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Moerdler ready to return to land use committee

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As long as no technicalities get in the way, it appears as if Charles Moerdler's self-exile as chair of the Community Board 8's land use committee will be a short one.

On Friday afternoon, Moerdler left a message with CB8 chair Rosemary Ginty informing her that he was rescinding his resignation issued last week, and would like to return to the board he has run for decades in time for its next meeting in just a matter of weeks.

Moerdler told The Riverdale Press he made the decision after several meetings with board members and elected officials, and hopes he'll be back in time to lead the committee in its discussions over controversial expansion plans at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, which are expected to start in May.

Moerdler abruptly quit the committee during the April 10 board meeting, later citing a number of issues, including the change in the board's focus in recent months and years, and also because he said he felt blindsided by what appeared to be some behind-the-scenes campaigning to deny a retroactive approval for a home at 3061 Scene Place.

That home has received considerable negative attention over the last couple years because it underwent renovations allegedly without proper permits in the middle of the Special Natural Area District. Acknowleding that proper permits were not initially sought, the property ownerhad asked the city to retroactively approve the work, and ensured it was in compliance with district environmental restrictions. 

Moerdler supported giving that retroactive approval, and even adding a clause that would demand the city penalize the property owner for not getting proper permits. Ginty, however, was against approving the resolution unless penalties were clearly spelled out.

A request to Ginty for comment late Friday afternoon was pending return.

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