Thursday, February 19, 2014
BROOKLANDS CO-OP, DAMAGED BY FLOODS IN 2007 & 2011,
WINS ZONING BOARD APPROVAL TO BUILD PROTECTIVE WALL
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ZBA Rules in Favor of 'No Adverse Effect' Finding
YONKERS, N.Y. (Feb. 19) -- The Zoning Board of Appeals, finalizing
a process that took 14 months to complete, voted last night to allow
Brooklands, a three-building, 137-unit residential co-op devastated in
2007 and 2011 by overflows of the Bronx River and Sprain Brook, to
build a 1,000-foot wall to protect itself from future floods.
The ZBA ruling referenced a trove of information, data and exhibits
provided to it over the preceding year by Brooklands legal counsel
Steven Accinelli, Esq., of Veneruso, Curto, Schwartz & Curto, with
the assistance of Leonard Jackson, P.E., principal of the hydrologic
engineering firm Leonard Jackson Associates, of Pomona, NY,
consulting engineers to Kimball Brooklands Corporation (KBC).
The information included a for-the-record professional peer-review
written report prepared by a third-party engineering firm attesting that
the proposed wall will have "no adverse effect" on nearby properties.
"This is a double win for Brooklands," commented board president
Kerry Smith, a resident since 2006. "Once the wall is up we'll no
longer have to worry as we now do about every rain, thaw or
snowstorm that comes along. Removing the cloud of uncertainty
we've been under should cause property values to go back up."
Brooklands' distinctive neo-Georgian buildings, built between 1927
and 1928, occupy a 6.72-acre wedge-shaped parcel of land north of
where the Bronx River and Sprain Brook and the parkways named
after them meet. Floods there have been as much as 5 feet deep.
Twenty-four ground-level ("garden") apartments were flooded and
their residents made homeless for up to two years -- 96 cars were
totaled as well -- when a Nor'easter struck Brooklands April 15, 2007.
Hurricane Irene hit less than 5 years later, on Aug. 28, 2011 --
flooding the same 24 units and making those people homeless for up
to a year. This time they had enough warning to save their cars.
Cost to the Brooklands co-op to date (not counting personal losses)
net of insurance payouts, has been nearly $3 million. The wall, which
Brooklands will finance and pay for, will bring the total to $4 million.