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Oceana residents protest Coney’s high-rise latrines

Condo owners protest view-spoiling bathrooms

Brooklyn Daily
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The battle of the bathroom rages on.

Residents of the Oceana Condominiums in Brighton Beach took to the Boardwalk once again on Sunday to protest against the city’s plans to build a high-rise, flood-resistant bathroom on the beach in front of their luxury abodes, where they pay top dollar for their view of the ocean — not a latrine.

“Mayor Bloomberg, how would you like a three-story public toilet in front of your residence in Stokes Bay?” read the sign of Oceana resident Anna Natkovich.

The turnout was better than last time, with around 300 residents hailing not only from Oceana, but from the Seacoast Towers Apartments located at nearby Brightwater Avenue, where many residents were upset to hear that $5 million was being spent on the city’s towering toilet project, while not a dime has gone towards repairing children’s playgrounds that were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy.

“I have my potty at home, I want a playground,” read the sign carried by Piotr Oudolsky.

Joining the angry condo residents were several pols, including Democratic District Leader Ari Kagan (D–Sheepshead Bay) and state Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz (D–Manhattan Beach), and former state Sen. David Storobin.

Cymbrowitz in particular has been vocal in the fight to have the bathroom project removed to a different location, roughly 50 feet to the west, at the foot of Coney Island Avenue, and has alleged in a letter to borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffries that the city is in violation of its own stipulation, put in affect before the condo was built, that it should have an unobstructed view of the ocean.

“The new facility would affect the quality of life of Oceana residents in a negative and permanent way,” the assemblyman’s letter reads. “It also contradicts the original mandate expressed by the City Planning Commission that the vista be left unimpeded between the Oceana complex and the water.”

Last Friday, courts granted Oceana the temporary restraining order they’ve been seeking, thus stalling the bathroom’s construction for a week, and giving Oceana’s lawyers time to prepare a case against the city, according to Oceana resident Boris Natkovich.

They allege that the city either bungled or fudged its obligation to provide notice about the project by placing an ad in a newspaper — not in the legal notice section, but the classifieds — stating that the high-rise loo would be in Coney Island, not in Brighton Beach.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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