Saturday, June 23, 2012

Despite stop-work order, Atlantic Yards parking lot proceeds, as (per FCR) tanks have not been installed, only "placed"

Work done before stop-work order, via AY Watch
There's been a lot of work on the Atlantic Yards surface parking lot in the past week, despite a stop-work order regarding the installation of stormwater detention tanks, aimed to collect water so it doesn't overwhelm the sewer system.

Indeed, the installation on Block 1129--between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, and Dean and Pacific streets--looks fairly far along.

If so, it looks like Forest City Ratner's decision to start work on the installation without a permit to do so--it describes the tanks were "placed"-- has paid dividends.

After all, the Department of Buildings (DOB) says the developer's work these past few days was not out of compliance

Installation vs. placement

Work done after stop-work order, via AY Watch
As stated on Atlantic Yards Watch, regarding work done June 15, "Work that appears to be unapproved is taking place on block 1129. What appear to be retaining tanks for the detention system have been installed. Excavation has taken place. The detention system is shown as being 'disapproved' on the DOB website."

"Impactful work has taken place causing vibrations," the report continued. "A hoe ram has been used. Large stones have been dropped in containers. A selection of photos has been submitted to the Department of Buildings."

According to the Department of Buildings web site (screenshot below), a partial stop-work order was issued on June 15 and partly rescinded on June 18, but only to continue grading. However, the DOB also allows work intended to shore up safety, and that offers broad latitude.


FCR: tanks not installed

Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco stated yesterday, "The tanks have not been installed (though they may have been placed in the holes)."

That depends, apparently, on what the word "install" actually means. The meaning encompasses both "to place in position" and to "connect for service or use."

From the DEP/DOB Guidelines
DePlasco was apparently using the latter definition, though I don't think that conforms to what the city typically requires, as explained below.

DePlasco added, "As you know, the stop work order was rescinded." (Not completely, as shown above.)

"Work has started on a fence and there’s some preparation work (excavation) on the tanks," he stated. "We anticipate doing the tanks next week."

"Our inspectors were at the site this morning and found that all work at the site was in compliance with the Stop Work Order," DOB spokeswoman Ryan FitzGibbon state yesterday. "Currently, Forest City Ratner is in the process of submitting the necessary paperwork to the Department to resume work on the retention tanks."

Asked to clarify, FitzGibbon stated, "The Stop Work Order was issued for the installation of retention tanks. However, safety work to make sure the tanks already placed at the site were secure was and is allowed. This includes backfilling around the tanks to secure them."

When should construction start?

From the DEP/DOB Guidelines
How and when should such tanks be installed?

The construction phase should come only after the Plan Examination and Approval by the Department of Buildings, according to a chart (above right) in the Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Stormwater Management Systems, developed by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in consultation with the DOB.

Such approval had not been granted.

According to the 16-phase "Recommended Construction Sequencing" in the DEP/DOB Guidelines (left), excavation is #7, the installation of bedding stone is #10, and the installation of system components is #11.

It does not make a distinction between "install" and "place."

So the act of putting the components in the ground is fairly far along in the process, according to the sequencing. And that's already done, at least in  part, on Block 1129.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:39 PM

    once again politics prevails and FCR will walk away with not even down time on their illegal parking lot.I hope the tanks do not leak and flood out the railroad grade below and adjoining.

    ReplyDelete