Wednesday, August 22, 2007

‘Street God has forgotten’

To the editor of the Queens Courier:

Where I live in Whitestone, the Department of Finance appraises my home at one million two hundred thousand dollars. For the past two years, I have lived next to a home with boarded up windows and doors.

Constant complaints to the Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection Agency and the Sanitation Department have done little to ameliorate the situation.

The tall grass and weeds create hazards to neighborhood residents that walk by and harbor trash. A highly overgrown lot can also become dry in the heat of summer and be a potential for a fire.

Rundown and abandoned buildings have a tendency to attract crime and transients too. I am constantly running out during the year to chase schoolchildren from the property.

I implore our city officials to strengthen the ordinances in terms of property maintenance.

Neighborhood charm dies here on Clintonville Street where I reside in Whitestone, one sad home at a time! There are so many vacant houses, overgrown yards, and unkempt properties on this street. The problem is exacerbated as elderly neighbors pass away and their properties are purchased by prospective builders and left to sit year after year awaiting future development.

To quote a former priest of St. Luke’s Church here on Clintonville Street who once told me that he “had thought to himself that this is the street that God has forgotten.”

Untidy properties with overgrown foliage, boarded up windows and broken down fences destroy the image of a neighborhood. Responsible property owners do not want to invest in areas that look this way. The results include decreased property values and this cycle continues without proper code enforcement.

I urge all residents of Whitestone who are tired of putting up with this to please contact our city officials and demand a change. Remember, the squeaking wheel always gets the grease. Do not remain silent!

Rose Marie Puleo Milcetic


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the lead, got prybar and a hankering to do some antiquing. LOL!

Anonymous said...

There must be more to this story than meets the eye. I couldn't see developers buying expensive properties and then just letting them sit there, which would result in a huge loss of potential revenue. Maybe the area is slated to be rezoned?

Anonymous said...

This is one of the oldest streets in the area and is rich with history.

When I moved here with my family in 1955
as kids we used to occasionally go and investigate an old Victorian frame farmhouse.

It was, pretty much, directly across from St. Luke's church. Still attached somewhere was an old faded sign which read "W. Higgin's Nursery".

From there on up to Willet's Pt. Blvd. there was a swath of undeveloped land on the left save for an old "Kent" dry cleaning chain store plant which was still in operation.

Further on down , across from Kramer's gas station, was the "Chicken Coop Tavern" old farmhouse likely converted into a local "watering hole" with a big neon sign on top.

This was the landmark we told visitors from the Bronx to look for as they tried to find the street that we now lived on.

"Valmar Homes" were the cookie cutter ranch houses built by the Bluestone family on the stretch of 22nd Ave./Willet's Point Blv'd (south side from 157th to 154th Streets).

We lived in one of those. Most have now gotten 2nd story additions added to them now.

I've seem so much more that has vanished.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous # 2 hit the bull's eye! Persistent inattention from city agencies is frequently the result of a corrupt policy to let a neighborhood deteriorate until the predators can swoop in "to the rescue".

Keep at the notifications Rose Marie. Write, speak up at public meetings, get your neighbors involved. Whoever writes, wins.

"Illegitimati non carborundum!"

Anonymous said...

this city is a frigging joke. you can call the department of buildings and the environmental department till you're blue in the face and they don't give a crap. WE PAY THEIR SALARIES. it's a disgrace.

meanwhile, halliburton rebuilds new orleans...

Anonymous said...

A lot of projects seem to go at a leisurely pace in Queens.

The fence goes up for a few months, then there is a big hole in the ground for a few months, then ther is a basement for a few months, then there is ....

All these guys seem to be operating on a shoe string and highly leveraged.

That means construction as cheap as possible (gotta save somewhere)

as below union scale and unsafe working conditions as possible (one of the payoffs from tweeding immigrants)

as gaudy as possible (attracts someone with poor taste and not discriminating)

with as high rent as possible (turnover hard on a building and community but when you are highly leveraged you gotta do what you gotta do - need to send the kids to college you know!)

Anonymous said...

"There are so many vacant houses, overgrown yards, and unkempt properties on this street....

Im still not clear what she is referring to here. I drove down Clintonville today and its a very long street from end to end. Most of what I saw was pretty decent and well kept. There are a few bad apples, but most of it looks okay.
By the way, at very end of Clintonville where you make the right turn onto 6th avenue and then roll down to Powells Cove, you will find the largest assortment of crap ever assembled. They are building the most hideous, oversized, ugly piles of crap youve ever seen in your life. They are one family waterfront homes, but they all look the same/identical. Poor construction, cheap railings and lighting, balconies, poor landscaping etc. I dont know if the crapper has reported on them, but its a massive new community. I think they are trying to cash in on the fact that Powells Cove eventually connects over to Malba, thus you are part of the "Malba experience". Has anyone seen whats going on down there? The swath of land is huge, so there are plenty more to come. I will try to take photos.

Anonymous said...

Here's an example of what I mentioned. This house is located on Powells Cove in this brand new community. They all look like this.

Anonymous said...

The specific area in question is right next to St. Lukes Church and Rectory; it is not even a residential location. Instead of complaining about the fence, better to complain about how much space the church lawns waste on the corner of the block, fenced lawns that no one can walk on, let alone build on.