The Italian Hospital Society has performed some drastic surgery on its plans to build an assisted living/senior housing facility on City Island.
After major protests from islanders over the facility’s size and a re-do request from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals, the group has come back with new plans that chop the facility by 75 percent.
It had sought a zoning variance with its original proposal, viewed by island opponents as about three to four times more dense than the typical residential building on City Island.
The original plan by the group, also known as Heritage Housing LLC, called for a 214-room facility at the now vacant corner of City Island Avenue and Schofield Street, all to be in one building with a floor area ratio [use of floor space] of 2.38 compared to a typical island residential building with a FAR of about 0.5, according to documents from an earlier BSA filing.
New documents show a plan for 54-units spread out over 3 residential wings, 116 parking spaces (including 54 surface spaces for the seniors), a “community wing,” and 44,410 total square feet, all bound together by a ribbon of connecting enclosed hallways on landscaped grounds.
The floor area ratio has dropped to about 0.8 according to most recent estimates.
Whether the shrinkage can be cost effective for the developers after their original proposed size remains to be seen.
Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns said that he plans to meet with the City Island Civic Association, which has hired a lawyer to fight the issuance of variances for the project.
“We would like to consult with City Island residents to see how they feel about it, and then we will form a course of action,” he said. “Our position on this issue is that we have always consulted the CICA, and we have not gotten a chance to do that yet.”
At a Wednesday, January 15 meeting on City Island that served as a joint public hearing on the new City Island Bridge and of the board’s housing and zoning committee, Kearns said that the documents from the filing had arrived at the board at about 5pm that day, and of course, they had not had a chance to “digest” its findings.
City Island Civic Association vice-president Barbara Dolensek said that the group was to meet on Monday, January 20 to discuss the most recent filing.
In the coming days and weeks, she said, it would develop a course of action or a position on the new filing.