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Monday, October 20, 2014

Pols want a peek at Monte’s plans

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted

Elected officials are seeking to intensify the pressure on Montefiore Medical Center’s controversial plans to build a new facility in Riverdale. 

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and State Sen. Jeff Klein along with Community Board (CB) 8 Land Use Committee Chairman Charles Moerdler have asked the Department of Buildings (DOB) to release Montefiore’s plans, which were filed with the city on Nov. 26.

The request goes against DOB’s standard practice of making building plans available for public challenge only after the department has approved them.

Nevertheless, Mr Dinowitz, Mr. Klein and Mr. Moerdler said releasing Montefiore’s plans now would guarantee the public shares its input before construction begins.

“I realize that the buildings department’s position is that the plan could be in flux,” Mr. Dinowitz said. “But I do think it’s a little ridiculous to say we can only see it after they make a decision.”

In a Dec. 26 letter, Mr. Dinowitz and Mr. Klein asked DOB Commissioner Werner de Foe to make Montefiore’s plans for an 11-story, 95,000-square-foot facility available to their offices along with other public groups.

“Since our community was first told about Montefiore’s development plans, the planning process has remained remarkably opaque,” Mr. Klein said in an e-mail to The Press. “How can the community meaningfully weigh in on a proposal when it can’t even review the plans?”

The DOB did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

Simone Development Group bought lots at 3733, 3735 and 3741 Riverdale Ave. along with 3644 Oxford Ave. for Montefiore’s proposed multi-use medical facility. Jeffrey Moerdler, a lawyer for the group, had no comment on officials’ request for Montefiore’s plans. Jeffrey Moerdler is the son of CB 8 Land Use Committee chair Charles Moerdler.

“We have nothing to do with what they release and what they don’t release,” Jeffrey Moerdler said of the DOB.

However, CB 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi said the board plans to ask the Simone Group for a copy of the plans directly.

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