Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Willets Point redevelopment would be a disaster

...the city plans to install up to six feet of fill prior to site redevelopment.

The fill will be used to "cap" contamination at the site, sealing toxins underneath a mound of new dirt. The effectiveness of this method for containing contamination is debatable. Caps need to be carefully maintained against the effects of erosion, especially in low-lying areas. More significantly, a report by the Canada's Contaminated Sites Working Group maintains that capped areas are never suitable for further development as capping carries a risk of leakage. Again, low-lying areas close to waterways and estuaries magnify this risk.

"There are good, current and acceptable methods for evaluating these impacts, but the project sponsor has not considered any of them," says climate change expert Linda Sohl in a prepared statement released by the project's opponents. "Furthermore, all of lower Manhattan, including the World Trade Center site and most waterfront land in New York City is in the 100-year flood plain - for some reason the city is not concerned with elevating these areas with fill."


Climate Change Could Threaten a Green Willets Point

...building a whole new community -- even a sustainable one -- at Willets Point poses an apparent contradiction since constructing a new 50,000-square foot commercial building releases about the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere as driving a car 2.8 million miles.

"No matter how much green technology is employed in its design and construction, any new building represents a new impact on the environment," explains Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. At the same time, improving existing buildings and infrastructure almost always produces a lower level of emissions.

In the case of Willets Point, the development offers a particularly ironic twist. In seeking to build New York City's first "green" neighborhood, the city could instead add to global warming and endanger that very same community.

16 comments:

wake up and start blogging edc & parkside boys& girls said...

of course its no good , but now look at what you did !! by printing this now all the edc & parkside people assigned to blog this site everytime you say something against the project will now start blogging wasting more of our tax dollars instead of giving it back to the people who paid them and got nothing in return! great job crapper

Anonymous said...

The Shulman/Bloomberg/Parkside team doesn't give a damn about long term environmental dangers.

They'd already have banked their cut of the profits for selling out the area.

The new residents (in affordable housing? or not) will be taking their chances with future manifestations of these "capped" toxic health hazards, if not in their own lifetimes, in their children's or grand children's.

Oh well, life is considered cheap in the Orient by our pols.

The target audience for residential buyers is more than likely to be Asian but the Crowley clubhouse couldn't care less.

Grab their votes then milk 'em for their cash. How many millions and millions of people live in China?

So what if thousands and thousands come here to buy and die in WP's contaminated housing ? !!!

For that matter, does anyone want their family to live in Muss Development's reclaimed contaminated" federal "brown field", that's in the process of being built, right across the river?

Alan said...

"wasting more of our tax dollars instead of giving it back to the people who paid them and got nothing in return!"

"They'd already have banked their cut of the profits for selling out the area."

How much more of our badly needed tax dollars are going to be wasted on this boondoggle? I said it before and I'll say it again, we need an investigation on where the money to promote this lame idea is coming from and going to.

It seems to me that even if the project never gets developed, there are a lot of people, including a certain former borough president, who are already prospering...on our collective dimes!!!

To make matters worse, the issue of traffic congestion is hardly ever raised. To develop the area in the manner suggested by Dumberg and friends, you would essentially be cutting off various sections of the borough. My apartment overlooks the Whitestone Expressway and I can see that current traffic conditions are deplorable at times.

The EDC and cohorts have admitted that the traffic problem cannot be mitigated so why is such a massive project still on the table? It makes no sense unless you examine the dollars and cents going into the pockets of people who are supposed to be looking out for our interests. This new environmental perspective makes the project even less appealing, or at least it should.

One last thing. Speaking of the environment, I recently attended a game at Shea and at times the jet noise was deafening. I was there for a few hours. What will be the impact on the health of those living so close to the airport and living directing under the flight patterns? I think it is time to put this moronic project to bed and clean up the area as the property owners have requested and already paid for through their taxes!!!

Anonymous said...

Great editorial in the Daily News today:

Former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman has never been a woman given to tough words, but Shulman got it bitingly right last week when she declared:

"Shame on you, Hiram Monserrate."

