‘Smoking areas’ coming to ST/PCV

Urns like this one will be installed throughout the complex. (Photo by Chuck Hartsell)

Urns like this one will be installed throughout the complex. (Photo by Chuck Hartsell)

By Sabina Mollot

Where there’s smoke there’s ire — and Stuyvesant Town management has gotten that very clear message after poring over countless surveys, reports from focus groups and a steady stream of complaints from tenants from over the past few months.

Specifically, residents have told the new owner they’ve had it with neighbors who smoke outside building entrances, causing the smoke and ash to billow up into their windows. In response, StuyTown Property Services announced last week in a tenant newsletter that it would be introducing “designated smoking areas” to the property.

Additionally, there will be, over the next few weeks, a total of 70 urns for disposing of cigarette butts placed throughout Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk spoke in more detail about the plan with Town & Village this week, saying the project is part of the ongoing “Good Neighbors” campaign encouraging courteous behavior. Recent newsletters also addressed dog and noise related complaints.

As for the smoking concerns, Hayduk said management hoped the plan would work for nonsmokers and smokers alike since the urns, which will be the designated smoking areas, will be placed about 50 feet away from buildings.

“So it’s not like we’re sending them to another part of the property,” he said. “It’s far enough from the buildings but close enough where it doesn’t become an inconvenience to someone.”

The urns will stand over three feet high and be a few square inches wide. Hayduk said they will also serve a dual purpose, since the other goal is to get people to stop tossing their cigarette butts onto the ground or flower beds. Some urns will be placed in areas that are known to be popular gathering spots. (The grounds crew can tell by all the discarded cigarette butts).

Hayduk noted that the project was an investment, since the purchase and installation of each urn will cost $500. With the owner having purchased 10 extras in case any need to be replaced, that brings the price to $40,000.

As for how the smoking zones will be enforced, Hayduk said he’s just hoping residents will be agreeable to doing it without management forcing the issue.

“The last thing we want is where you have rules, rules, rules,” said Hayduk. “It’s a neighborhood and what we’re trying to do is have some guidelines for cohabitation. Happy, friendly neighborhood. That’s the goal.”

Hayduk added that this was done now because with the weather getting warmer, more residents are keeping windows open. Additionally, the smoke complaints have been fairly frequent. “It came up enough where it was on our radar to address it.”

Another current effort that’s part of the Good Neighbors campaign is urging residents not to overstuff washing machines. This week, 150 new laundry machines and 150 laundry carts have been brought to the complex (along with seven day a week onsite repair service, compared to five days a week previously). Hayduk noted that the top reason for breakdowns of the old machines was user error, specifically people overloading the washers and dryers. If users hear a loud thump-thump-thump noise, that’s a sign the machine has been overloaded. New signs asking residents not to do this have since been put up in laundry rooms.

10 thoughts on “‘Smoking areas’ coming to ST/PCV

  1. It’s amazing. After a few months of complaints about smoking outside. You have already started with a new solution.

    Me, I make 3 complaints about my neighbors excessive loud music (bass vibrations) after midnight hours over the last six months, NOTHING gets solved!! Thank you.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  2. Where does one get these newsletters that are referred to in the article? I have never received one.

  3. “GUIDELINES for cohabitation”??

    Sorry, but we need RULES in Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village and they need to be enforced. Given the huge, often inconsiderate, entitled student and transient population living here, Rick Hayduk’s quaint notion that tenants will play nice and behave themselves because they’ve been asked to is ridiculous. They don’t and they won’t, unless they’re forced to. And there will be no “happy, friendly neighborhood” here until Management gets serious and starts dealing with the most thorny problem of all: NOISE. I bet complaints about noise and tenants without rugs VASTLY out number smoking complaints.

    There’s nothing wrong with having and enforcing rules. It will help weed out problem tenants and bring in more respectful renters. Anyone who doesn’t want to rent here because we have sensible, quality of life rules that are enforced is someone no one living here wants for a neighbor.

    Management needs to stop being so afraid of scaring away renters. There’s no shortage of people looking for a place to live in NYC. And if this place develops a reputation for expecting people to behave themselves and be good neighbors, then that’s who we’ll attract and have living here.

  4. Blackstone paid $500 per urn???

    Wait, I got a post-war Soviet style housing project I wanna sell… It’s LUXURY, I tell ya!

  5. Total waste of money on the urns, IMO. As for the old machines that were always breaking down: sometimes it was user error, but most of the time it was because they were cheap, badly made pieces of schlock. I heard it from an insider that those machines were purchased by TS because they were the cheapest, bottom-of-the-line pieces of crap and that they were later discontinued by the manufacturer because they were so bad.
    It doesn’t help though when somebody brings down 3 months’ worth of stinky laundry and stuffs it all into one machine with a jug full of detergent and softener! Yes! I have seen that happen! I guess their moms did their laundry before they moved to the Big City to go to school.

  6. I hope they will also add signs to building entrances…so the many people in my building – who lack the common sense now not to smoke in front of our windows, finally (we hope) gets the message.

  7. So what do we have to do for this to stop? It’s ridiculous that I have to live in a smoke cloud with my children. I have complained multiple time yet they do shit!!!!!! This is enough. Public safety won’t do anything. This is a hazard and I have had enough. Next step???

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