TRAVIS — Residents said they loved the quiet character of the dead-end Ridgeway Avenue in Travis, but fear a planned expansion of a doctor's office will kill the neighborhood's charm.
Neighbors are fighting a plan by Victory Eye Specialist, at 3860 Victory Blvd., to demolish the next door home and greatly expand the length and height of the building.
Michele Caliri, who lives on the block with her two daughters, said the expansion will add more traffic and parking woes to the block, and make it more dangerous for neighborhood kids to cross the street.
"I love my block," Caliri said. "He wants to expand his business, not at my kids' expense. It doesn't fit."
Community Board 2 already vetoed the plan, which would expand the square footage of the office from 869 square-feet to 5976 square-feet, and Mid-Island City Council candidate Steven Matteo joined residents on Friday to ask the Board of Standards and Appeal to deny the application.
"We're concerned that an approval of this application will set a precedent that will displace the residential charm of Travis," Matteo said. "We want to keep the character of this neighborhood."
The owner of Victory Eye Specialist, Dr. Ray Mostafavi, could not be reached for comment.
Because it would exceed the maximum zoning for facilities in residential areas, the application would require a special permit by the BSA, which will vote on Oct. 22.
Matteo called the BSA to listen to the community's concerns and reject the application, but they have a history of approving projects even when the majority of the community opposes it.
"On everything, the BSA has a history of ignoring the community," Matteo said. "If they expand, it's really going to alter the character of the community."
He said, if elected, he would push for legislation that would require the BSA to reject applications that have large community opposition.