Saturday, September 30, 2017

DEC wants less extensive remediation at Edgestone site

From the Queens Chronicle:

When the Department of Environmental Conservation notified Community Board 7 that single-family homes could not be built at the Waterpointe development on Whitestone’s waterfront, it didn’t go unnoticed.

The Edgestone Group, which is planning to build 52 single-family homes at the site, is participating in the DEC’s brownfield cleanup program. The agency had said on Sept. 20 that fill used to replace contaminated soil at the site was not of the quality required by the type of cleanup being pursued there, which is called Track 2 residential cleanup.

So, a DEC Fact Sheet went on, “it is appropriate that the remedy be modified to a ‘Track 4’ restricted residential cleanup.” Which, the agency continued, applies only to “multi-family residential housing with restrictions that prohibit housing without a common controlling entity responsible for maintaining the [institutional and engineering controls].”

Not exactly music to the ears of a community board that has been adamant about the Waterpointe development being single-family homes.

CB 7 First Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian and board member Joe Sweeney were alarmed when they saw the message from DEC.

“We got this notice — Chuck saw it, I saw it and I said ‘This is impossible, because that’s not what we negotiated,’” Sweeney said at the board’s meeting on Monday. “We negotiated those 52 homes.”

He called the DEC. And ultimately, the agency agreed to allow the single-family house plan, though the restricted residential Track 4 will still be used.

Sweeney told the Chronicle that the DEC informed him the fill described in its fact sheet that resulted in the track change had been placed there by Edgestone.


LoScalzo said...

"… ultimately, the agency agreed to allow the single-family house plan, though the restricted residential Track 4 will still be used."

Something doesn't seem to add up.

The non-negotiable, statutory definition of "restricted-residential use" specifies that "Restricted-residential use … shall, at a minimum, include restrictions which PROHIBIT … single family housing" (emphasis added; 6 NYCRR § 375-1.8(g)(2)(ii)).

In light of that clear statutory prohibition, how can NYSDEC proceed with classifying the site as "restricted-residential," and then allow single-family homes there?

A separate section of the statute provides that "residential use" (i.e., without restrictions) "is the land use category which will be considered for single family housing" (6 NYCRR § 375-1.8(g)(2)(i)). But apparently Waterpointe requires restrictions, and therefore does not qualify for the "residential use" classification which pertains to single family housing.

NYSDEC cannot arbitrarily manipulate a site's land use category to circumvent the plain requirements of the law.

I suspect we have not heard the last on this.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Paul Vallone hooked up with them?