A received another letter that was sent to the Zoning Board regarding the iStar Superblock proposal. This one comes from Leslie and Jordan:
Zoning Board of Appeals
City Of Long Beach
This letter is to inform you that both my husband and I are OPPOSED to the iStar proposed development of the Superblock. We are opposed to the height and density of this development. The addition of 900-1000 more people to this already crowded neighborhood would be most detrimental and not all sensitive to the needs of the community.
Who are these 1000 people? They are transient tenants, not people who will live here and raise their families here. Will they turn the water off on the beach and the boardwalk when the showers are left running? They won’t care. Will they support their community by shopping here, joining PTA, attending City Council meetings? No will they not.
The Superblock is not a blight on the neighborhood. It may be underutilized, but it was a god-send during the rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy. What would we have done without the staging area available to rebuild the boardwalk and host many activities, if those obscene towers had already been built?
My husband and I have owned our home for 29 years. We have been paying taxes for 29 years. Why do we feel that that was money just thrown away and we are now being punished for our efforts and loyalty? The developer says, “We’re trying to have the least impact possible…and be as sensitive to the community as we possibly can.” We don’t see it that way. There will be significant impact on traffic, parking and sanitation, and there will significant negative impact on the quality of our lives.
What we see is an increase in traffic in an already busy area. Cars are constantly circling the end of Long Beach Road dropping off and picking up people for the beach, the boardwalk, the surf school and of course the Arts and Crafts Festivals. This is an accident waiting to happen and I have voiced my concerns about this before. Would a transient tenant speak up?
This project will potentially add an extra 1000 people to sit on our beach, which is likely to turn away the day trippers, as now our beach will be too crowded. Do we have enough lifeguards? Do we have enough sanitation workers? Do we have adequate bathrooms? Will iStar build a big, beautiful bathroom under the boardwalk, like the one under the Alegria, to accommodate their 1000 tenants? At least that would benefit the community.
And what about the dogs? Is there a dog walking area provided or will the dogs be using my lawn just like the rest of the apartment dwellers who live near by? If dogs are not allowed then this will only decrease the advantages of moving to Long Beach ,thereby increasing the risk of vacancies.
Let’s talk about the construction itself. We just spent a year looking at a huge mountain of sand and listening to the beep, beep, beep of tractors and backhoes. The taste of the sand blown in our faces, into our house and cars was just delightful. Now you want us to go through that again but this time with no benefit at the end.
iStar is delusional about the success of the retail space. They state that these are boardwalk-oriented stores. As an almost daily user of the boardwalk, I see the same people all they time. Of course we are exercising, walking, running, biking or just strolling. Well guess what. We don’t carry our wallets when we do these things. So, these stores will be drive-to destination shops, probably owned by strangers. Why would a long time resident want to shop there anyway? We would rather give our business to Heidi at Frippery or Steven at Steven’s Jewelers who have lived and done business here for many, many years.
The esthetic of these towers is undesirable. They will be ugly and similar to the tall buildings bordering the beach in Rockaway. Is that what we want to look at everyday. Do we want to live in their depressing shadow? A shadow that will reduce the output of my solar panels, increasing rather than decreasing my footprint.
Why does the Zoning Board feel it is necessary to even consider this variance? This project must to be scaled back to our current zoning regulations. We must adhere to regulations that preserve our architectural integrity. We must NOT approve this variance. This is the only way to benefit our community. We must SCALE BACK, SCALE BACK, SCALE BACK.
Leslie and Jordan
Living in the Shadow of the Proposed