Friday, July 26, 2013
Nabe lacks sewers and is buried in horse crap
From the Queens Chronicle:
Caught in limbo on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, members of the Jewel Streets Block Association are frustrated that their community is forgotten by the city and used as a dumping ground by everyone else.
Elizabeth Watt, president of the group, gave a walking tour of her neighborhood to city and state representatives last Thursday, hoping that a message will get out that she wants action.
The Jewel Streets community, which residents have nicknamed “The Hole” because it lies many feet below the grade of Linden Boulevard, includes Sapphire, Amber, Emerald and Ruby Streets between South Conduit Avenue and the Lindenwood development of Howard Beach.
Comprised of fewer than 20 blocks, the Jewel Streets area, zoned R-4 residential, is home to a scattering of residents who are surrounded by vacant lots, abandoned cars, make-shift stables made of truck trailers, and piles of dumped garbage, construction debris and tires.
The community is one of only two small, isolated areas of Queens that are still not hooked up to the city sewer system.
Homeowners and city officials agree that, once sewers are installed, the vacant lots will be snapped up by developers and the neighborhood will get cleaned up.
But Watt hasn’t heard from the Department of Design and Construction or the Department of Environmental Protection since representatives came to her civic group’s meeting in June.
What makes the community unique, aside from the fact that residents are still waiting for sewer construction, is the proliferation of horse stables constructed from old trailers, vans and odd scraps of wood and metal.
The stables, some of which house other animals such as poultry, sit side by side and occupy roughly two or three blocks. Several homes, including Watt’s, are on the lots surrounded by stables.
“If I could afford to move, do you think I’d stay here?” said Watt, who, with several other residents of the area, has had an ongoing conflict with the stable owners.