Thursday, July 10, 2014

Beginning of the end for Ridgewood Reservoir?

From Save Ridgewood Reservoir:

After over 7 years of Brooklyn and Queens residents fighting to prevent the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation from needlessly spending millions of taxpayer's dollars to destroy an environmentally significant 50 acre site, it appears that we are nearing the end of the road.

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, along with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, held a public meeting at St. Pancras School in Glendale, Queens. The purpose of the meeting was to answer questions about the imminent decommissioning process of the Ridgewood Reservoir, which, according to the parks department application to the NYSDEC, would involve creating three very large breaches in the reservoir's surrounding berms. In fact, one would be large enough to allow trucks to enter the basins and drive along a roadway that will be constructed. You can read some of the media coverage of the meeting here. I was not completely happy with the coverage as most of the reporters seemed to have overlooked some of the most significant revelations during the question and answer period.

The meeting represented the climax of the parks department's campaign of misleading the community about their intentions and being completely disingenuous over the past 7 years when it came to responding to the community's desires and concerns. In 2007 the parks department began a series of public meetings entitled "Community Listening Sessions Regarding Future Plans for the Ridgewood Reservoirs". What, on the surface, appeared to be a genuine interest in the public's aspirations for their future use of this unintentional nature sanctuary, soon became clear was merely lip service as they had already decided on the area's long term development. When the community unequivocally declared that they did not want the reservoir basins developed, the parks department responded by having a second set of surveys filled out by a group who was shilling for their plan. It should come as no surprise to anyone that, despite past assurances, the parks department will be breaching the basins, creating roads and ramps to allow truck access and giving permission to the contractors to "dewater" (drain) the work basins as needed. All this will happen despite the fact that the parks department's own contractors determined that not only is the site ecologically significant, but certainly wetlands and that the basins contain at least 3 endangered species of plants.


Anonymous said...

This is what you can do - there are tons of green groups that have sprouted up to advocate green issues in the city. And there is the Green party.

We all know that these efforts are funded by developers to both lower the carbon footprint and to attract young hipsters to brownfield waterfront locations that have poor transportation.

Therefore the 'green' movement in NYC, like the taco truck generation will be of limited use for building a strong community, but their failure to help you can be thrown back in their faces for being the fraud that we all know they are.

Anonymous said...

The classification of the Ridgewood Reservoir as a class C high hazard dam is both arbitrary and capricious. "A willful and unreasonable action without consideration or in disregard of facts or law or without determining principle." The classification is in need of immediate correction by a responsible state official or state judge.

willie h. said...

There's nothing capricious at all about the class C designation, as that's what makes breaching necessary and kills the marsh, which is what Parks clearly was determined to do from the get-go. The reservoir is in reality a class D designation, which would NOT require any breaching or other action which is why Parks falsified data. That's why legal steps must now be taken, as was stated. An injunction to halt the "plan" until it's heard by a judge!

Anonymous said...

I went to Highland Park last Sunday to walk around the reservoir and the park was packed with people grilling.Cars were parked on the grass of the Jackie Robinson's exits and entrance.The parking lot had cars with huge speakers blasting music that could be heard all over the park.Nearby was a softball game that has an amplified announcer that blasts music between innings.
While walking around the reservoir my wife and I almost got clipped by two motorcycles that kept going around the reservoir on the Greenway.
The best part was leaving, the parking lot was so full with cars parked in every conceivable place that I had to back out all the way.
Five years ago I encountered the same situation and was hoping the Park's Dept. was going to give this park more attention but I didn't see one Park's worker or one cop all day.

Anonymous said...

And where are our elected representatives? MIA ...again!