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Letter to Nysdoh Re Jhl

Letter to Nysdoh Re Jhl

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Published by NewsFromMelissa

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Published by: NewsFromMelissa on May 03, 2011
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May 3, 2011Charles P. AbelAssistant DirectorDivision of Health Care Facility PlanningNew York State Department of Health433 River Street, Suite 303Troy, New York 12180-2299Re: Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged (New York County)CON #06-2403-CDear Mr. Abel:I am writing to you in support of a request made by my constituents for a public hearing
on Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged’s (now known as Jewish Home Lifecare
, orJHL) certificate of need application to build a new residential healthcare facility on West100
Street in Manhattan. I share my constituents’ deep concerns regarding your 
response letter, dated March 4, 2011, where you effectively denied this request. As theNew York City Council Member for the 8th
District, which includes both JHL’s current
building on West 106th Street and the proposed location of its new facility on West 100th
Street, I have followed very closely JHL’s plans to first expand on its own site, and more
recently, to move six blocks south to a new location. I believe unequivocally that anadditional hearing is warranted to assess this new site and the many issues that it presentsto the prospective residents of the facility as well as the surrounding community.In your letter, you sta
ted that JHL’s certificate of need was originally reviewed and
recommended for approval by both the State Department of Health and the State Hospital
Review and Planning Council, and that “[a]t that time, there was an opportunity to
express public oppositi
on.” Like my constituents, I am at a loss to understand how youcan claim that the only opportunity they had for public participation concerning JHL’s
current application was to oppose the application for West 106th Street, which hadnothing whatsoever to
do with JHL’s current plan to build a new residential healthcare
facility on West 100th Street.
Jewish Home’s application to replace its current facility on West 106th Street
- whichwas filed in December 2006 - involved extensive dealings and negotiations with its West106th Street neighbors, in which I participated personally. Those dealings included boththe creation of a zoning carve-out to permit Jewish Home to attract a real estate developerto its West 106th Street campus, and the negotiation of several written agreements with
105 EAST 116TH STREETNEW YORK, NY 10029(212) 828-9800FAX: (212) 722-6378
250 BROADWAY, ROOM 1882NEW YORK, NY 10007(212) 788-6960FAX: (212) 442-1564mviverito@council.nyc.gov 
PARKS & RECREATION _________________________ 
Jewish Home’s West 106th Street neighbors concerning the specific design and use
restrictions that would apply to the site. There was never any indication during thoseextensive dealings and negotiations that at some future date, Jewish Home wouldsuddenly change its plans and seek to build an entirely different building in an entirelydifferent neighborhood within my council district.It was not until late in August 2009 that Jewish Home first announced its intention tobuild a new residential healthcare facility on West 100th Street - more than two yearsafter the public comment period for the West 106th Street application had expired.Your letter states that a move of six blocks constitutes only a modification of JewishHom
e’s original application that does not require public comment, because the proposed
new site lies within the same service area as its current 106th Street campus. Thisassertion - which has been made repeatedly by the Department over the past year -ignores the fact that the proposed West 100th Street site is completely different from thecurrent West 106th Street site, and that the new proposal for a 20-story facility iscompletely different from the 14-story building presented in their original proposal. As
the elected representative for this “service area,” I can affirm that the proposed West
100th Street location
which is already home to several high-rise residential buildings, afire station, a police precinct, a public library, administrative offices of the New York City Department of Health, a church, two parking garages, and two commercial loadingdocks
presents health and safety issues that do not exist at the current West 106th St.location, where JHL is the sole institutional presence, and where its loading docks lie tothe rear of the building on West 105th Street. These distinctions should not be ignored,and should require an amendment to the certificate of need which should be subject topublic review.Having actively participated in the n
egotiations involving JHL’s plan to build on West
106th Street, I can attest to the fact that the land and building arrangements
the creationof a zoning carve-out, provision for the sale of a portion of the parcel to an unspecifiedreal estate developer, and replacement of its current building with a new building on landit already owns
were completely different from Jewish Home’s proposed plan to build
on West 100th Street. This new plan involves the sale of its entire West 106th Streetcampus to a specified real estate developer, and the acquisition of new land from thesame developer to build a new building. The Department has acknowledged this new
arrangement by making an acceptable “land swap” agreement one of the contingencies of 
granting final permission to Jewish Home to build on West 100th Street.Unfortunately, your letter reinforces a strongly-held belief among my constituents that
the Department’s only interest in this matter is to protect JHL, without any regard not
only for the impact this new facility would have on the thousands of people who liveadjacent to the proposed West 100th Street site and in the surrounding neighborhood. Italso fails to address serious questions that have been raised regarding the health andsafety of the frail and elderly residents who would live on the upper floors of a tall,residential healthcare facility located on a street that is already seriously overburdenedwith multiple extraordinary uses.

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