The Riverdale Community Coalition is a grassroots coalition formed in January 2013. Our goal is the preservation of our neighborhood in character, context and scale. We originally formed in response to a proposed development by the Hebrew Home. We continue to oppose this expansion plan on PalisadeAvenue as this proposal fails to conform to the existing zoning and does not support the goals of the community’s, long-term land use plan, CD 8 2000: A River to Reservoir Preservation Strategy. The area which would be affected is a neighborhood of predominantly single family homes, situated within the Special Natural Area District.
Allowing this project would set a dangerous precedent for the development of other large institutional properties all over Riverdale. This would forever change the unique character of residential Riverdale and its infrastructure.
If these plans were to go ahead, the impacts on Northwest Riverdale of this over-scaled, non-conforming development would be totally incompatible with the historic character, scale and natural fabric of the neighborhood.
The Hebrew Home purchased the Passionist property when it knew the R1-1 zoning did not allow its plan, and it should remain bound by the R1-1 restrictions. Under no circumstances should there be any modification of these zoning regulations permitting an over-scaled institutional development, thus defeating the very purpose of rezoning.
The Hebrew Home has not given up its plan to build more than 300 high-rise apartments on the old retreat site along Palisade Avenue. We have continually requested that something more compatible with the residential neighborhood be built.
Recent Freedom-of-Information Law requests have revealed that the Hebrew Home was aggressively pursuing a strategy to circumvent the strict zoning restrictions in the Special Area District in Riverdale. To do this, it was trying to persuade the NYS Health Department and the City Planning Commission that its proposal to construct 306 apartments in buildings up to eight stories high is not multi-family housing but rather a "health related facility". This designation would enable the Hebrew Home to build essentially "as of right" and thereby circumvent the existing zoning regulations. Click on FOIL RESULTS above to view the plans. Help save your neighborhood and CLICK TO SIGN PETITION ! Fortunately this strategy did not work, however the recent draft in changes to the zoning to provide more affordable housing may in fact provide the very loophole which this provider may need.
We are committed to protecting the Special Natural Area District, and we value the keystone elements set forth in the 197-a plan, the valuable guidelines that were set forth for good reason less than 10 years ago. The SNAD regulations can be found here. Recently developments in Riverdale have seen hundreds of trees chopped down, without any proper oversight. Members of the Riverdale Community Coalition have been drawing attentio
n to this fact at local land use meetings. Currently there is a committee reviewing the regulations and we continue to support the strict monitoring of any work done within the SNAD district
Councilman elect Andrew Cohen spoke in support of these valuable guidelines and shared concerns regarding the Hebrew Homes development at a neighborhood meeting in 2013. We continue to hope that Councilman Cohen will support the neighborhoods wishes for any building to be compatible with the surrounding R1-1 or R2 residential areas both in context and scale.
The Riverdale Community Coalition remains committed to continuing its work to finding a solution to protect our neighborhood and the laws that were created to preserve it. Please show your commitment to preserve your neighborhood by signing the petition.
What is R1-1? click here to understand.
See a plan of your neighborhood by clicking the 3D map© OpenStreetMapdata, available under the Open Database License