Block Party Next Sunday!

The Spencer Road Neighborhood Association’s second annual Spencer Road Neighborhood Block Party will be on Sunday, August 13th! The party will go from noon to 4:00 and will be on the 400 block of Spencer Road, between the Stone Quarry Road and South Meadow Street Extension intersections, in front of Stone Quarry Apartments. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers will be donated by the Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, but please bring a side dish or dessert to share with your neighbors.

We have a lot of new events planned for this fun family-oriented party, including a fire truck visit from 12:30pm to 3:30pm, basketball and other games, and a raffle featuring items donated by local businesses (drawing at 3pm).

This should be a fun event for everyone, so please come and meet your neighbors!

Sidewalk Road Work 400 Block of Spencer Road

Update (May 6th): They have decided to allow left turns from Stone Quarry onto Spencer Road during this time.  The barriers around the sidewalk work will be moved daily. When the barriers are out, there will be flaggers. When the barriers are in, there will not be flaggers, as motorists ought to be able to use the intersection as usual.


Here is the information received from INHS about the implementation of sidewalks along their property at 400-406 Spencer Road, and the subsequent changes to traffic patterns on the street during the sidewalk construction.  (Please note: this will affect the 400 Block of Spencer Road and the Spencer Road/Stone Quarry Road intersection).

Construction of the new sidewalk and curbing will begin May 4th. In order to complete this work a section of Spencer Road will need to be reduced to one lane during daytime working hours Monday May 4th through Friday May 15th from 7:30am to 4:00pm. When work is complete for the day two-way traffic will be restored. In addition, left turns from Stone Quarry Road onto Spencer Road will not be allowed at any time from May 4th through the 15th due to the construction barriers required to keep workers safe. Below is a diagram that shows where the work will occur. The yellow flags represent flagging stations where flaggers will be directing traffic. The thick red line represents a concrete barrier which will not be moved each day but will allow two lanes of traffic to pass. The red dotted line represents moveable barriers which will reduce traffic to one lane during work hours and then moved to allow two lanes of traffic when work is finished for the night. Temporary signage will be installed to inform drivers of these changes to traffic patterns. This work and disruption to traffic will be complete by May 15th. If there is a change to this timing INHS will notify. This plan has been reviewed with the City of Ithaca Traffic Engineer. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Joe Bowes at INHS at 607-277-4500×204.

Spencer Road Sidewalk Work Diagram Source: Memo from INHS: Temporary Changes to Traffic Patterns (pdf).  Contains larger-size diagram shown above.

Clarification: The 400 block of Spencer Road will NOT be a one way road during those hours.  It will be one lane with cars only able to go in one direction at a time.  Flaggers will be at each end of the block coordinating traffic.

Sign Petition – Require Appropriate Environmental Clean Up at 400 Spencer Rd

Hello neighbors,

As many of you know, extensive soil and ground water contamination has been found on the site for INHS’s proposed Stone Quarry Apartments project at 400-406 Spencer Road.

In public meetings, INHS has stated that they do not intend to fully clean up the site of all pollution, leaving the amount of pollution remaining in the soil at an unsafe level for planting and gardening. If it isn’t safe to garden in, it surely will not be safe for children to dig in or play on.  This is not acceptable.  INHS has also stated in public meetings that they plan to install barriers and screens that will require regular maintenance to remain effective at preventing the pollution from spreading further.  This is not a long term solution and is also not acceptable.

The testing that was done in 2012 – accessed by Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting and described in his July 21st letter to the mayor, accessible here – shows that this contamination can be found all over the site, but also shows that quite a number of locations on the site have not been analyzed, including areas around hydraulic lifts and above-ground fuel tanks.  This is also not acceptable.

Up until Mr. Hang’s letter was published – and the subsequent media attention that resulted – INHS had not submitted necessary remediation plans to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  From comments made by INHS representatives at a July 22nd Planning and Development Board meeting stating their erroneous belief that the spill reports had been closed, they likely never would have submitted these plans before starting construction had this contamination not come into public light.  This is further unacceptable.

We must come together as a neighborhood and demand that this site be properly and thoroughly analyzed and cleaned up before construction begins, for the safety of those that live and work on and near the site, and for the safety of the future residents of the apartments.  We must speak for our future neighbors, as they do not know they must speak for themselves.

Please, sign this petition:

Share it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.  Email it to your family and friends.  We must act now.

INHS is trying to get away with performing the minimal amount of cleanup necessary, saying they intend to remove at most one dumptruck worth of soil.  To bring the levels of contamination down to levels safe enough for people to garden in, children to play on, and families to grow over, there would need to be at least 500 times more than that removed.  This is shockingly unacceptable.  The testing done so far show significant contamination in the soil and ground water.

Please help us get the word out to the mayor: You MUST require a comprehensive and complete cleanup of this site. Anything less is irresponsible.

Contamination at 400 Spencer Rd

In an article published by the Ithaca Voice yesterday evening, it was revealed that there are toxic pollutants at 400-4006 Spencer Rd where the Stone Quarry Apartments are set to be built.  The site does not currently meet the standards for residential occupancy, due to the contamination, and will need to have remediation in order to bring the site up to state environmental standards.

More information can be found in the article here:
Major Toxic Pollutants Found at Stone Quarry Site

The Stone Quarry Apartments project is going before the Planning and Development Board this evening at 6pm (108 E. Green St).  If you are interested in sharing your opinion, please plan on attending this meeting (you will need to arrive prior to 6pm in order to sign up to speak) or e-mail you comments to Charles Pyott at: and ask for them to the passed along to the PDB.

Update: After the PDB meeting, the Board voted to table to project until next month.

More news articles:

More detailed information about the contamination can be read in the Toxics Targeting Letter to the mayor: Final Construction Approval of the Stone Quarry Apartments Should be Withheld Due to Toxic Concerns

Meeting about Stone Quarry Apartments and City Sidewalk Improvements

INHS and the City of Ithaca will be hosting a joint meeting on Thursday, June 12th at 7pm at the Oasis Fellowship Church (map: 808 S. Meadow St Ext) to discuss the Stone Quarry Apartments (proposed for 400 Spencer Road) and to update the residents on the city’s plans for sidewalks in the area of Spencer Road.

INHS said that they would be sending out a mailing to the neighborhood about the meeting.  Please be sure to alert any interested neighbors about the meeting, in case the notification does not go out.