From the New York World:
Like its neighbors along the Coney Island boardwalk, Oceanview Manor Home for Adults was seriously damaged after superstorm Sandy rushed in on Oct. 29. Staff reported that the home off Surf Avenue suffered major flooding and broken windows; the storm destroyed office equipment and cut power. Residents, most of whom have severe mental illness, weren’t allowed to return for a month.
And after all that, the home is looking to not just rebuild, but expand.
Oceanview has submitted a proposal to the city to add 24 beds to its current 176-bed residence and enlarge the building by more than 12,000 square feet, which would increase the square footage by over 33 percent.
Though Oceanview’s expansion plans were submitted to the city well before Sandy hit, they could face a new kind of scrutiny, given the widespread damage to buildings along the boardwalk.
Chuck Reichenthal, district manager of Community Board 13 in Coney Island, called the timing of the proposal “amazing.”
Reichenthal said he didn’t yet have a strong opinion about the proposal, and would withhold judgment until Oceanview had presented its case to the community board.
“One of the questions will probably be, is this the time to build more buildings while we’re still in the fog of getting rid of this? I don’t know,” Reichenthal said.
It appears unlikely that Oceanview administrators have any intention of modifying the expansion plans. It submitted a required environmental statement to the Department of City Planning on Nov. 9, less than two weeks after Sandy hit.
Though the plans acknowledged that the home is located within a federally designated flood hazard area, they misidentified its designation. The documents state that the home is in Hurricane Evacuation Zone B, which means residents have a moderate threat of being evacuated during a hurricane. In reality, the city’s Office of Emergency Management designates all of Coney Island as Zone A, where residents are at the highest risk of being evacuated in the event of a hurricane, and were under evacuation orders in advance of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 as well as Sandy this year.