Because Monserrate, a Queens councilman and state Senate candidate, is waging a cynical, destructive drive that would block the city from turning an environmental wasteland into a vibrant neighborhood.

And worse, Monserrate's battle against developing the Willets Point area of Queens threatens to restrict affordable-housing construction across the five boroughs.

He is engaged in a naked power play - and, with 31 of his fellow City Council members as allies, the potential for damaging the public good is all too real.

Monserrate's colleagues should understand that he is using them to advance the commercial interests of a handful of landowners in his district while jeopardizing the city's ability to encourage housing construction in their communities.

These Council members must wake up to the fact that Monserrate is playing them for patsies over the fate of an isolated 61-acre peninsula near Shea Stadium that has been a blight on Queens for half a century.

Home largely to auto repair businesses and junkyards, the area has never had sewer service. Its soil has been contaminated by dumped oil, gasoline, paints and solvents that leach into surrounding waters.

Working with nearby communities, the Bloomberg administration has advanced a plan that would build 5,000 units of housing, including 1,000 affordable residences; a public school; retail stores; a hotel, and, possibly, a convention center.

To enable construction, the city would buy the land from its owners, at negotiated prices or through eminent domain, and then invite developers to bid on the project.

The developers would be responsible for conducting an environmental cleanup, raising the ground level by at least 6 feet to eliminate flooding and putting in sewers, streets and sidewalks.

First, the Council would have to rezone Willets Point. But Monserrate has led a majority into refusing unless the administration takes eminent domain "off the table."

Translation: Monserrate wants the city to meet prices demanded by the property owners before the Council gives the project the go-ahead.

Absurdly, he calls this "justice" for the "community."

It's not. Instead, it's a recipe for ripping off the taxpayers by forcing the city to pay more than its legal obligation. One man - Monserrate - would get to decide what was fair treatment for political allies.

Queens Crapper said...

The Daily News wants ad revenue from the real estate and stores that would be there. They've never met a development project they didn't like. They send their borough reporters to cover overdevelopment stories so that the other 4/5 of the city doesn't see them.

Anonymous said...

"Furthermore, all of lower Manhattan, including the World Trade Center site and most waterfront land in New York City is in the 100-year flood plain - for some reason the city is not concerned with elevating these areas with fill."

this was addressed at the CPC meeting. other locations in the city in the 100 yr flood plain have systems in place to deal with flooding. WP does not presently but would under the redevelopment plan.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Why does Willets Point have to be redeveloped in order to get the things that other neighborhoods already have?

Anonymous said...

What "systems to deal with flooding"? I am in the 100-year floodplain and last summer my house had 3 feet of water inside the basement!

Anonymous said...

site ssuch as lower manhattan and LGA airport (which are the two most referred to sites in this debate) have flood control mechanisms in place.

.. sorry --no idea about your house or the area

Anonymous said...

I think Shulman wrote that editorial. Note the use of the word "vibrant" right at the beginning.

Anonymous said...

a few stretches..

1. the author had to go all the way to canada to find an opponent to capping.. well, this is the USA and we do it here all the time.

2. using global warming and the rising sea levels to justify not developing land doesnt warrant a reply as its ridiculous

Anonymous said...

"the author had to go all the way to canada to find an opponent to capping.. well, this is the USA and we do it here all the time."

LOL yes and we have no problem with contamination. And lobbyists here have nothing to do with why it's done here all the time. Kool Aid drinker....

"using global warming and the rising sea levels to justify not developing land doesnt warrant a reply as its ridiculous"

Why is it ridiculous? Why would we want residential areas under water?

Anonymous said...

youhave no idea of the nature of the contamination at willets.. and neither do the Canadians

if you like them so much move there.

so lets cease development all along the eastern seaboard and all move everyone to wyoming.
on second thought.. you NIMBY racist zealots might like that.

Anonymous said...

Can't move there - it's M3.

And as for NIMBY racist zealots, that's what Mets fans like Chris McShane are.

Anonymous said...

so lets cease development all along the eastern seaboard and all move everyone to wyoming.
-------

so what? development doesn't help me and diverts my taxes away from services for me and my family to make some bum who doesnt even live here rich.

i repeat. so what?