Feud brews between City Island residents, developer

CITY ISLAND - Some residents of City Island are fighting to preserve their neighborhood in the face of a new 22-family housing development that is planned to be built along the Marina.?When you're looking to put in these concrete boxes like gerbil habitats and squeeze them into a small area where people are going to double and triple park, now what you're creating is the workings of a slum,? says Bill Stanton, a City Island resident.

The city had recently issued a stop work order on the construction because the developer, Haim Joseph, was operating under permits that expired in July. Since then, Joseph lost authorization to carry on the construction because City Island has been downsized.

Critics of the development say the large scale of the proposed project is inconsistent with the rest of the community.

?The long-term effect of overdevelopment is lack of parking, it's construction that is not in context with the construction of surrounding blocks,? says Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx).

The contractor at the site insists the development is beneficial to the community because it will provide jobs, but local residents are wondering where these jobs will come from and for how long.

The developer says he does not plan to change the structure or layout of the houses, but he has reduced the number of parking spaces in front of each home. He says he is confident the New York Department of Buildings will lift the stop work order and give him the OK to carry on.

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