Wednesday, November 21, 2012

City blames sinkholes on developers

Keep these 2 passages in mind as you watch the videos...

From the Huffington Post:

The city did not respond to a question about recent development on Staten Island or on the Rockaways. It noted that experts on zoning and code had been dispatched to the field to respond to the aftereffects of Sandy. But it said that newly constructed buildings in the city are required to be flood-proofed to the FEMA-designated flood elevations.

NY Times:

Mr. Romski said that a heavy-duty, sophisticated drainage system, designed to handle flood surges, was instrumental in mitigating flooding. The system — which features underground chambers, wide street mains and storm drains on each house property — connects to large sewer mains that the developer installed in public streets that they rebuilt around the project site, as part of an agreement with the city, Mr. Romski said.

So developers went to the DOB with these plans, the DOB approved them, and now it's the homeowners that will have to deal with the danger and the cost of fixing the problem. I smell a class action lawsuit.


Anonymous said...

The same developers he gives the land away to?

Jerry Rotondi said...

That "magic" word "mitigation" pops up once again.

In the advertising business this is known as a "weasel word"-- which is slickly inserted into the body text--so that the advertiser can legally weasel his way out of a questionable claim he's trying to make.

Nowhere does "mitigation" PROMISE to deliver what is really needed here--ELIMINATION of the problem clearly caused by storm surges!

So we "mitigate" instead of "eliminate" a threat.

Crafty word usage--and how many times have we heard developers put forth "mitigation" plans before community boards, to gain their approval of a bad project?

Maybe the wiser course of action would be NOT TO BUILD in flood plains.

Anonymous said...

So... where are their electeds? Why are they not supporting their community against the developers? Campaign donations got their tongue?

Jerry Rotondi said...

"So...where are their (or your) electeds"?

Go and shake them out of the trees if you can't spot any on the ground! Round them up at the bars!

If constituents had the stones to grab their ineffective pols by the short hairs--and REMIND THEM to do the jobs they were elected to do--then we might see our nabes attended to.

Will they? Only a hand full. Most are too shy or busy.

Aren't we supposed to be polite when we visit the district office? Absolutely!

I'm always courteous, UNLESS you try to jerk my chain!

Personally, I look out for myself and only rely on my representatives when needed. I look not to add to their busy schedules with petty gripes.

You should be attending community board meetings, even if you dislike your board. Let them see your face. Become a fly in the ointment, if necessary.

Anonymous said...

I blame the city for developers -

Last night I sat in a meeting with the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation (remember the piture with the ducks, from Staten Island?). We were told that FEMA construction standards are required in flood zones... 2-family homes are planned, with one unit in the basement. Yeah, FEMA construction standards apply. And DoB don't know jack, and could care less. Here in Staten Island there are many, many examples of "as-built" changes that do away with requirements - and the DoB inspects, and signs off, those jobs. For example, designs that allow floods to pass through unimpeded - those openings are sealed to create living area. Mechanical equipment (furnaces, eg) installed below the water line - and the DoB inspects, and grants Certificate of Occupancy.

Anonymous said...

Jerry R - you are so, so right! I'm going to use "weasel word" in the future: it is much more viscerally descriptive than CYA. As to the electeds: we are finding the 'evil' developers so deeply entrenched that they get their way no matter who is in office, particularly in the so-called outer boroughs - because ultimately it's the local Agencies controlling outcomes. Take a look at the relationships between, say, your local DoB construction division and contractors... betcha there's a blood relative on either side. This makes enforcement a real problem - 311 calls disappear, things are not properly examined... traditionally, this was attributed to bribes. While that probably still goes on, I firmly believe it's more "whose cousin are you?" at work.

Anonymous said...

Call in the Feds.

Jerry Rotondi said...

I admit that developers have great power in buying off some of our electeds and community board members-- by offering them hefty bribes or campaign contributions.

Aren't they one of the most powerful lobbies in NYC?

Yet I sincerely doubt that they have tho kind of power to make sink holes to appear.

Anonymous said...

"A spokesman for the city’s Environmental Protection Department said workers had determined that the sinkholes had been caused by damage to private water and sewer lines that run beneath backyards. The agency has begun informing homeowners of the problem so they could arrange for repairs. "
Fuck you homeowners, it's your problem now. Sincerely, NYC