2008-04-04 / Top Stories

Residents: Construction Site Poses Risks

By Miriam Rosenberg

Five foundations lay open with pools of stagnant water at the construction site at 172 Beach 26 Street. Photo by Miriam Rosenberg
The foundations at the Beach 26 Street construction site are filled with water. The fence panels are either missing or leaning outward towards the street.

Those problems and others are causing area residents to worry about the construction site, which has lain dormant for some time.

The site at Beach 26 Street and Seagirt Boulevard is a hazard to people in the area, claim those who live nearby.

Les Paultre and Jackie Bosley, who both live in the area, are the leaders of the local civic association, the Rockaway Beachside Neighborhood Association (RBNA). They contacted The Wave with their concern.

"We have a serious situation at a construction site 172, 174, 176 Beach 26 Street," wrote Paultre and Bosley in an e-mail to The Wave. " One of our RBNA members notified us of this mess. There is standing dirty water at least three feet deep in each of the foundations. Protective fencing is rarely in place and children use [the site] as a playground along with [the] rats, mosquitoes and raccoons."

According to residents, children play among the rusty iron sticks, pools of dirty water, rats, mosquitoes and raccoons that make up the construction site. Photo by Udi Hazen
Udi Hazen, who lives across from the site and took photos of children playing around the foundations.

In the winter he fears that the children will fall through the ice on the foundations.

"Most of the time [the children] play on the foundations with the garbage and you see rats and raccoons," said Hazen. "The mosquitoes are horrendous. It's like a Petri dish for mosquitoes."

With the large mosquito problem, Paultre also pointed to the threat of West Nile virus once the summer begins.

Hazen said he, along with other residents in the area, just want the owner to do something with the site and have offered ideas to fix the site.

"We want to fill it in with a garden to beautify the neighborhood," said Hazen.

"Our health and the safety of our children is in jeopardy," concluded the e-mail from the representatives of RBNA.

In the walkway next to a bungalow on Beach 25 Street, missing sections of the plywood fence surrounding the construction site make it easy for anyone to get inside. Photo by Miriam Rosenberg
The city's Department of Building's website shows that the city's Environmental Control Board has served the owner with numerous violations over the last few years.

The two most recent violations were served on August 24, 2007, citing the plywood fence surrounding the jobsite as defective with sections of the fence leaning out onto a public sidewalk. Past violations for the same problems including loose or missing sections of the fence were issued in March, 2007; November, October, July, June, and March of 2006.

The site was also cited for "open foundation site with [stagnant] water ponding" on October 26, 2006 and June 20, 2006.

All the citations are listed as either still being "in violation," or as "in default."

According to the New York City Department of Finance website, the site is owned by Third Stage, Inc.

The Department of Buildings did not immediately return requests for information and the paper was not able to obtain contact information for Third Stage, Inc.

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