Vista's Fate May Be Decided at Zoning Board Hearing

A vote by Wyckoff zoners scheduled for Tuesday night will likely decide what will become of the long-deliberated "Vista" project

The future of the Christian Health Care Center Vista project may be decided at a Wyckoff Zoning Board meeting Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.

It is widely expected that the seventeenth hearing for the application to build a senior housing facility on existing CHCC property would find zoners forced to choose whether or not to green light the application.

At a zoning board meeting in October CHCC representatives presented a vision of a revised and reduced plan for the Vista project. 

The building's footprint was shrunk by approximately 30,000 square feet, the number of housing units there decreased from 258 to 199, and an entire wing had been sheared off plans, a CHCC engineer said of the plan at the October meeting.

CHCC CEO and President Doug Struyk also discussed the revision of a cost structure for potential Vista residents, which would lower entry cost there from $400,000 to somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000 for 10 percent of the units, he said.

The changes to the Vista application came on the heels of a Wyckoff Zoning Board-generated list of perceived negative aspects of the original application. 

SAVE Wyckoff Attorney Ira Weiner was taciturn upon the CHCC's initial reveal of its revised plans, but said there was much more to look into before Tuesday's meeting.

"This issue with the intersection is still on the table," Weiner said in October, indicating a much-debated traffic light that may be installed on a county road at the intersection of Sicomac and Cedar Hill Avenue. "If the intersection is still going in we are still not satisfied."

Weiner is expected to present a letter detailing his reaction to the revised CHCC presentation Tuesday night.

The Wyckoff Zoning Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Town Hall.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Joseph M. Gerace November 14, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Linda... The zoning board didn't vote. The board and the applicant were a million miles apart on a number of issues, and from the outset of the meeting it was apparent there would be no vote. Now it looks like they won't get to a vote at the next meeting either... maybe on December 11. (Realistically, they COULD vote at the Nov. 27 meeting, but there's still a lot of ground to cover.) Regarding my story, it's coming. There are some issues that need to be researched regarding cost reductions, combustible v non-combustible materials, etc.
Gary Rabinowitz November 14, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Thanks Joe Gerace for this pre-update update. We look forward to your article. Did any Wyckoff patch readers attend last night's meeting? If so, would be interested to hear your take on what happened. Cheers, GXR
M. Terry November 14, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I was appalled to hear last night that CHCC decided against using noncombustible materials to save money. According to CHCC's attorney, because of the reduction in size of the project (which, btw, mostly affects Hawthorne rather than Wyckoff), they needed to cut costs elsewhere. The attorney's remarks brought to mind the May 2012 house fire that killed a Larchmont, NY Police chief, his wife, and two children. Here's what was reported about the cause of the fire: "Carmel Fire Chief Lipton said that the house collapsed about 10 minutes after responders arrived. He said that materials used to build the home contributed to the rate at which flames engulfed the Sullivan house. Tompkins echoed those sentiments, adding that increased flammability is a 'nationwide situation with all new construction.' More glue, presswood and vinyl—and fewer nails and sheets of plywood—make for a structure that's more likely to burn.Tompkins said that although the house complied with building codes, its modern, light construction contributed to the speed of the fire once it got inside." CHCC's attorney kept referring to the revised "stick" construction as being within or surpassing building code. Unlike this tragic situation cited above, we have a choice going forward. Shouldn't we insist on Wyckoff Fire Chief Rose's recommendations? My guess is that potential purchasers of units within Vista would opt for safety any day. Shouldn't revised construction go back to the Design Review Board?
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Joanne Domingo November 16, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I'm very concerned about a fire developing within that proposed complex. With scaling down the costs of building materials, that is sure to be a catastophy waiting to happen ! I believe the residents of all three towns should vote pro and con instead of leaving the decision of our fate in the hands of the zoning board.


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