Christian Health Care Center's application to construct a 258-unit senior housing facility was put on hold temporarily in order to provide several months for the applicant to addresses a number of issues raised by the Wyckoff Zoning Board Monday evening.
Board Chairman Jerome Lombardo presented a list generated by board members, which addressed the "perceived negative impacts to the community" that could arise should the board greenlight the Vista Project.
Among their requests were a 25 percent overall size reduction, including the total elimination a height variance; a lower starting price point for housing; as well as a number of assurances regarding upkeep of the property and some use restrictions.
The board chairman read the list of more than a dozen recommendations to the applicant following an evening of testimony from , the board's traffic expert.
The board is requesting that the applicant take these concerns under consideration, and revise then present the new plan to the land-use board in October.
Lombardo told CHCC Attorney Jerome Vogel and CHCC President Doug Struyk that the future of the application was in their hands.
"What remains to be vetted is whether or not you seriously are going to address the issues that remain," Lombardo said. "We're all very, very sensitive to the negative criteria that could be created by the granting of such an application."
"Let me assure the board and the public that we're sensitive to all of the considerations that everyone has about the scope and breadth and content of the project," Vogel said.
In comments to Wyckoff Patch following the Monday night meeting in , Struyk said that the zoning board requests seemed "reasonable."
Although he and his team would still need to "put pen to paper" to rejigger the plans before revealing any changes, Struyk said the CHCC Vista project was ultimately right for Wyckoff.
"I strongly believe in the positive criteria of this project and what it means for this community," he said.
Lombardo explicitly told Struyk and Vogel that the board's list only laid out its vision of a way forward for the Vista project, it did not in any way guarantee board approval even if all concerns were corrected.
Included in the board's list of "negative criteria" were:
- Reduce overall size of project by 25 percent — either by decreasing the number of units to 195 (from 258,) or by reducing square footage by 25 percent.
- Reduce lowest cost point for living in Vista. A lower entry fee allows more people to gain access to the housing, Lombardo said.
- Scale back the "ultra-large" corner housing units. Lombardo said the 2,700-square-foot domiciles were "excessive and need to be reduced."
- More outdoor gardens and more connectivity on the CHCC property — Lombardo mentioned the possibility of bike or walking paths.
- Provide more landscape buffering and ensure perpetual maintenance.
- Provide Wyckoff Zoning Board with permanent solution to "the first responder dilemma." Protocol for all emergency response must be clarified and finalized, Lombardo said.
- Provide schedule for perpetual maintenance and upkeep of the retention basin.
- The board wants the CHCC to go out for bonding to cover against blasting, damaged roadways, dust and air quality issues, and clogging and silting of storm drains.
- Revised plan should include all traffic recommendations from Dean's evaluation.
- The board wants deed restrictions on property use, guarantees of no further expansion, and a prohibition on cell towers, satellites, and so on without board approval.
- All structures should not exceed 35 feet, eliminating any height variances
- Strict adherence to all recommendations issued by Boswell Engineering
- Consider eliminating the side yard encroachments
Board Attorney John Spizziri tentatively scheduled the next Wyckoff Board of Adjustment meeting concerning the CHCC application on October 1 at 7:30 p.m.
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