Brooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn) successfully lead a group of Bensonhurst and Borough Park residents in their effort to force developers to increase the number of parking spaces at a nine-story medical facility under construction on Bay Parkway and 60th Street in Bensonhurst near the Borough Park boundary. With Greenfield’s unwavering support, the residents were able to convince the city Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to require the developer to provide 177 parking spaces at the facility instead of the 116 spaces the developer had proposed.
Councilman Greenfield attended every one of the five hearings at the BSA over the last year on this application, which was unanimously rejected by Community Board 12. He also wrote several letters to the BSA insisting that parking be increased. Under city zoning regulations, the developer was required to provide 231 parking spaces at the building, but used a loophole to submit plans to the Department of Buildings that would only require 116 parking spaces. In response, Councilman Greenfield led the neighborhood in their fight by continually pushing the BSA to increase its parking demands. As a result, the BSA voted on Tuesday to approve the medical facility, at 6010 Bay Parkway, under the condition that it has 177 parking spaces – 50 percent more than the developers wanted.
“One of the top quality of life complaints in the community is the lack of parking. With a nine-story, seven-day-a-week medical facility under construction, you can only imagine how difficult the parking will become in the neighborhood,” Greenfield explained. “That's why I am proud to have led the fight with dozens of community members to force the developer to increase on-site parking. The agreement to increase parking by over 50 percent on this facility is a major victory for the entire community. I thank the BSA, led by Chairman Meenakshi Srinivasan, for taking these issues into account, and Assemblyman Colton for his role in this fight for more parking."
“I strongly supported the demands of the community that adequate on-site parking must be included in the plans for this project, because the quality of life for neighborhood residents should not be disrupted by traffic congestion caused by the lack of sufficient on-site parking,” said Assemblyman Colton. “Working together with Councilmember Greenfield, we fought to eliminate the problem of taking scarce street parking for cars using the facility because this will benefit not only residents, but also the patients and staff such a medical building is committed to servicing.”
The building, which is already under construction at the corner of 60th Street and Bay Parkway, is located across the street from three schools and a house of worship. Residents turned out in force at the BSA meetings and explained that the area is already overburdened with traffic because of the thousands of children and hundreds of faculty that converge on it each and every weekday. Residents also explained that parking is also scarce on weekends. On Shabbos, the large Orthodox population can’t move their cars and on Sunday members of the sizeable Catholic parish use their cars to attend services.
"The additional parking spaces will make a difference towards maintaining our quality of life. Our community and Councilman Greenfield joined together to fight for what we felt was right. It's definitely a victory for the residents because if we didn't speak up, the applicant would not have increased the amount of spaces provided. Without the advocacy and support of Councilman Greenfield, we could never have won this fight and the project's impact on the neighborhood would have been much larger," said resident Anna Cali.
Councilman Greenfield pointed out that the only reason that the building is so large is because it is deemed a “community facility.” It would have been hazardous to the entire community for the developer to take advantage of that designation by constructing a larger-than-usual building with fewer than usual parking spaces. “60th Street is the major thoroughfare that connects Flatbush and two hospitals – Maimonides and Lutheran,” Greenfield noted. “What’s more, the 66th Police Precinct uses the street as the main route between Borough Park and Flatbush. Less parking on 60th Street would have meant double and triple-parked cars slowing down emergency vehicles and putting lives at risk, which is another reason why this was so important.”