The state Department of Health published a 504-page review of a proposed nursing home on West 97th street that has faced strong opposition. The review gives the nursing home a green light to move ahead, while placing some restrictions on construction and noise.
Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing home now on 106th street, proposes to move to 97th street next to PS 163 and build a 20-story state-of-the art nursing home. The current location is outdated, the management contends.
The state review is voluminous — it details the project, its possible environmental impacts and alternatives. A 16-foot noise barrier will be erected to minimize the impact on the school next door. But the decision to allow the project to move forward is almost certain to disappoint opponents, who say the nursing home will severely disrupt instruction at the school next door, and add to a very congested area that’s already dangerous for pedestrians. A group of parents at PS 163 who have opposed the project said their initial reaction was to be “appalled, but unsurprised.”
Councilman Mark Levine’s office sent the following statement:
“We are profoundly disappointed the state has published an EIS that underplays and disregards so many of the harmful impacts of this project. Nevertheless, our fight continues in the legal and legislative arena to protect the community from this harmful project.”
Construction was set to start this year, but is now slated to start in the first quarter of 2015, according to a spokesman for JHL. He wrote that the organization had already planned to take safety measures above and beyond state requirements.
“While Jewish Home has been deeply committed to these kinds of measures all along, it is now obligated to implement them to lessen the impact of construction on its neighbors. These measures will be carried out to shield P.S. 163 and community residents from noise, dust, pollution and to enhance safety. One measure of particular interest since it has been a key focus of community concern is the requirement embodied in the FEIS to install sound-attenuating windows and new air conditioning units for the eastern façade of P.S. 163, the side of the school that faces the construction site.”
The full review is here. We’ll update this post if/when we learn more.