Category Archives: Opinions

iStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the “We don’t want to pay our fair share of taxes”

It’s real folks. According to our City, iStar is actually going to give it another shot for a tax break. They say third time is a charm, but I’m sorry, iStar. This just cannot happen. You can send your people to clog up city hall, but the residents of Long Beach have already spoken. We will speak again (assuming there’s some sort of meeting, which I hope there will be.)   Continue reading iStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the “We don’t want to pay our fair share of taxes”

Meet Sam Pinto, Candidate for Long Beach Library Board Trustee [Vote May 16th]

Long Beach resident Sam Pinto recently announced his candidacy for Long Beach Library Board Trustee, a vote which takes place on May 16th.  I recently spoke to Sam about his vision for one of the great assets of our community: The Long Beach Public Library. My family uses the library multiple times a week, so this vote is very important to me. I also know Sam [disclaimer!] and truly believe he would make a wonderful Trustee. Here is why: Continue reading Meet Sam Pinto, Candidate for Long Beach Library Board Trustee [Vote May 16th]

Long Beach Bicycle Survey

 Long Beach Bicycle Survey. Question #11 is confusing. You have to list them in numerical order. Same thing with #13 & 17. As you take this survey, think of the little innocent kids who are riding around. Also think of the giant motorized vehicles that are ignoring stop signs and disobeying the posted speed limit. Thank you.

From Long Beach: The purpose of the Long Beach Bicycle Survey is to gather information from Long Beach residents about the current conditions and future needs of bicycling in the City. The survey looks to create an understanding of who uses bicycles, for which purposes, as well as to gauge where we are with bicycle safety, use and attractiveness amongst residents. Moreover, it will help us to understand where residents’ priorities lie in terms of needs and allows residents to offer their own suggestions for the future. 

In English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lbbikesurvey

In Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/lbbicicletas

Seven Story Building Magically Appears in Long Beach

Or is it an illusion?

695 West Broadway (The property formally known as 661 West Broadway). 18 condo units. Seven stories with the bottom for parking. This is all a result of the following  ZBA decision:

July 26, 2012 Zoning Board Decision:

Case # 2241: Application of Long Beach Real Property Mgmt. of 100 West Park Avenue, Long Beach New York 11561; for a variance from the following sections of the Zoning code of Ordinances of the City of Long Beach, New York: Section 9-105.11 (b) height (d) building area (e) front yard (f) side yard (g) rear yard (i) density (k) off street parking for a new 20 unit condominium building at 661 West Broadway Long Beach, New York also known as Section 59, Block 17, Lot 147 on the Nassau County Land and tax map. 

Decision: Granted/Conditions: Elimination of two units, total 18 units. 25 foot setback for the top floor, property must be demolished within 30 days of vacancy. Effective immediately, landlord is not to renew any lease or grant any new tenancies.

Description of building from 2009 sales listing: Fully leased 25 unit apartment building consisting of 22 studio apartments and 3 one-bedroom apartments built in 1951. Between Grand Blvd and Lindell Blvd on the North Side of West Broadway, one block from the ocean.

I blogged about this back in August 2012, if you can believe that (read:  DRUG-DEN BUILDING TO BE CONVERTED INTO CONDOS). Remember the former building?  Yikes, that place was shady… So this new building is big. It kinda popped out of nowhere.  Ahh… Just another day in the city by the sea…..

 

HALB-Development / Zoning Board Meeting. Thoughts, concerns, etc.

I’m hearing there was a packed house at the zoning board meeting last night, the main event being the proposed-towers over at the Hebrew Academy [HALB] property.

Sam Pinto, who attended and spoke, told me the following:

“On the developers side, there were many engineers, finance guys and lawyers present. They made statements about the impact, including Police, Fire and EMS services. When challenged or questioned by the ZBA, The claims were not really substantiated with any relevant facts, data or appropriate studies. There was also a lot of finger pointing by the developer on how some Environmental Impact Studies also were incomplete. Continue reading HALB-Development / Zoning Board Meeting. Thoughts, concerns, etc.

Zoning, development and potential of skinny jeans in North Park [opinion]

Rendering courtesy of the City of Long Beach

Concerning the North Park section of Long Beach. Read this Long Beach Herald article: Long Beach looking to overhaul zoning code.

So our city has this Comprehensive Plan [LINK], specifically to come up with new zoning guidelines. The vote by our city to move forward was postponed due to North Park resident concerns. Continue reading Zoning, development and potential of skinny jeans in North Park [opinion]

Austin Blvd ‘improvements’. PLEASE DON’T MAKE THE same mistakes as Lido Blvd [I am scared they might]

Be honest. Does anybody think Lido Blvd is safer than it was before those improvements they did back in …. what… 2011? Well, it’s not. See:

I found those from a really quick search, but there are much more buried in the blog. That being said:

LET’S LEARN FROM THE PAST.

I drive Lido Blvd daily and see the same speeding, especially past the schools. I see the same confused pedestrians taking risks running across the street. I watch kids on bicycles on sidewalks, just feet away from automobiles going 30+ over the speed limit. Don’t even mention those shrinking planters filled with mowed weeds.

That median was (apparently) supposed to be a safe spot for those crossing the highway street. Is standing on a platform between six lanes of fast moving traffic really something you’d consider to be safe?

Let’s move to Island Park. With a $5 million federal grant, t looks like Austin Boulevard will be getting a much needed make over sometime this year.  According to the Long Beach Patch (read: Island Park’s Austin Boulevard Set For Major Improvements) here are some key points we should be seeing:

“Widening the road’s center left-turn lanes from nine to 11 feet, allowing cars to have more maneuverability. [link]

I’m not much of a religious man, but I do find myself praying whenever I make left turns on Austin, so I can get behind that.

The regular travel lanes and parking lanes will also be widened.[link]

Parking lane. Yes. Many businesses count on street parking, so that definitively needs  to be wider. But the regular travel lanes do not. This is safety 101. The wider you make the travel lanes, the faster automobiles will go. In my opinion and experience of perceptive-driving all day, those lanes are wide enough.

“pedestrian safety upgrades made to the seven-lane road. New crosswalks with pedestrian crossing lights will be added, and the lights will have a countdown, so pedestrians know how much time they have left to cross.[link]

STOP THE PRESSES! Seven lane road? So they are sticking with the 3 on each side with one in the middle? This is exactly what they did in Lido Beach (see articles above for Lido Beach Mistakes)!

If I recall, originally on Austin Blvd the proposal was to eliminate one south bound lane, but leave three going north for evacuation. So does this means NO bike lane? With all this new residential development that’s happening  (or might happen) in Island Park/Harbor Island, we are still expecting everybody to drive to Long Beach if they want to come to the beach? HOLY CRAP, THEY NEED TO TURN ALL THOSE EMPTY BEACH-FRONT LOTS INTO PARKING GARAGES. Heck, knock everything down and bring in more parking. Glorious Parking Garages-By-The-Sea.

I know people will tell me “Anthony, with beach traffic, three southbound lanes are needed,” but is it really? I’m not much of a gambling man, but I’d wager better timed lights could and would solve that issue.

Other upgrades involved: pedestrian crossing lights, bump-outs, blah blah blah.  All that is good, but seriously, no bike lanes? Whatever…I guess read the entire article over at the LB Patch: Island Park’s Austin Boulevard Set For Major Improvements

What did we learn from all this? Nothing.