The following minutes are a summary of the Planning Board meeting of June 26, 2017. Interested parties may request an audio recording of the meeting from the Board Secretary for a fee.
Call to Order & Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act: Mr. Joel called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. Following members were present: MAYOR KNUDSEN, Joel Torielli, Richard Joel, Councilman Jeff Voigt, Ms. Patire, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, and, Ms. Barto. Also present were Christopher Martin, Esq., Board Attorney; Village Planner Brigette Bogart; Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser; and Board Secretary Michael Cafarelli. Ms. Giordano and Ms. Altano were not present.
Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board – None were reported
KS Broad Street, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 76 & 80 Chestnut Street and 25-27 Franklin Avenue, Block 2005, Lots 11,12,13,14,15 – Public Hearing continued from May 16, 2017 without prejudice to the Board – To be carried to June 26, 2017 without prejudice to the Board –
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. Our next item will be KS Broad Street, Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 76 & 80 Chestnut Street and 25 ‑ 27 Franklin Avenue, Block 2005, Lots 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
This is a public hearing continued from June 6, 2017, without prejudice to the board.
Okay. MR. TUVEL.
- MR. TUVEL: Good evening, Mr. Chairman, members of the board. Jason Tuvel, attorney for the applicant. This is our sixth public hearing on this preliminary and final major site plan application. We've presented all of our witnesses, I believe all of the board's professionals have also testified, and where we left it off at the last meeting, Mr. Chairman, we were going to open it up to the public, I guess it's for public testimony, if any, and then public comment. And then after that ‑‑ well, I have all my witnesses here, by the way, as well. After that, I'd like to give hopefully a brief summation, and we can go to the deliberations.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Sure. That's correct, where we're at right now.
So, at this point, we're at public testimony, and this isn't public comment, this is where you want to be a witness to present evidence that's rebutting anything that was presented by the applicant, you would state your name and address, and then you would testify, and then you would be able to be cross‑examined. So, is there anyone from the public that wants to be a witness for public testimony? (No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Seeing there's no one, we'll move on to public comment.
Can I have a motion?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Can I ask a question?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, sure.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: My understanding where we left off at our last meeting is that there was going to be some confirmation of the traffic counts because there were some discrepancies, and I don't know if I'm misremembering, but I just wanted to know where we're at with that, because it was a significant discrepancy, and I believe that everybody used that same report from Gordon Meth.
- MR. FERANDA: I believe that was brought up for discussion at the last hearing. I believe where it was left off, there was discussion about going and recounting the intersections, but doing that after the building was re‑occupied or occupied, so that there would be analysis and new numbers once it was occupied. I did check my note. If they go out and count now, they're confirming existing conditions, which may or may not be similar to what was done in that original traffic study, the numbers that they used for the analysis. The discussion went from there, and my notes are sketchy, I'm going partially by my memory, and I would ask others to see if this is what they recollect from last hearing, that after the KS development was occupied, they would then do a study to verify the actual traffic patterns and confirm the conditions at the intersections. And if there was mitigation necessary, and this is something that's commonly required in development, that there be ‑‑ it's called a "look back" or to check to confirm exactly what's going on, and if mitigation is needed because of excess traffic and it hadn't been projected in the report, that can be accounted for and mitigated.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So that was not my recollection, nor would have been what I was looking for. When the issue was raised, it was the concern that there was a discrepancy in the traffic counts, and it was actually a discrepancy in what you had stated, there was a discrepancy and the potential discrepancy in the traffic counts. At the time, I suggested and recommended that we would want to go back beforehand and have those traffic counts physically confirmed, because that could change the grading or the rating of that particular intersection significantly.
So, taking a "look back" wouldn't show what kind of impact occurred, if in fact the numbers that we were relying on initially as part of this exercise were inaccurate. So, I would never have asked that. I specifically recall asking to have those counts physically confirmed, and I ask anyone to weigh in on that.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I agree with the mayor on that. I think we need to take a look at that.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I think there was some mention of the counts for existing conditions, but the counts will change with the signal improvements. I think you were mentioning that things will change, and then if you change the signals, it will change what else comes through.
- MR. FERANDA: Once you add the signal and you get the phasing and the actuation, things will be adjusted, and, therefore, the traffic patterns for the proposed conditions certainly would be different than the existing conditions. That doesn't mean the volumes will be any less, certainly the volumes would be the same or more, as they increase over time, but the suggestion at that meeting, and I think there was discussion that re‑looking, reevaluating the intersection under the proposed traffic conditions would be more worthwhile, because it would then take into account whatever proposed traffic would then be on the roadway.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I just don't understand what the logic would be in going back and doing an analysis, when your baseline is inaccurate or potentially there was a discrepancy. You're using a starting point that's inaccurate, so we don't know what the difference may or may not be. We don't know if it's an improvement or a negligible improvement. We don't know. Because there was a question about the discrepancies on the starting point, and I don't understand how we proceed under those circumstances. I fully anticipated coming in here this evening and verifying certain intersections to confirm those counts and what the ratings are of the intersection.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Andy, I think the other issue was, if we were to look at the new reconfigurations, that would mean we would have to have all five lights reconfigured. In order to figure that out, I'm not sure we could even do that, you know.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes, I thought we were coming in here and going to have that added information. I'm thoroughly surprised that we don't have that, whatever happened.
