Project is hazard to neighbors


To the editor:

(re: “Developer bringing new, rent-stabilized housing to Riverdale,” Nov. 8)

The developer of 2395 Palisade Ave., recently wrote an op-ed extolling the virtues of his proposed building.

Riverdale has remained one of New York City’s finest neighborhoods by retaining its character in the face of those who would seek to diminish it through profitable, but sometimes underhanded, development schemes. When we speak of schemes, we refer to attempts to violate the public trust and the interests of the community by violating rules and regulations set forth by city agencies like the environmental protection department and the buildings department.

These rules are meant to protect the safety of community and workers from hazardous and possibly toxic conditions, and their violation is not an indication of a developer acting in the interests of a community.

The development of 2395 Palisade Ave., has been halted after inspectors from both the buildings and environmental protection departments found multiple violations. The site underwent emergency asbestos abatement cleanup after the DEP inspectors found debris on the site that tested positive for asbestos-containing materials.

The DEP has informed our offices that summonses for several apparent violations will be issued once this cleanup has been completed. Additionally, representatives from the DOB informed us that they found several violations, including work being performed that did not conform to approved construction documents, and have issued a stop work order until several violations are resolved.

If the developers purported to be taking all the necessary steps to ensure construction work is proceeding safely in accordance with the DOB and the DEP, why was emergency asbestos cleanup necessary? Why is there still a DOB stop work order on the site to this day?

While New York City needs more housing, it should not come at the expense of the well being of the existing community, and potentially hazardous conditions of a nearby development certainly do not contribute to that well-being.

Anyone seriously committed to fulfilling the needs of Riverdale should take a serious look at what those needs are before claiming to be working for the betterment of the community.

Jeffrey Dinowitz
Andrew Cohen

The authors are the local state Assemblyman and city councilman, respectively, representing the area of 2395 Palisade Ave.