There’s only so much neighborliness you should probably expect from people who prefer you stay on the other side of a locked gate at all times.
Nevertheless, members of the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association [SBPBC] are upset this week that a ritzy out-of-character development emerging right next door to them appears to have claimed dibs on part of Ford Street.
“Where is the view corridor?” an angry Kathy Flynn declared at last week’s SBPBC meeting held inside the Baron DeKalb Knights of Columbus on Emmons Avenue. “That street should be open.”
The SBPBC’s executive committee maintains that the stretch of Ford Street from Emmons Avenue to the Sheepshead Bay waterfront should be available for public access.
That tract of land, however, presently lies behind the locked gates of a developing new condominium complex being sold as “The Breakers” by Wilk Realty.
The “European” style condos inside the 77-unit complex are going for between $377,000 to $1,585,000. On site parking will run deep-pocketed buyers another $44,500 to $49,500.
“We are strongly opposed to the community being blocked out all the way to the water,” the SBPBC’s Barbara Berardelli told the Bay News this week. “I don’t think we’re supposed to have a gated community here.”
The Breakers, however, is just one of the many high-priced developments sprouting up along Emmons Avenue – an area of traditional neighborhood homes which realtors are now trying to repackage as “millionaire’s lane.”
Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo also attended last week’s SBPBC meeting and criticized the gated community.
“It’s supposed to be open to public access down to the waterway,” she complained.
“Was the street demapped?” SBPBC recording secretary Laura Laplant wondered.
Craig Chin, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, said that it appears the end of Ford Street stretching from Emmons Avenue to the Sheepshead Bay waterfront is “not titled.”
Borough Hall’s topography department confirmed this saying that the block in question is not a mapped street.
“It’s not supposed to be open to everybody,” Albert Wilk said. “People want to see their kids playing safely. This is why they are paying for their apartments.”
The SBPBC’s Gene Berardelli said that plans for a new marina at “The Breakers” might also encroach on Port Sheepshead Bay, the neighboring marina, as well as the mooring field further out in the bay.
Members of the SBPBC say that they requested a public hearing about plans for several new marinas but were later told by the Army Corps of Engineers that one “wasn’t necessary.”
“It’s definitely going to be a hot button issue,” Barbara Berardelli said.
Berardelli and the rest of the SBPBC’s executive committee say they’ve been discussing the issue for a long time and insist the public has a right to waterfront access.
“We’re going to do our homework first,” she said. “Then after that we’ll take the next step.”