Tuesday, December 19, 2017

CB7 had something to talk about last night

Public comment from Paul Graziano RE: Waterpointe / Bayrock / Former Grace Property at Community Board 7 Meeting, Monday, December 18th, 2017

Over a decade ago, a carefully crafted agreement was made between the previous owner, government and the community pertaining to the property formerly known as Bayrock/Waterpointe on the Whitestone waterfront.

This agreement, which was negotiated with former Councilmember now-State Senator Tony Avella; Community Board 7; and local residents and civic associations called for 52 single-family detached houses and a waterfront park on what was then a lightly contaminated site. I was personally involved in reviewing the initial proposal, subsequent changes and final submission as an urban planning consultant to then Councilmember Avella.

The site was initially cleaned up correctly. It was then sold and purposefully contaminated with heavily polluted debris, creating the need for a DEC consent order demanding the correct clean-up of the site to proceed with development.

While this was happening, the current owners started to pitch that they wanted/needed to build a much denser development than what was agreed to. There is no question that this is a non-starter with the community, the Community Board and Senator Avella.

However, with the site having been purposely contaminated *again* the idea that the developers are seeking anything less than a full clean up of their property is difficult to believe. It is even more unbelievable that the NY State DEC and other regulatory agencies are considering going against their own regulations which do not allow a Level IV cleanup to occur when the development plans are for single-family detached homes under multiple ownership.

This project must not be allowed to proceed without the full Level I cleanup that is necessary for public safety, not to mention future homeowners who may purchase houses on this site. Anything less than this is clearly irresponsible and should be immediately challenged by the public.

Paul Graziano, Principal
Associated Cultural Resource Consultants

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is "Mobville". Mamma Mia! They will get away with it. Maybe they'll find Jimmy Hoffa in that contaminated landfill.

Anonymous said...

Where are your elected representatives?

Oh I see, the beaming councilman of this district is giving gifts to children according to a full front page (who needs distracting text?) of the Queens Gazette, which, although no longer having by-lines to articles, does have an Associate Editor that appears as a Queens Historical Society board member (according to their newsletter).

Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...


I have never heard of "Associated Cultural Resources Consultants"

Could someone enlighten us as to the firms credentials and past history.

Tommy Efreeti said...

Kudos to Paul, his work is diligent, thorough, methodical and clearly to the benefit of existing residents of the area - much to the chagrin of greedy developers.

This soil matter is a bit hard to follow, but I guess the point is to use it as a leverage point to get something bigger and denser built than what was initially agreed to? Not surprising. Amazing that Graziano can manage to keep such tabs on it, and preposterous that deves can use such seemingly minutiae to push bad-faith/un-agreed-upon changes through.

Anonymous said...

Firm's credentials and past history

Tommy Efreeti said...

One of Paul's bigger victories was getting a new zoning regulations in place to prevent giant mansions or super-dense buildings from encroaching on people who wanted to live in modest single-family homes with wrap-around yards, separate garages etc.

http://www.paulgraziano.com/whitestone-rezoning.html

Pretty amazing accomplishment I think. I wish more people with his ethos would establish the same as a bulwark against densification/gentrification approaching eastward from LIC/etc.

Anonymous said...

Public comment from Paul Graziano? Did Graziano attend the December 18th meeting of CB 7?

Anonymous said...

Actually Paul Graziano, Ray Beckerman, Jerry Rotondi, etc.served as founding board members of the Fort Totten Conservancy Inc. THEY were instrumental in saving Fort Totten for use as a public park INSTEAD of being land grabbed by rapacious developers! WTF can you claim as a gargantuan success to wear on your belt?
Meanwhile Paul Vallone sucks up to any developer willing to put him on retainer to represent THEM....NOT YOU!
His firm specializes in lobbying for over development. He would have easily voted for this project if it were not for people like Paul Graziiano!

Anonymous said...

CB7 vice chair Chuck Apelian was ABSENT from last night’s board meeting.

Anonymous said...

Efreeti, please get rid of that monkey icon. It's annoying to the readers of the site. You've been asked many times before for this courtesy.

Rob in Manhattan said...

It is ridiculous to be building detached single-family houses within the five boroughs.

There are plenty of little single family 'humping boxes" around the borough already and those are slowly disappearing as their owners sell (and make a killing).

I am not advocating "towers" but to-scale multi-unit is all that should be considered now.

We have a growing population. This is NOT the 'burbs.

Rob In Manhattan.

(sarc) said...

The animated monkey icon informs us not only who is commenting, but also the specific intelligence level of the person smart enough to superimpose such an appropriate symbol of intellect within their posting.

I so wish I had such a vast knowledge of this interweb of things to be able to display such high level understanding of things...

JQ LLC said...

"I am not advocating "towers" but to-scale multi-unit is all that should be considered now."

I suppose you mean rowhouses, but the developer donors to de Faustio do not want to do that.

Tommy Efreeti said...

rob, and that's why you are in Manhattan. study history. queens has always had a different aesthetic and qol. your jealousy is showing. don't envy those of us who enjoy a less cramped area.

I'd love to say the monkey stays in the picture, but he does need a rest

Anonymous said...

Well said, Tommy Efreeti! Do not forget Dr. James Cervino either. Thank goodness we still have people like them who investigate and share their knowledge. It's the care that they show for Queens that make them stars to those of us who have worked with them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time to be a bit more realistic about the future of the site. No one (let alone 52 families) is going to buy a single family home, on a repeatedly contaminated site, in a flood zone. They have to have an alarm system in their basement, informing them when/if contaminants have reached a dangerous level. Would you live there? How will the homeowners get insurance? The single-family idea is not practical anymore.

Anonymous said...

Efreeti, please get rid of that monkey icon. It's annoying to the readers of the site.

The monkey was cool! Reminds me of you.
BTW you only speak for yourself, not for other readers.

Anonymous said...

Rob In Manhattan, you sound like some planner from a communist fiefdom.
Absolutely no clue as to what you are talking about.
Stay in Manhattan, enjoy the overcrowded streets, congested streets, living on top of each other, ripoff rents and leave us in Queens the fuck alone.

Anonymous said...

Rob likes living nose to ass . We, in Queens, DO NOT! That's why we live here, so we don't have to. Go suck some big developer's Dick if you like mega development so much!