Neighbors say students from Kingsborough Community College who descend on Manhattan beach are drag racing, using drugs, and parking in private driveways, and a new civic group wants to cull the herd.
The Manhattan Beach Coalition for Safety is petitioning for new neighborhood regulations, including an enrollment policy at Kingsborough that would require the community’s approval. Locals say the sheer size of school, which has 19,752 students taking classes, is overwhelming the area — and they want a cap on enrollment.
“It is just too much for the small community,” said Elliot Goryachkovsky, who lives in Manhattan Beach and is part of the coalition. “It is a community college, it is not a full university — it has just gotten way, way out of hand.”
The petition titled “Save your community, your home, your family” is being circulating around the neighborhood by the Manhattan Beach Coalition for Safety, a new group that formed after a Sept. 17 meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group got heated when locals debated the college’s responsibility to reduce students’ impact on the community.
Neighborhood complaints listed in the petition include drag racing on Shore and Oriental boulevards, illegal drug use, students parking in private driveways, and a lingering smell of garbage near the institution’s entrance.
Goryachkovsky said the college needs to take more responsibility for the students — even when they’re not on school property. He said the institution should increase its campus security and request additional police officers to patrol off-campus areas outside of the school’s jurisdiction.
“They’re the ones that are attracting so many people — they have to be responsible,” he said. “They have to coordinate with the local police. They have to provide their own services.”
The community college polices its students’ behavior while they are on campus, according to Kingsborough spokeswoman Dawn Walker, but incidents that happen away from the school’s 71-acre campus at the easternmost end of Manhattan Beach are referred to city law enforcement.
Walker noted that overall enrollment is actually down by almost 1,000 students from last year, but Goryachkovsky said the area is still unequipped for so many people. He said the best way for the college to decrease its students’ impact on the neighborhood is by capping its enrollment, just like local businesses have a customer capacity — but at a number the neighborhood picks.
“You walk into a restaurant, there’s a capacity —100 people, 200 people,” he said. “Limit it. It is too much.”