‘Recipe for disaster’: DOB slaps Brighton elementary school with illegal parking violation

Brighton Beach school found to have an illegal construction spot outside school.
Brighton Beach school found to have an illegal construction spot outside school.
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The city’s Department of Buildings issued an Environmental Control Board violation to a Brighton Beach elementary school for having illegal parking on the property.

The violation came with the help of a local who first noticed the situation and brought it to DOB’s attention. Craig Hammerman was concerned when he he saw a car drive across the sidewalk in front of PS 253 to get to a construction pad installed at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Brighton 6th Street.

Hammerman then reported the situation to the Department of Buildings after failing to find a permit issued to the school for the curb cut — a traffic safety issue he felt endangered students.

“I don’t think it’s a good practice to have cars crossing At the entrance to the school. Illegally hoping the sidewalk to get to illegally constructed parking spaces,” he said “It’s a recipe for disaster. It sends the wrong message to the children, the staff and the community and quite frankly I think that we should expect more from the school.”

After an inspection of the property on Jan. 30, DOB gave the school an Environmental Control Board (ECB) violation to the Department of Education for an “illegal off street accessed by hopping curb at Ocean View Avenue” on Jan. 31.

“Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a big proponent for traffic safety and driving across sidewalks at the entrance of schools is really something that none of us should have to contend with,” he told Brooklyn Paper. “I think that everybody walking on a sidewalk needs to feel safe, especially a sidewalk near the perimeter of a school.”

Following the violation, Hammerman wrote a letter addressed to Isabel DiMola, superintendent for district 21, urging the educational leader to remove the construction, restore former landscaping and permanently remove all staff parking from the schoolyard, giving the children an outside area to play in. 

One parent who asked to be anonymous so their student wasn’t retaliated against, says they are frustrated with the school’s decision to eliminate grass for parking when “kids deserve to play in grass.”

Hammerman’s letter also calls out the lack of landscaping to help with storm water drainage. 

“We need to be building smarter and protecting all of our infrastructure from future flooding impacts. Adding concrete where there was drainage previously is wrong-headed,” he said in the address. 

The building currently has 54 ECB violations, 10 of which are still active. 

DOE did not respond to Brooklyn Paper’s request for comment.