Thursday, April 24, 2014

Board 8, Klein escalate fight against Montefiore

By Shant Shahrigian
Illustration courtesy of Newman Design
Community Board 8's Land Use Committee joined elected officials fighting Montefiore Medical Center's plans for an 11-story facility at Riverdale Avenue and West 238th Street.

Community Board 8’s (CB 8) Land Use Committee voted to oppose Montefiore Medical Center’s controversial plans to build an 11-story facility in south Riverdale and endorsed a move asking the state to intervene during the committee’s meeting Monday night attended by approximately 200 people.

“Now that we’re against it, we’re going to take a very hard line that the current size, configuration and scale of this building is inappropriate for Riverdale Avenue,” CB 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi said after the meeting.

CB 8’s executive committee was expected to pass the Land Use Committee’s resolution on Tuesday night — the vote came before press time.

The resolution endorsed a letter by state Senate Co-Majority Leader Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz asking for the state Department of Health to require Montefiore and its partner WESTMED to apply for a Certificate of Need proving an often-repeated claim by Montefiore — that the proposed 95,000-square-foot facility fills a hole in the community’s medical needs.

“We believe that the [state health] commissioner should regulate this,” Mr. Klein’s Chief of Staff John Emrick said to loud applause Monday night. “Ultimately, if we are able to get at the actual tenant, Montefiore, that’s going to go into this facility, we may have a fighting chance.”

Mr. Klein issued a statement saying the type of development Montefiore is proposing has no place in Riverdale.

“The community does not want it, does not need it, and should not have to put up with it,” Mr. Klein stated. “That’s why I’m doing everything in my power to stop this development in its tracks.”

As-of-right claim

Montefiore is claiming the project as an “as-of-right” development meeting all zoning requirements.

With this in mind, Jeffrey Moerdler, a lawyer for the Simone Healthcare Development Group, which bought the site of the project, said he does not believe the project needs a Certificate of Need or any other government approval.

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