Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sewer inadequacies plague SJU dorm project

The controversial 485-bed dormitory being built in Jamaica Estates for St. John's University will cause "recurring" sewer backups throughout the neighborhood, a prominent engineering firm has concluded.

The study was done by a Queens engineering firm headed by Joel Miele, former commissioner of the city Environmental Protection Department. Its results have residents fuming.

"We are very concerned - sewage backups are a health concern," said Ana Landron, who lives near the Henley Road dorm site.

State Sen. Frank Padavan is demanding that the city immediately halt work on the dorm, saying the Miele Associates report makes the city liable for damages caused by future sewer backups.

"If the city doesn't care about the community, they ought to care about their liabilities here," said Padavan (R-Bellerose), an engineer by training.

The dorm, slated to open next August, takes advantage of a zoning loophole that allows a "community facility" to rise 20 feet above the 40-foot limit.

St. John's dormitory stink over sewer

In addition, QC received this:

The Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates wish to share their view with you.

"In these past few weeks, our local community newspapers have featured articles on the Jamaica Estates Gatehouse reconstruction and the beautification of the malls. Although it is laudable that the Gatehouse be preserved, I question the priorities of our Councilman James Gennaro and the Jamaica Estates Civic Association.

Our community’s character and quality of life is being seriously threatened by the Saint John’s University off campus construction of a 485 student dormitory on Henley Road. The infrastructure of our mature community is incapable of addressing the needs of a building of this magnitude. Aside from our property values plummeting, our inadequate water pressure will be further compromised, and our precarious sewer system will be further taxed.. Long time residents will find it difficult, if not impossible to park, and traffic, congestion and pollution from the Saint John’s buses, transporting students back and forth from campus, will permeate our homes.

The Honorable Jim Gennaro, who professes to feel the community’s pain, alleges to be an ardent opponent of the SJU dorm project, and asserts to be working with his colleagues in government to amend the zoning law so it would exclude dormitories from the privileged community facilities category in the law, but is doing nothing to move in this direction.

On the contrary, this dynamic duo is working against our best interest:

· Councilman Gennaro has been busy accepting hefty campaign donations from numerous developers, including the Long Island based Kamali organization, the builders of the dormitory in order to enhance his campaign coffers! It is interesting to note that 95% of his campaign contributions come from developers, realtors and others in the construction field not from individual voters in his district.

· On July 16, 2008 at the Saint John’s University community concert, while the undersigned Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates, with the help of Senator Frank Padavan, conducted a peaceful demonstration against the dormitory project, Councilman Gennaro was sharing the podium with representatives of SJU speaking about non controversial matters and courting voters as well as possible donors from Saint John’s wealthy pool of benefactors.

· The Jamaica Estates Association (JEA) has created the “band aid team” comprised of JEA volunteers, who aside from welcoming the students; intend to address all quality of life issues associated with the dorm. Although20their effort appears praiseworthy, the team will cease to ex ist the first time one of the volunteers is called in the middle of the night to address a drunken brawl at the dorm.

Its time to take a close look at those who profess to be working on behalf of the best interests of the residents’ of Jamaica Estates and ask ourselves “With friends like this who needs enemies?”


The Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates
visit our web page


italian girl said...

To The Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates

Good for you guys! Your determination will make a difference. Keep it up!

SJU is going to have nothing but grief with this dorm. I don't know why they insist on it. They're going to have shuttle buses? Give me a freakin' break! What hell it's going to be. Keep fighting it. As far the sewers not being adequate, they're not. They're not adequate for single family areas, imagine a dorm. The other day during a storm, my sewer backed up - again. It's a serious health concern and not to mention all the work cleaning up. SJU is going to be really sorry they did this. Not only in the short term but in the future. I (an alumni) for one, will not give them another penny in donations and neither should other alumni. I totally believe St. John's should be punished.

I am very disappointed in you St.John's University!

Anonymous said...

Lately every local newspaper has Gennaro's picture plasterd on every page he is at a senior citizen center, holdind a baby,smelling a flower all except working.I guess the developers donations and other kick backs allow him to dedicate 100% of the time to campaigning. Keep that in mind folks

Anonymous said...

No shit Sherlock!

In this case maybe plenty of it.

I hope it backs up to the SJU president's office

Anonymous said...

I also admire your determination, but I'm sad to say you're going to loose, St John's U is too politically connected and face it we the voters don't matter sad as it is. I live on the other side of utopia, we fought for 5 years to no avail. There is now no parking on our street during school, we have been subject to broken windsheilds, screaming students all hours of the night, the summer is great on our side, but as soon as school starts so does the trouble. Reason SJU is building dorms off campus is because they themselves will tell you, THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT STUDENTS DO OFF CAMPUS. Best of luck to you, I hope you can win.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea.

The Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates should talk about what a crummy school SJU is. I know a lot of alumni and all have complained about SJU's job placement. Let's face it, St John's has always had the reputation of being a mediocre school at best. Maybe that's why SJU feels the need to build so many dorms to attract out-of-state students. The in-state students know better. Hey, with all the excellent universities in New York City and even in Long Island, why the hell would anyone spend that huge tuition on St. John's?! Not worth it. You know what, go to Queens College. Better school, less money.

Anonymous said...

Gennaro and his pals in the Jamaica Estates Association are in bed with St. John's. All they care about is the extra money St. John's will give them toward their security patrol. Too bad they are such morons - but it is also a shame that those residents who care about the neighborhood did not come out of their oblivion a long time ago to fight all the other problems in the area. It's the same old story -we don't care what happens here as long as it doesn't impact on us. Now, it is impacting on that small group of homeowners. Where were you guys when the rest of us needed you to fight overbuilding, block busting, and all the rest? I can feel for you to some extent, but you know what? I do not have a lot of sympathy for you.

Anonymous said...

I heard Gennaro saying that the residents in that area were offered to be downzoned a few years ago and rejected the offer. Some of them said that their properties were worth more as an R-5. If that's true, bad move on their part.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous hits the nail on the head about them all being in bed together. That is so true, talk the talk but never do the walk, expect memebers to do the work then they take the bows. No camaras there u won't see the Jam Estates Civic Association. I'm glad i'm not the only one to feel this way. One of the reasons i stopped fighting and i'm leaving.