CITY ISLAND CIVIC

Issue

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has advised the Civic that she plans to attend an upcoming meeting to answer questions from the membership. Ms. Quinn is a candidate for Mayor in the Democratic primary. All candidates in the Democratic and Republican primaries have been invited to attend an upcoming meeting to share their views for our city and community.

On June 11th, our the City Island Civic membership attended a public meeting of the Board of Standards and Appeals regarding the proposed Italian American Home for the Aged. Those in attendance have advised that our concerns were well received and that the applicant has been forced to go revise his plans significantly. We look forward to the eventual rejection of his application.

We await an update from the Department of Transportation regarding the proposed City Island Bridge Design. We will discuss this matter in depth at our next meeting.

Residents have continued to raise concerns as to traffic control on weekends. For years, our Traffic Committee Chair, Paul Nani, has worked tirelessly (and often thanklessly) with residents and law enforcement to achieve tangible improvements for our community. As the school year ends, we have been advised that more school safety officers will be routed to the City Island Traffic Detail and as such, enforcement will rise and conditions will improve. In the meantime, please continue to call 911 for any emergencies and 311 for any non-emergencies and please notify the Civic of each instance at city.island.civic@mac.com.

Over the coming months, the Belden Point project will move towards construction, thanks to the work of Senator Klein, the Civic, the City Island Chamber of Commerce and Bronx Community Board 10. We will have a discussion about possibilities for additional improvements.

The Civic has continued to receive emails about a lot at 560 Minneford Avenue being used for a purpose inconsistent with its zoning. The lot is also becoming a nuisance for those who live around it and we will vote to send a letter to the Department of Buildings asking for additional action to take place.

Please bring any concerns you may have before the Association next meeting so we can work together to correct any issues and continue to improve our neighborhood.

City Island Civic Association: Minutes of the Meeting 5/28/13

The meeting was called to order by Barbara Dolensek, as Bill Stanton was out of town. The minutes were accepted as distributed. The treasurer reported that there was $12,154.03 in the regular Civic account.

John Doyle cast a vote to accept the current slate of officers for president, second vice president, and recording secretary.

The Board of Standards and Appeals has calendared its public hearing on the Mignone project for June 11, 2013, at 10 am at 22 Reade Street. Everyone is encouraged to attend and be prepared to deliver testimony about the project. A bus will be provided.

The owners of the property behind Tapas (435 hunter Avenue) has submitted an application to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to put in a new bulkhead, to demolish two docks, and to place a restaurant within the tidal wetlands. Hunter Avenue is currently blocked, and concerns were expressed that it might be opened up to provide egress for the restaurant. Because of the noise and volume of business at Seafood City, there was concern that another restaurant in that area would be overwhelming to the neighborhood. There is not sufficient parking at that location, with only room for about 25 spots. Comments regarding the application must be filed with DEC by May 31. It was moved, seconded and voted that the Civic write DEC a letter to address these concerns, to oppose building within 150 feet of the wetlands although replacing the bulkhead was seen as desirable.

Traffic last Memorial Day was extremely heavy. A group of dirt bikes were doing tricks on sidewalks and in the fire lane, but the police, closed off the bridge and confiscated eight bikes. The drag racing late at night is a major issue. Pictures are being sent to Paul Nani, our traffic chair. Traffic on Mother’s Day, however, was well handled.

Adolfo Carrion, a candidate for mayor and a City Island resident, addressed the meeting. After serving two terms as Borough President, he became director of Urban Affairs for the White House. He is very concerned about the school issues and about the city’s prosperity and safety. Overall crime has been down but there are issues that still need to be addressed. The Bronx is the borough of colleges and parks, and we need to create a tax-friendly place for business. He shares many of the concerns that we have for City Island because he lives here. We do not get our fair share of support from the city based on the tax base that we provide. We are dismally under-served by the number of officers at the 45th precinct, which should be given more officers and squad cars in order to cover the area. The Police Department has lost several thousand officers over the past few years, and many have been moved to special assignments and need to be replaced. As a major city we are a target and need to add another 4,000 officers overall.

He then answered questions from the floor. What can be we about local kids who use and sell drugs, not just marijuana, out in the open and adults are allowing this to happen. We need to have an undercover here because the kids know all the back alleys. The new bridge issue is a major problem for us because we don’t want the new design but understand that the bridge needs to be modernized. He said he would address this if he became mayor.

Regarding the recent town hall meeting about FEMA flood zones, residents are used to go to www.region2coastal.com to find out what the advisory zones are, since that is likely to indicate what will become final in another two years. There is major concern that dramatic increases in flood insurance rates will drive people away from this area.

The Civic will be sending a letter to owners of cars that are left on the street; this is not illegal so long as the cars are legally registered, but it not neighborly to leave cars in the street for months at a time, preventing others from parking.

Concerns were expressed about the loading and unloading of the clients at the day hab center near Cross Street. The Civic expressed these concerns to the Community Board, which conveyed them to the state’s department of OWDPP, which responded by trying to improve the situation caused by double parking and lack of supervision.

A planter installed by the Garden Club was stolen across the street from the bank. Paul Klein prevented another similar theft.

The residential zoned property at 560 Minnieford Avenue is being used to park cars for the Island Current fishing boat business and neighbors have complained about excessive noise on weekends, early in the morning and late at night. 311 calls have been placed and the Civic has followed up with the Department of Buildings.

Belden Point Park will be starting construction at the end of June.

Concern was expressed regarding a dangerous situation at the Pickwick apartment building where large stones are falling; there is concern that children could be hurt.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.