- MS. McWILLIAMS: I think it was an "impact analysis" we were looking to see today, if my note is correct, and I may have had it written down incorrectly, but I was under the same impression.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: David, do you have any comments?
- MR. SCHEIBNER: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: No.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do you have any input, Jason?
- MR. TUVEL: Yes. I read the transcript on the last meeting. What MR. FERANDA says is correct regarding the "look back" issue. We discussed that being a possible condition of approval, although there wasn't a consensus on, but MR. FERANDA is correct, on certain projects that is sometimes a condition where you have a look back after full construction, and if the mitigation needs to be changed one way or the other, maybe too much mitigation was put in or too little mitigation was put in, it's reevaluated at a certain time. That was discussed, as well as the impacts of the signal at Franklin and Broad, and how the signal timing changing would improve the level of service. I specifically checked my notes just now. There was no request at the end of the hearing for any additional information or else we would have been all over that to make sure that was done for this meeting.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I think I made the request. There was no specific request at the end of the meeting. I thought we had an understanding that that was going to happen.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Chris, can anything be subject to confirming counts and things like that and then working on something or actually ‑‑
- MR. MARTIN: Well, the counts could be material to consider. Usually a look back is for a year, in that sense, but I remember there was a discussion on the discrepancy. It's in the transcript, as to the inconsistent statements made by the engineer that put together the traffic study, I guess it was what, 3, 4 years ago now.
- MR. TUVEL: There was no discrepancy noted in the report. The report that was prepared by Gordon Meth, there was no discrepancy there.
What MR. FERANDA stated at the last meeting was that he observed additional queuing. That was the only issue that was raised. There was no discrepancy that the report was flawed or anything like that or that there were different methodologies or something like that.
- MR. MARTIN: No, I agree no different methodologies, it's the data that was the concern. I remember that being raised. I remember there was an issue as to, I think, both engineers, your engineer and Andrew agreed that there was a discrepancy in data.
- MR. TUVEL: No, that's not true. We did not agree there was any discrepancy in any data.
- MR. MARTIN: I believe that they cited inconsistencies.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Inconsistencies and a discrepancy, because the queue, there was a difference in that, and that would have changed, if my recollection is accurate, it would have changed the grading of that, that that would be correct then. It would have changed the grading of that particular intersection, and I'm just saying I believe that the board has the right to rely on accurate information. And, for that reason, I did ask that the counts be physically confirmed and ‑‑
- MR. TUVEL: To me, Mayor, what you're talking about is a design issue, if it's the grading that you're worried about. So, as a condition of approval, if there needs to be any grading change as a result of any further counts that are done, we can certainly do that. That's not an issue. But there was no discrepancy noted, Mayor, in terms of the report that was provided. All I remember from last meeting and from reading the transcript is that MR. FERANDA said when he was out there himself, he observed some queuing of the intersection and that is what was discussed. And if we need to do some counts to look at the grading issue, we're happy to do that and work with the board and the traffic expert as a condition, that's not an issue.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I'm just not sure how we ‑‑ well, it's relevant to how we proceed, right? I mean, I don't know, I guess.
- MR. TUVEL: We're in full agreement with all of the comments noted in both traffic engineers' reports. There were two, this is unusual, you had two reports issued by your traffic expert on this project, you had an on‑site traffic expert report that dealt with everything on‑site and all traffic, that dealt with the intersection adjacent to the property as well as the intersections that were a block or two away. We agreed to comply with that report. There was a full analysis done from a traffic perspective.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Jason, can I ask you a question. You said a "look back," so this is what we should do now even as a condition of approval, we look back, and if it is worse, what happens then? I mean ‑‑
- MR. TUVEL: I would defer to your traffic expert on that, but if there was additional mitigation that was required, that would be something that your traffic engineer would recommend.
- MR. MARTIN: And the applicant would pay for that.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Oh, and the applicant would pay for that?
- MR. TUVEL: Yes, if it was related to our pro rata share and improvements that we were doing, that's correct.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
- MR. TUVEL: That's correct. Yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Would that be a suitable way to address that?
- MR. FERANDA: That is typically how it's done as a condition that the mitigation be provided by the applicant for whatever contribution they're causing.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. Let me just take the sentiments of the board as to proceeding.
