To the editor:
At the Bronx Community Board 8 land use committee information session of Jan. 25, we heard Dan Reingold, chief executive of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale and RiverSpring Health, deliver a presentation coupled with an initial 30-minute promotion of its excellent care services for senior citizens — some of whom had been bussed in, many on walkers, on a very cold night to witness their president speak.
In addition to the captive audience were people from the community and members of CB8’s land use committee, members of the press, the Hebrew Home’s public relations company, their builders rep, architects and attorney.
Following the PR portion of the introduction, a presentation of some of the drawings from their CCRC proposal were shown.
Our community is opposed to the neighborhood-damaging plan which would insert a row of riverfront towers spanning its two Palisade Avenue campuses — one a tower, and the other two of four and six floors.
This massive proposal is not compatible with the delicate fabric of the surrounding residential neighborhood.
We would welcome, in concept, the Hebrew Home’s compatible residential scheme presented to the community board in September 2016. At that meeting, the residential option was discussed by their architects and land use attorneys. Conceptually, this would be an excellent alternative to the current proposal of towers on the southern campus.
At the recent presentation, the single-family/cottage scheme was markedly absent. We continue to support the low-height cottages in concept, and feel that this is something that the community could get behind.
To be quite clear, we do not support any apartment towers being built on the southern campus. The community may have been in some discussions. However, these ended prematurely, and should not be interpreted as having endorsed current plans — in fact, far from it.
As Mr. Reingold presented last week, the driving force of his “sail” tower proposal on the southern campus was the maximization of open space, in order to preserve good community relations. Please be clear, Mr. Reingold: The open space or tower approach is not compatible on your low-density R-1 southern campus, and we are deeply troubled by the precedent that apartment buildings in R-1 would set.
Return to the drawing board and improve your deeply frayed community relations by developing a more compatible residential scheme.