The Borough President released an open letter to neighbors and residents of Park West Village on Friday, May 10, concerning recent developments at the site of the future Jewish Home Lifecare elder care facility on West 97th Street. Excerpts from the letter are below:
As many of you know, a study sponsored by the Park West Village Tenants Association recently found potentially high levels of lead beneath the parking lot that is the planned future development site of the new Jewish Home Lifecare skilled nursing facility. Since this development plan was announced, I have urged Jewish Home to conduct an Environmental Assessment Study (EAS) in accordance with State Environmental Quality Review regulations (SEQR), and this recent finding underscores the necessity of such a study.
Today, representatives from Jewish Home Lifecare advised me that they will immediately begin conducting an EAS. This study will include all impact categories mandated by State law including the crucial areas of: Land Use and Zoning, Socioeconomic Conditions, Community Facilities and Services, Open Space, Hazardous Materials, Traffic and Parking, Transit and Pedestrians, Air Quality, Noise, Construction Impacts, and Public Health. Jewish Home Lifecare estimates that this study will be concluded in just a few weeks.
The importance of this development should not be underestimated. If a likely impact is found in any category, a “Positive Declaration” will be issued by the State Health Department and an Environment Impact Study (EIS) will be mandated. There will be a public hearing in Manhattan regarding the scope of the EIS, giving community members and elected officials the chance to submit testimony to comment on the breadth of the study. In the past, developments with similar land use and environmental conditions have almost always resulted in a Positive Declaration based on the EAS, and so a full-blown EIS is likely to follow.
This is a meaningful turn of events for Park West Village, PS 163 and the surrounding community. Many residents have expressed concerns about public health and safety during construction. The EAS and probable EIS will determine potential hazards and create a roadmap for appropriate mitigation.
If you have questions about this development or any other neighborhood concern, please contact Rebecca Godlewicz, my liaison to the Upper West Side, at (212) 669-4546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott M. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President
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