Assemblyman Colton: ‘Bensonhurst Getting Overcrowded’

Demands area zoning be downsized

Assemblyman William Colton (47-AD), concerned with the number of developers squeezing multiple dwellings units and commercial buildings on lots previously occupied by one or two family dwellings, is demanding that the zoning laws be downsized in the area.

"The neighborhood is getting far too crowded because of these overzealous developers whose only interest is their profit, totally disregarding the strain they cause on parking, existing services and the infrastructure of the community," states the Gravesend/Bensonhurst Legislator.

"Unless downsizing is implemented immediately, the residential quality of life in the neighborhood will be permanently damaged," added Assemblyman Colton. The assemblyman added that some developers have been building right up to the building lines and causing damage to adjacent properties. Referring to the roof collapse on the building being constructed on West 6th Street between Kings Highway and Quentin Road, and the foundation damage done to the Dunkin Donuts adjacent to the construction on Kings Highway and West 3rd Street, Assemblyman Colton also noted the parking crisis which is being exacerbated by the construction on 65th Street and Bay Parkway which is causing great traffic problems due to lack of on-site parking. The assemblyman has also received petitions opposing the building of a seven story, 14 family dwelling units in a predominantly one and two family home community, asking his help in getting the construction permits rescinded.

Assemblyman Colton has been monitoring the need for downsizing since 2001, when he toured the neighborhood with Community Board 11 District Manager Howard Feuer and again last summer with Councilman Domenic Recchia and the District Manager Feuer. In a letter sent last November to Regina Myer, of the Brooklyn Planning office of the Department of City Planning, Colton requested that the R-6 and R-5 areas of the neighborhood be downsized. Assemblyman Colton hoped that the issue would be resolved soon. "However, unless such action is commenced promptly it may be necessary to seek other means to address the community’s concerns," promised Assemblyman Colton.

Assemblyman Colton then met with Amanda M. Burden, Director of Department of City Planning, together with CB 11 District Manager Feuer and other elected officials in Feb 2004, where again he insisted on the badly needed down sizing plan for the area.

Complaints from constituents have increased and Assemblyman Colton is now calling for grass-roots action. The feisty assemblyman is contacting the residents concerned that have petitioned his office and those that reported other threatening construction problems for an initial meeting at his community office at 211 Kings Highway. If area residents are concerned and want to get involved and be added to the Grass Roots Downsize Zoning Committee list, call his Community office at 236-1598 and ask for Jeanette Givant or Charlie Ragusa.