Bronx Community Board 8
Bronx Community Board 8 is a local representative government unit of New York City. This area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), encompasses the neighborhoods of Fieldston, Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights, Marble Hill, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil and Van Cortlandt Village. The boundaries are: on the north the Bronx-Westchester County Line; on the east the western and southern boundary of Van Cortlandt Park, Mosholu Parkway, Goulden Avenue and Reservoir Avenue, on the west by the Hudson River, and on the south by the Harlem River, West 225th Street, and West Kingsbridge Road and Broadway.
Its current chairman is Daniel Padernacht.
The Community Board represents the interests and concerns of the local community on issues ranging from land use, education, housing, parks, public safety, libraries, the elderly, youth, environment and sanitation, traffic, and economic development. Some of the major issues that Board 8 has addressed in recent years include the creation of a comprehensive vision for the community through a 197-a Plan; the rezoning of various areas to prevent development that is out of character with a local area; amendments to the Greenbelt or Special Natural Area District provisions; and the economic revitalization of West 230th Street and Broadway.
The 1975 New York City Charter revisions allocated greater responsibility to Community Boards, especially in relation to municipal service delivery, the City budget, and land use, and the 1989 Charter revisions affirmed their role in those processes.
There is one Community Board for each of the Bronx's 12 Community Districts. Each Board consists of up to 50 voting unsalaried members who serve for staggered terms of two years; one half of the membership is appointed each year. The members are appointed by the Bronx Borough President, with half nominated by the City Council Members who represent the community district. All City Council Members whose districts form part of the Community District are non-voting Board members. Board members are selected by the Borough Presidents from among active, involved people of each community, with an effort made to assure that every neighborhood is represented. Board members must be New York City residents who live in or have a business, professional or other significant interest in the district. No more than 25 percent of the members may be city employees. The monthly meetings are open to the public.
Bronx Community Board No 8 meets the second Tuesday of every month except in July and August. At these meetings, committee chairs report on committee meetings; and members address items of concern to the community. Board meetings are open to the public, and a portion of each meeting is reserved for the Board to hear from members of the public. In addition, the Board regularly conducts public hearings—on the City's budget, on land use matters, and other major issues—to give the people of the community the opportunity to express their opinions.
The Board committees do most of the planning and work on the issues that are acted on at Board meetings. Each Board establishes the committee structure and procedures it feels will best meet the needs of its district. The Charter permits community residents who are not Board members to serve on Board committees. Bronx Community Board No. 8 has fifteen (15) committees that meet regularly. The committees are: Aging; Budget; Economic Development; Education; Environment & Sanitation; Health, Hospitals & Social Services; Housing; Land Use; Law, Rules & Ethics; Libraries & Cultural Affairs; Parks & Recreation; Public Safety; Traffic & Transportation; and Youth.
Community Board Responsibilities
Boards have an important advisory role in dealing with land use and zoning matters, the City budget, municipal service delivery, and many other matters relating to their communities' welfare.
Land use and zoning
Community Boards must be consulted on placement of most municipal facilities in the community and on other land use issues. They may also initiate their own plans for the growth and well being of their communities. Also, any application for a change in or variance from the zoning resolution must come before the Board for review, and the Board's position is considered in the final determination of these applications.
Community Boards assess the needs of their own neighborhoods, meet with City agencies, and make recommendations in the City's budget process to address them.
Other community concerns
Any problem that affects part or all of the community, from a traffic problem to deteriorating housing, is a proper concern of a Community Board.
The Community Board, its District Manager, and its office staff serve as advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents. They cannot order any City agency or official to perform any task, but Boards are usually successful in resolving the problems they address.
Each Community Board has its own office, District Manager, and staff. The District Manager and the Board staff are hired by a Community Board and serve at the Board's pleasure. The District Manager establishes an office, manages the staff, and implements procedures to improve the delivery of City services to the district. District Managers play many different roles. They are project managers, strategic planners, complaint takers, municipal managers, information sources, community organizers, mediators, advocates, and much more. The main responsibility of the District office is to receive and resolve complaints from community residents. Many Board offices have assumed the responsibility of providing additional services. These might include assisting with Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Forms, processing liquor licenses and permits for block parties, street fairs, etc. In addition, some offices may handle special projects, including organizing tenants and merchants associations, creating farmers and youth markets, coordinating neighborhood cleanup programs, coordinating community colloborations, publicizing special events, community forums and more, depending on community needs.
As of the United States 2010 Census, the Community Board has a population of 101,731, up from 101,332 in 2000, 97,030 in 1990 and 98,274 in 1980. Of them, 44,156 (43.4%) are of Hispanic origin, 11,434 (11%) are Black, non-Hispanic, 39,190 (38.5%) are White, non-Hispanic, 5,048 (5%) are Asian or Pacific Islander, 146 (0.1%) American Indian or Alaska Native, 392 (0.4%) are some other race (non-Hispanic), and 1365 (1.3%) of two or more races (non-Hispanic).
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