Monday, February 4, 2008

Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates

I will start by introducing the Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates. We are a dynamic group of residents who have banded together and have since incorporated to fight the St. John’s University (SJU) Henley Road, off campus dormitory facility.

St. John’s University has utilized the “community facilities loophole” in the zoning code, to build a 485 student private dormitory, for a private university in the heart of our residential community, and doing so after providing assurances to the community that no off campus dorms would be built. Father Harrington, SJU President, went so far as to create a community dialogue group to appease the neighbors, all while secretly planning this massive dormitory.

Aside from violating the university’s lofty mission statement of being a good neighbor, SJU failed to include local elected officials, the community board, planning commission, the community at large or for that matter SJU community dialogue group in the planning phase of this project. Not one of these entities was privy to this project until it was a done deal.

The important message to take away from this unfortunate situation is that this can happen in any community at any time. The character of a neighborhood can be altered and the quality of life of its residents diminished by corporations and special interest groups.

Please join the Concerned Residents and Councilman Tony Avella who has taken the lead in the City Council to close the “community facilities” loophole in the zoning law at a press conference at the SJU dormitory proposed site:

172-10 Henley Road
(Between Kendrick Place and Kingston Place)
If you are traveling by subway take the F train to 169th St. walk north 3 blocks on Homelawn to Henley Road and turn right

The laws of our great city fail to protect the little guy, the average tax payer, the coop or homeowner who has invested their life savings in their home and whose quality of life and property values are being threatened.

Join us and let your voices be heard!!!!

Maria Collier

For additional information you may call me at 718 658-9713