'Potty Pods' Are Being Erected To Comply With Post-Sandy Guidelines

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New restrooms are under construction on Coney Island, and some nearby residents continue to complain that their views are in jeopardy.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported Wednesday, the residents of the Oceana luxury condominium complex along Brighton Beach paid premium prices for oceanfront views – an unobstructed picture of the Atlantic Ocean.

But that may soon be crowded by the modular, pod-like restroom facilities going up along the Brighton Beach and Coney Island boardwalk.

“They will destroy the value of the property — as simple as that,” said resident Dmitry Geyber.

The new pods will replace a restroom beneath the boardwalk that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. Residents have been complaining about the plan for months.

Now, the city has begun construction of the “potty pods” right outside the door of the Oceana condominiums.

“This is it. This is so-called ‘oceanfront,'” Geyber said, “They will be looking at people who come to urinate and defecate in front on their house.”

Residents said the units, which cost about $2 million per pod, will not only be an eyesore, they will also mean no more wheelchair access for disabled residents such as Eileen Trotta and her brother.

“Now I have to walk all the way around, which is almost impossible,” Trotta said. “Somebody has to drive me there.”

Right now construction in front of Oceana is at a standstill because of a lawsuit the owners have filed against the city. But if the pods are put in place, they are expected to be about three stories tall — about the height of nearby lampposts.

“Would you want that?” Trotta said. “It’s just not right.”

The city Parks Department defended the design.

“They are being built to withstand future extreme weather events,” a department statement said. “As required by NYC Building Code, the new buildings will be raised above (Federal Emergency Management Agency) advisory base flood elevations.”

The Oceana residents asked why port-a-potties could not be set up instead.

“Save the taxpayers’ money,” said resident Rachel Rezlich.

It is a battle the Oceana residents refuse to forfeit.

“We won’t give up. We can’t give up,” Geyber said. “How can we give up? This is our home.”

The Oceana residents are due in court with the city later in July.

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