CB 8 winds down 12 busy months


His tenure as Community Board (CB) 8 chairman started out with a June 2014 election that made a headline in The New York Daily News for the racial tensions it seemed to expose, but since then, Dan Padernacht has worked hard to run a tight ship.

With his rival for the chair, Maria Khury, and others now leaving the board and seven new members joining CB 8, Mr. Padernacht of Kingsbridge rattled off a long list of accomplishments in a recent phone interview. After a few more meetings this month, CB 8 is not scheduled to reconvene until September.

“We had something like six extra committees this year,” the chairman said. “There’s a lot of work going on.”

Those groups have spent the past 12 months laboring on issues from modifying CB 8’s bylaws to rallying support for developing the Hudson River’s Bronx shore. The panels include:

• A special working group on the Special Natural Area District, or SNAD, zoning rules that impose limits on development with an eye to protecting Riverdale’s environmental features. The panel is expected to give a report and recommendations on strengthening the rules later this year. The City Planning Commission has organized a similar group, and organizers from both sides say they will collaborate, not compete.

• The special committee on the Hudson River Greenway, which has given residents a chance to hear the latest from city officials on an estimated $75 million project to turn the currently undeveloped shore into an appealing amenity. Mr. Padernacht said the committee is working with Bronx state Sen. Jeff Klein on commissioning a study about accommodating the rail line along the waterfront.

• A working group on Selfhelp’s project to build an 11-story, $26.4 million affordable housing project for seniors. After protesters compelled Selfhelp to abandon plans to house people with mental health issues, concerns about parking and other areas remain — and CB 8 members have regularly grilled Selfhelp reps at meetings of the working group.

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