Meeting called as Hebrew Home expansion moves closer

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Years of planning could move a giant step forward as the Hebrew Home at Riverdale gets closer than ever to breaking ground on a controversial expansion on the banks of the Hudson River.

That’s enough to prompt a special meeting by Community Board 8’s land use committee Jan. 25 at the College of Mount Saint Vincent.

“Not much has changed,” said Daniel Reingold, chief executive of Hebrew Home’s non-profit parent, RiverSpring Health. “To me, this is a continuing opportunity to what has been a very transparent and inclusive engagement with the community going back five years.”

RiverSpring plans to develop its southern parcel into a higher-density continuing care residential community, or a CCRC. To do that, however, the group will have to rezone a portion of the land that currently sits as low-density residential.

That’s something that hasn’t sat well with many of Hebrew Home’s neighbors, including the Skyview Owners Corp. Co-Op, which purchased advertising in this week’s edition of The Riverdale Press to protest.

“The bottom line is that the Hebrew Home’s proposal simply does not meet the city planning commission’s criteria for compatibility with the character of the surrounding area,” according to the co-op letter. “It does not provide an adequate buffer between the proposed facility and nearby residences, or provide a provision to adequately handle an increased flow of traffic expected to be generated.”

RiverSpring is seeking certification from the planning condition through its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Once certification is granted, CB8 will have 60 days to review and comment, before heading to Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., for 30 days, according to CB8 officials. 

The planning commission will get another 60 days to review, with the final decision then left up to city council.

“My goal is — and I’ve said this many times — when this project is built, we want the community to be proud of it,” Reingold said. “We don’t want the community to feel that we foisted it upon them in some way.”

The Jan. 25 meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., in Founders Hall of The Mount, located at 6301 Riverdale Ave. It will be led by land use chair Charles Moerdler and include a presentation by RiverSpring, as well as a period of questions from committee members and the public.

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