The City Planning Commission voted unanimously in support of outgoing Borough President Marty Markowitz’s plan to revamp the former Childs Restaurant in Coney Island and turn it into an amphitheater and upscale eatery, Brooklyn Paper reported.
However, local residents are less than thrilled about the plan, which will require $53,000,000 in city funds to transform the landmarked but dilapidated 89-year-old building. Neighborhood activists told the newspaper that the money would be better spent repairing Coney’s hurricane-shattered infrastructure, which still suffers from occasional heat and power outages, in addition to sewers that flood when it rains.
And others worried about the traffic and noise from the planned venue, which Markowitz hopes will host 40 concerts a year. The community board voted down Markowitz’s plan two months ago, and Landmarks approved it over the summer.
Yesterday the City Planning Commission changed zoning laws to allow homeowners to elevate properties in storm areas without violating height restrictions. The Daily News reports that homeowners faced higher insurance bills if they didn’t elevate their properties, but to elevate, some would have to eliminate the top floor of the home to comply with zoning. The new resolution says that storm-related elevation does not count against any neighborhood height restrictions. Now property owners can build as high as 10 feet, although they cannot create any extra living space. They are allowed to use the space underneath their house as a car port or patio. The city also addressed ways to protect commercial properties against future storms, like moving generators and mechanical systems, while keeping the storefronts looking attractive.