There may be hope for those petitioning against the city’s plans to cut culverts into the Ridgewood Reservoir. Queens Chronicle reports that the Parks Department is applying with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to re-designate the reservoir from a Class C “high hazard” dam to a Class A “low hazard” dam. A new classification would mean that the culvert construction project Parks is now required to undertake would no longer be necessary. As the Chronicle says: “If the state DEC approves the agency’s reclassification application, the proposed two-year, $6 million culvert creation project mandated by the DEC will be deemed unnecessary and terminated.”
The DEC says that the project is needed to reduce the risk of flooding, while environmentalists claim that it’s close to impossible for enough precipitation to fill the basins to cause flooding. They’ve argued that the project is unnecessary, a waste of money, and would cause harm to the existing ecosystem. It’s unknown how likely it is that the DEC will change the classification.
It looks like Independent Chemical Corp., which has operated on Cooper Avenue in Glendale for the past 50 years, is closing up shop in the neighborhood. The Daily News reports that the owner of the company told state inspectors from the Department of Environmental Conservation during a July checkup that it is “fully committed to moving” by early next year. At the inspection, there were violations that the company president says have already been taken care of.
Local leaders already asked the Department of Environmental Conservation to check out the site after spotting chemical barrels out in the open at the facility. The company makes chemicals used for personal care, health and pharmaceutical products. It’s located right next to the controversial proposed homeless shelter.
The quiet neighborhood of Glendale contains a number of anachronisms, including the passage of the Long Island Rail Road Montauk spur from west to east. This sleepy line now carries freight only, but it’s only been a year or two since at least one daily passenger train plied the tracks here. And, until March 1998 Glendale had its very own LIRR station, which in its final years consisted of a bare spot in the weeds alongside the tracks, on the right side in the above photo.
The Montauk spur, which was apparently named because it once served trains bound for Montauk, splits from the main branch in Jamaica west of the large Jamaica station complex and runs west to Long Island City on elevated, at-grade, and open cut portions. It once contained station stops in Richmond Hill, Glendale, Fresh Pond, Haberman (in western Maspeth, named for a local firm), Penny Bridge (named for the span the Kosciuszko Bridge replaced) and LIC. By the mid-1990s, patronage on the line had dropped to less than a dozen daily riders and, since new double-decked cars were being phased in that required high level platforms, the decision was made to close the stations rather than rebuild them. (more…)
There is now a petition out speaking against the city’s plans to cut culverts into the Ridgewood Reservoir. The Parks Department is required under state regulations to address the flooding threat of the reservoir by August, or the city could start receiving fines. But local residents, pols and park advocates state that the project is unnecessary, a waste of money, and could cause harm to the existing ecosystem. A group of politicians already sent a letter to Governor Cuomo outlining similar concerns as the petition.
The petition calls for the reservoir to be reclassified from a Class “C” or “High Hazard” dam to a Class “D” or “Negligible or No Hazard” dam — then the culvert construction wouldn’t be required. It also gives details on why the reservoir is not a flooding threat. Finally, there is a request to the Parks Department to reconsider the proposal offered by the Highland Park/Ridgewood Reservoir Alliance back in 2008 to turn the area into a nature preserve. The Parks Department previously stated lack of funding to make significant changes to the area.
Today, a group of Queens pols — Catherine Nolan, Nydia Velazquez, Elizabeth Crowley, Michael Miller, Grace Meng, Antonio Reynoso, Joseph Addabbo and Michael Gianaris — released a letter sent to Governor Cuomo in regards to the upcoming construction at Ridgewood Reservoir. The Parks Department plans to undertake a $6,000,000 project cutting culverts into the reservoir to address the threat of future flooding. Parks is required under state regulations to address the flooding threat by August, or the city could start receiving fines. Still, the plan upsets local residents and park advocates who believe the project is unnecessary, a waste of money, and could potentially cause harm to the existing ecosystem.
The letter also raises serious concerns about the construction project. Pols are asking for a waiver to delay construction, so that the area can first receive a wetland designation. (An application to designate the area as a wetland was submitted in 2010, nothing has been done about it.) They also ask the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to consider how the project will harm the existing environment — the work requires building permanent access roads into the habitat, and cutting down at least 470 trees. The pols also believe the price tag of $6,000,000 is too high. As the letter states, “We believe that there are many other areas where the city can spend this money including building more schools, improving our infrastructure, upgrading our transportation system, and many other capital requests that our Community Boards have highlighted.”
The Hansel N’ Gretel manufacturing site, located along Cooper Avenue in Glendale, is now on the market. The deli meat producer, which opened back in 1872, moved to the neighborhood in 1970. The company ceased operations this past June, according to the Courier.
The real estate agency Avison Young will handle the property, which is more than two acres. It’s zoned for industrial use, but the brokerage will advertise it as a “multi-purpose” plot. Hansel N’ Gretel, who didn’t offer a reason for the closure, will begin auctioning off its equipment in September.
The pictures for this Glendale listing are just terrible, but that doesn’t mean we don’t like it. The 2,200-square-foot brick townhouse, located at 72-30 66th Place, is asking $699,000. From what we can tell, this home boasts lots of great details like fireplaces, wood floors and decorative molding. We have no idea what’s going on with that wood-paneled room, but the patio sure looks nice. Ultimately, we feel tempted enough to check the place out in person. How about you?
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley chimed into the debate over opening a homeless shelter on Cooper Avenue in Glendale, proposing alternative uses for the building. In a letter to city officials, reports Queens Courier, she states the proposed shelter is “too close to chemicals, too far from public transportation and would pack an already overcrowded school district.”
She stands behind many community residents and Community Board 5 in asking for an alternative to the 125-person shelter. Her suggestion, also suggested by Mayor de Blasio, is to set aside affordable housing units for the homeless instead. The Department of Homeless Services already conducted an environmental review earlier this month and found the location suitable to be used as a shelter. A DHS rep said they are reviewing Crowley’s letter, but also planning to move ahead with the original plans for the site.