Friday, March 16, 2012

New instructions for 311 complaints related to Atlantic Yards: always use "620 Atlantic Avenue" as address; ongoing issues regarding rodents, noise, vibrations

Remember this address: 620 Atlantic Avenue.

That's the official address for the Barclays Center arena, even plastered on scaffolding at the corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue.

And if community members calling 311 about Atlantic Yards-related complaints make sure to include "620 Atlantic Avenue" in their complaint--along with a more precise location of their concern--it will be easier for the city to track issues and respond.

That was one takeaway from yesterday's Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting, held at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

Police reps and Sam Pierre, Brooklyn director of the Mayor's Community Assistance Unit, announced the change. He sat next to and consulted with Lolita Jackson, the mayor's recently-appointed not-quite-ombudsperson for the project.

Commented Rob Perris, District Manager of Community Board 2, "It's really important for Community Boards, electeds and others... to get the word out that this system is in place."

The need for better tracking of complaints is illustrated by the ongoing Atlantic Yards Watch initiative, as well as the regular community complaints about noise, vibrations, and lighting reported to and through elected officials like Council Member Letitia James.

At the meeting, she reported numerous complaints, while Forest City Ratner officials essentially said they were following the rules and had sufficient permits.
City steps up, but remains vague

Pierre said the city had held several interagency meetings, as well as an interagency walkthrough regarding the site, involving departments such as transportation and buildings.

"We found a couple of issues that we will be following up and providing a report at the next meeting," Pierre said. "Also, we had a rodent walkthrough with Dr. [Bob] Corrigan, who’s been monitoring the area.. and we will have results as well at the next meeting.

Rats, apparently, are still a problem.

Continued problems

James cited continued problems with workers parking illegally.

A NYPD rep said 311 should be called.

James address a rep from the Dean Street fire station near the arena site, who explained that there's been a recurrence of rats, who have started eating away the wiring of a hazardous material response vehicle, putting it out of service.

Pierre said, "On our next agency walkthrough, we will look into that."

"I don't know if we can wait til the next meeting," James said.

Pierre said, "We'll do it immediately."

An "oversight"

On Monday, March 12, as reported on from Atlantic Yards Watch: "Work apparently not listed in the most recent Atlantic Yards construction alert was impactful enough to shake my house."

That complaint led to a Supplemental Report to the alert, issued the next day, regarding the digging of test pits on Block 1129, the southeast block between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues and Dean and Pacific streets.

Why was it not included in the initial alert, issued on March 12, James asked.

"I think it was an oversight," responded Forest City Ratner executive Jane Marshall. "The fact that we found a place to do, to start the soil borings and the testing of the soil was a blessing, from our point of view, but it didn't get into the constructon alert. But now it is."

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