Start SNAD process over indeed


To the editor:

(re: “Start SNAD process over,” July 25)

Start the SNAD process over? I say why not? Or can the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure clock be suspended for 60 to 90 days? I say why not?

While most would argue that the ULURP timetable is etched in stone, there has been precedent where the deadline has been put on hold and then extended. Admittedly, it took a citywide crisis for this to happen.

Or, as Community Board 8 chair Rosemary Ginty has suggested — and you cite in your editorial — “the SNAD process must start anew.” I say why not? Certainly it could and would be an expedited process and timeframe.

While the Bronx office of city planning has worked extremely hard in developing a new SNAD proposal, and it has made some serious efforts to work with the Riverdale community, its efforts to rush through the CB8 approval process has been embarrassingly faulty.

I am sorry to say, its latest submission to CB8 was both disrespectful and unprofessional. Accordingly, CB8 was totally justified to not support the submission.

On one hand, city planning has an abundance of staff, funds and expertise to have made a clean and clear presentation of its new SNAD proposal.

Yet it presented to CB8 a proposal that was confusing, unclear, filled with references and maps unrelated to the greater CB8 geographic area.

If this were a manuscript for a master’s thesis or a doctorate, it would have failed on its face. A submission to Community Board 8 should have had no less a standard, and should not have been disrespected by the latest city planning submission.

On the other hand, CB8 is a totally volunteer organization. Its members give generously of their time while having full-time family and business commitments. CB8 also is understaffed and underfunded, especially as compared to city planning.

Compounding this process is the fact that many CB8 members are away for the summer, and CB8 and all city community boards generally do not meet during June, July and August.

Any votes and recommendations by CB8 are not binding on city planning. In fact, any recommendations or proposed revisions by Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., are not binding on city planning. Only the city council’s vote is binding.

Traditionally, members of the city council vote to support the position taken by the city council member representing the community. In this case, CB8 is the “community,” and Councilman Andrew Cohen needs to express the views of CB8.

And even when and if CB8’s position is supported by Cohen and the entire city council vote, it is my understanding that even city planning can override the council vote and return same to council for a new vote.

It is suggested that a more collaborative approach between city planning and CB8 and that community input be respected.

More importantly, start the SNAD process over!

Martin Zelnik


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Martin Zelnik,