Padavan, Community Blast Student Off-Campus Dorm In Jamaica Estates
Declaring that St. John's University made a reckless decision to start building a student dormitory in the middle of a quiet residential area of Jamaica Estates, state Senator Frank Padavan, joined by others in that community, wants college officials to live up to their reputation of being good neighbors and scrap the project.
The Eastern Queens lawmaker said the six-story, 485-bed, off-campus dorm on quiet Henley Road threatens the quality of life of the entire community.
Padavan said, "From the very beginning I have urged St. John's President Rev. Donald J. Harrington and the [university] Board of Trustees to live up to their selfproclaimed declaration of being a good neighbor and immediately stop building this dorm in the middle of our neighborhood.
"The community is outraged and dismayed by St. John's constant lack of concern for their neighbors."
The veteran lawmaker and an organization known as Concerned Citizens of Jamaica Estates will hold a community meeting next Tuesday "to discuss this serious problem".
"This meeting is a vitally important opportunity for Jamaica Estates residents to stand up and make their voices heard against St. John's action," Padavan (R- C, Bellerose) stated. "Residents cannot be silent on this issue. We all must stand up and demonstrate our collective outrage at this threat to our community, quality of life and property values."
Specifically, Padavan and his supporters said their objections to the project include:
•Population density on Henley Road with the influx of transient students with no interest in the community.
•Increase in traffic congestion.
•Negatively impacted safety and security of the area.
•Utility overutilization and deteriorating infrastructure.
•Noise pollution and a diminished quality of life for permanent residents of Henley Road and Jamaica Estates.
Padavan said he had previously expressed his deep concern over St. John's placement of the campus dorm on Henley Road.
On numerous occasions, he said, he questioned the motives and secrecy surrounding the planning of the dormitory. In addition, he questioned the school's ability to maintain order at the off-campus building. He said the school's own disciplinary statistics show that on campus over the past three years there have been 735 law violations, 106 drug law violations, 84 burglaries, four forcible sex offenses and one case of arson.