Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer issued the following statement Wednesday, after the announcement of a state court’s decision granting the community’s Article 78 petition and blocking construction of a new Jewish Home Lifecare facility next to the school.
“This is a win for P.S. 163’s students: under the plan that was approved, a huge, high-rise project could have choked and deafened a high-performing school with dust and noise. Judge Lobis saw what we saw: the State Department of Health was wrong to approve this massive construction project next to P.S. 163.
“By recognizing the defects in the Department of Health’s environmental review and the lack of thorough mitigation to protect the school and students, I believe the court may have set a precedent. If the State Department of Health has to meet a higher bar on these kinds of projects from now on, then this will be a win for every neighborhood in our city, with impacts far beyond the West Side.
“My office has supported this effort from the start, testifying before the Department of Health on why its environmental review was insufficient, and writing the Board of Standards and Appeals when it considered a related appeal. I am thrilled this Article 78 action produced a victory for the community, and that my office helped get the facts on the record ahead of the litigation.
“I congratulate Rene Kathawala and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who represented the community pro bono and won this important judgment, and thank them for their service to the community.”
The proposed construction project next to P.S. 163 is a new 20-story facility for Jewish Home Lifecare (JHL), which was planned to replace JHL’s existing smaller facility at West 106th Street.