Letter to Fortis Concerning Current Site Conditions at LICH

Yesterday, the CHA sent the following message in a letter to Fortis, NYU Langone, and SUNY about conditions at the former site of Long Island College Hospital.

Dear Sirs:

We are writing on behalf of the Cobble Hill Association (the “CHA”) and the residents of Cobble Hill to bring to your attention certain matters relating to the former Long Island College Hospital (“LICH”) site in Cobble Hill and your current activities with respect to it.

First, the public areas of the LICH site are not being maintained in a safe and lawful manner. Lights are either broken or not turned on at night. Park gates, to these darkened areas, are often left unlocked at night. Other gates, including those leading to public areas, are improperly locked during the day. Sidewalk snow removal was untimely or nonexistent for much of last winter. We have received reports of bloody sheets and syringes in neighborhood garbage receptacles. Efforts by community members to locate the entity or person responsible for these matters and to get them corrected have proven time consuming and largely unsuccessful. These conditions present a clear and present risk of assault and injury to community residents.

In addition to the lack of maintenance, demolition and construction activities have caused greater hazards for the Cobble Hill community. Construction debris, moving vans, garbage trucks, parked cars and uneven pavement have rendered the public area of the Pacific Street corridor dangerous for its intended pedestrian and recreational use. This area, which long provided recreational space and a safe passageway between play areas under the auspices of the NYC Parks Department, has become almost completely unusable by the public. Elsewhere on the site, especially along Amity and Henry Streets, unsafe construction practices abound, some of which have already led to the issuance of a stop work order. Neighbors have reported unsafe asbestos removal, while the Stop Work Order was in effect, including workmen who were not wearing protective clothing. Behind the “No Parking” door on the Polhemus Building, there is floor-to-ceiling garbage. The gate to the west of the former doctors’ residence (94 Amity) has been seen unlocked and unguarded, compromising the safety of neighboring homes.

Second, the LICH parking garage at 352 Hicks Street has been unlawfully converted from an “accessory” parking facility into a public parking garage. As you well know, LICH obtained the support of the community and its elected officials for the de-mapping of Van Voorhees Park for the sole purpose of providing accessory parking for medical staff and visitors, as is stated in City Planning Commission decision referenced in the garage certificate of occupancy. It is fair to say that this deeded parkland would never have been exchanged for a public for-profit parking garage. This unlawful use must cease immediately.

Lastly, as you must know, the development and maintenance of the LICH site is governed in part by the Agreement between LICH and the CHA dated January 1984, as amended on May 29, 1987, and by an Agreement dated May 29, 1987 (copies attached), as well as agreements with the NYC Parks Department. As successors and assigns of LICH, we expect you to proceed in accordance with these agreements in all respects.

Our demands are simple – we ask that you conduct your activities on the LICH site in a manner that is both lawful and safe for community residents and in accordance with the agreements concerning this site.

Sincerely,
The Cobble Hill Association

  • Anonymous

    This is the legal action the Cobble Hill Association is trumpeting? Big laugh! And by the way, as someone who walks throughout the neighborhood each day, most (if not all) claims you have made are false. The sidewalks were miraculously cleared of snow last winter.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous1 is working for the developer so doesn't know the condition in which the site was previously kept.

  • Stonewenk

    The sidewalks were not "miraculously" cleared of snow last winter. They weren't cleared at all by Fortis through the first few snowfalls and were only cleared after neighborhood residents spent hours and hours working with the community board, local electeds and 911 to track down Fortis and make it clear the snow. We are now going trough the same thing to force Fortis to repair lights, lock the park gates at night and clear dumpsters full of construction debris from toddler play areas. Stop work orders have been ignored and asbestos removal workers were not wearing protective gear. There is a homeless person living in the poorly maintained Henry Street sitting park. Fortis has proven to be a terrible neighbor in all respects.