Things got crazy when Coney Island’s Community Board 13 voted to approve the expansion plans of a controversial Surf Avenue home for the mentally ill.
Residents reacted angrily as the neighborhood panel overwhelmingly supported Ocean View Manor’s designs to add six more stories and 24 new residents to its existing facility — in spite of neighborhood complaints that the home neglects its current 76 tenants and allows them to wander the streets begging and defecating in public.
“None of you live near there and you have the nerve to say ‘yes’ to something the community doesn’t want!” exclaimed Sheila Smalls, president of the tenants association at the O’Dwyer Gardens Houses, which sit opposite Ocean View on W. 33rd Street.
Others echoed Smalls’s sentiment.
“We need people on the board who are going to represent the community,” said Coney activist Keith Suber.
But board members defended their decision, arguing that Medicaid money from the new residents would let Ocean View better care for the current tenants.
“They’re not going to shut the place down, so why penalize the rest of the people living there?” said CB13 member Marty Levine.Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderma