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Skyview Owners Corporation Petition to Oppose the Hebrew Home's Proposal

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Overview: Skyview Owners Corporation opposes the Hebrew Home's proposal to develop three large apartment buildings with the purpose to create a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) for wealthy seniors from the Bronx, Westchester and New Jersey, in a restricted R1-1 single family, detached residential area of Riverdale. This will render the designated and protected special zoning meaningless in Riverdale and throughout similar restricted low-density, zoning districts citywide. 

Additionally, Skyview Owners Corporation opposes any variance for a 12-story huge footprint apartment building on their R-4 campus. This will create an unalterable and unsightly continuing block of housing in one of the few remaining bucolic and natural environmental areas in New York City. 

An approval of this variance has serious precedential considerations beyond just one property, and we urge the community to reject any special permit or variance that will render the low-density zones meaningless.

Additional Details: Skyview Owner’s Corporation strongly believes the Hebrew Home of Riverdale’s CCRC Proposal for development in a protected R-1-1 and SNAD area would have an immeasurably adverse impact on the community while setting a dangerous precedent to harm other protected neighborhoods throughout New York City.

The Hebrew Home development does not conform to existing zoning or SNAD regulations and requires a special permit for which it does not meet the criteria to be granted. The Hebrew Home’s south campus is zoned as R-1-1, meaning it is a low-density residential district. The proposed construction of a 4-story and 6-story building with a combined 117 units is clearly not in keeping with the purpose of this type of district. The development does not meet the City Planning Commission’s criteria for compatibility with the character of the surrounding area, nor does it 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.

It is important to remember that this is a land use issue, not a commentary on what the Hebrew Home does for its residents.  Rather than represent a boon for Riverdale, or accessible housing for elderly community residents, the development is an example of corporate overeach and profit at the expense of a residential community. 

Conclusion: This proposal is not in the best interests of the people, especially seniors, who live in protected areas of the City, such as Riverdale.  The Hebrew Home should consider a solution whereby their design for a CCRC, especially on their R1 campus, should be compatible in scale to the surrounding R1-1 areas. Multi-story high rise, large bulk apartment buildings are not acceptable in an R1-1, low-density area. To allow the Hebrew Home a variance and building edifices of this type and scale in this protected area is an assault to those living in this neighborhood and would set a dangerous and precipitous precedent throughout the few remaining similar areas throughout New York City. 

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