Update June 18: DOB has amended the full stop work order on the site to allow the approved work of grading and removal of minor construction debris. Since the installation of the retaining tanks has not been approved yet, the stop work order will remain in place for that work. We will post further information when it is provided.
The Department of Buildings has issued a stop work order for construction on block 1129. The stop work order is dated June 15th and describes the violations as "various." The address cited is 583 Dean Street, which is the address under which FCRC has submitted the plans for the surface parking lot on block 1129. The order states the work on the "full site" is to be stopped "except to make site safe."
Community members have complained about the work on the block 1129 for multiple reasons, most seriously recently for vibrations on buildings in the historic district along Carlton Avenue. Several incident reports from that area have been filed on this website about vibrations over the last several weeks, including a ceiling collapse.
The only work currently approved in relation to the implementation of the lot is grading and minor removal of construction debris. The plans for the detention system to be used for handling the storm water runoff from the lot and the plans for the lot including fencing are listed as "disapproved" on the DOB website.
The work on the lot for the last month has appeared to exceed the scope and impact of the approved work. This week excavations at least 20 feet deep were made. What appears to be tanks for the detention system have been placed along Carlton Avenue.
Vibrations and the Prospect Heights Historic District
If impactful construction took place without approval by DOB (for example excavation or the use of hoe rams), then concerns reported by neighbors about vibrations may merit further investigation. Because the buildings along Carlton Avenue are in the Prospect Heights Historic District, FCRC is required to monitor vibration levels on those buildings carefully through regular inspections and the use of vibration sensors. DOB and ESDC's environmental monitor HDR are tasked with ensuring the buildings are effectively monitored and protected.
According to the FEIS, a Construction Protection Plan created with the consultation of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation was to be prepared for the historic district. The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, one of the sponsors of AYW, has asked for a copy of the plan.
Public input on the surface parking lot plans
The public comment period for the TDM is still open. The community has been told for a year that plans for the surface parking lot were to be part of the Transportation Demand Management plan (TDM) which was presented to the public in May 2012, six months after it was originally promised. The presence of what appear to be components of the storm water detention system on block 1129 suggests FCRC may have begun construction ahead of approvals from city agencies and the ESDC, and before the end of the public comment period.
The New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NYASLA) recently submitted comments to ESDC Chairman Kenneth Adams regarding plans of the lot, including recommendations for the use of green technology intended to reduce storm water runoff. NYASLA's comments build on the Neighborhood Protection Plan proposed by local civic organizations and endorsed by local elected officials.
What appear to be tanks for the detention system installed along Carlton Avenue.
Excavation along Carlton Avenue.
A hoe ram is used to break up stones and concrete in order to make way for the tanks.
Ceiling collapse in a Carlton Avenue residence inside Prospect Heights Historic District in late May.