and the Council.

One board member warned reps for the developers to be ready for pushback, because locals are tired of construction and street closures that come with the neighborhood’s break-neck development.

“You don’t think we’re a little tired of any construction right now?” asked Victor Quinones. “Any talk of construction within the next few years, I guarantee not one resident of Coney Island will be okay with that.”

The board’s chairwoman said locals should hold their questions and concerns about the development until the joint meeting of the Land Use and Zoning and Housing committees on Oct. 3.

“Before this goes into an uproar, which I think it’s going to be, I would suggest these gentleman come to the meeting next week with all their explanations, and we all sit down and question them then,” said Joann Weiss.

The reps for the developers agreed to attend the meeting to answer locals’ concerns.

Joint meeting of CB13’s Land Use and Zoning and Housing committees, at the board’s office on the third floor of 1201 Surf. Ave. at West 12th Street, on Oct. 3, at 7 pm.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.