Sunday, July 9, 2017
SI wetlands are too dangerous for development
The de Blasio administration is adding a new type of neighborhood to its zoning arsenal: ghost town.
The City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting next Wednesday on a proposal that would discourage new development in the three Staten Island neighborhoods hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy: Graham Beach, Oakwood Beach and Ocean Breeze. The areas proved to be so flood-prone that they were included in a state program that purchased damaged homes at prestorm prices, then tore them down so the area could be returned to nature. The city's zoning proposal aims to aid that process by preventing new houses from being built.
"In some limited locations … conditions are not appropriate for significant new development," a Department of City Planning spokesman said in a statement. "Given the high risk of flooding in these areas and their proximity to ecologically sensitive wetlands, [City Planning] is moving forward with a proposal that will limit future residential density while maintaining the ability of existing homeowners to invest in making their homes safe and resilient."
The new rules would allow only single-family homes to be constructed in the future and only if the builder is able to obtain a permit from the planning commission, which would likely frown on most applications.