Dave, do you want to proceed tonight or you feel apprehensive or ‑‑
- MR. SCHEIBNER: I don't feel apprehensive. I feel we can go forward.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I think as a condition of approval we need to do this analysis beforehand, because we need to understand what that is. And I guess my question is, if we find it's worse, what does that mean from a cost standpoint, from our standpoint and the applicant's standpoint, how is that apportioned, is my concern. And I'm not sure what we would do, to be honest with you. And then even with a look back later, let's assume, it becomes worse, we need to understand what that would mean as well from a ‑‑
- MR. TUVEL: As it relates to the improvements that we're doing, if there was indeed an issue where we had to provide further mitigation as to what we need to do and your traffic engineer and our traffic engineer recommended additional mitigation after a look back on aspects of the project that we constructed and we felt were our responsibility, then, yes, they become our responsibility, if that was a condition that the board placed on the application.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay. I guess I'm okay, if that's the way it would work on this.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Mayor, how do you feel?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Go down the row.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Frances, how do you feel?
- MS. BARTO: You know, I have some reservation about going forward without having full, you know, all the information that our board has requested. And while we're talking pro rata shares, what does that mean for the village? We've had these discussions about the traffic impacting not only just that one intersection but the entire street going down Franklin; how much money we're going to have to expend possibly on the timing of other lights? I think we need to be fully informed before we take any action tonight, and that's my opinion.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay.
- MS. McWILLIAMS: I've been vocally concerned about some of that stuff as well, and I'd sooner see us ‑‑ you know, I know it's frustration to everybody, but I'd sooner see all of the information. I think what we had discussed was something about levels of service E that currently exist, adding another unit, adding another apartment and other buildings nearby and the retail space involved with this one. I always think I'd rather err on the side of caution and see everything. We have to answer to the residents. I'd rather be able to say exactly why we choose what we choose, so...
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: So as far as the traffic reports, I don't question the traffic reports. I recall, I think Andrew mentioning he noticed queuing from Wilsey Square to under the train trestle, which is a good observation, you probably all noticed it, but it's one thing to have kind of anecdotal observations and to have it in the report. My other concern, on a grander scale, is what's happening on Franklin. We have the application here, we have a drive‑through Starbucks that's going to contribute to traffic, we have other multifamily housing. So whatever was analyzed by Gordon Meth previously, I don't think took all this into account. That's my concern. We can kind of see the train coming down the track and all these pieces aren't fully put together, you can't make the puzzle, all the pieces are there, it's not really understanding what's going to happen. Like this is a side note, something that just might be a question for Andrew, when we talk about cost of upgrading a traffic light is like $400,000, which you could build a single‑family detached dwelling for $400,000, it's outrageous. So I don't know if there's, like, new technology coming or different ways to do it, if we could reprogram a light that doesn't need to be $400,000. It just seems outrageous and unreasonable. I don't know about the full technology or what's going on, I guess I challenge the technology there, maybe there's a better solution. We all want to save efficient intersections, but for $400,000, it just seems absurd.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Are you for proceeding or not proceeding?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I have some reservations, but I don't question traffic reports, and I don't think we should throw them out because he noticed something, I noticed something. I don't think that's enough to throw out a report for an engineer who has been qualified. We spent hours vetting those reports, I think they're okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: So that's a yes on proceeding?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I guess so, with some reservations.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes, I think it's a valid concern, traffic always concerns us on this.
And I think the look back is the best way to analyze it, because there's going to be stuff happening, as I said, and I think certain things can be done, and it might have to be after we know what the counts are and things like that.
- MR. TUVEL: We are willing to work with the board. The applicant is willing to work with the board and the village on the impact issue, as well as any additional information on the improvements we are doing as part of the process as a condition of approval.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Can I mention one more thing?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Jason just slipped in there at the end, which I guess was an important detail, we talked about the look back, Andrew would make recommendations, but he slipped in your engineer would have to agree with the recommendations, and that becomes quite subjective. I mean, obviously you can defend your position but ‑‑
- MR. MARTIN: Joel, that's not how our resolutions are written. They would have to comply with the board engineer's request, that's it.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I feel a little bit better.
- MR. MARTIN: 27 years of doing this.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Mayor?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right. I appreciate Joel, Vice chairman's comments. Actually I agree, I think we have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle, but those pieces of the puzzle haven't been connected, and maybe when we try to connect them, they'll be a mess and it won't work, but I'm comfortable, and I do have a question for Andy, in that the light at the corner of Broad and Franklin, that's the one that actually had to be moved to the opposite corner. Was that the one that had to physically be moved? There was something about that light.
- MR. FERANDA: There's a signal controller at the box that actually runs the intersection.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right.
- MR. FERANDA: It's shown on the plans to be relocated. And without that box, once it gets moved, basically you have to redo the intersection. You're upgrading the box, you're putting it in a new location, so something has to be done at that point. When you move the part of the intersection, the wires all have to be redone to the signal heads.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: And I guess that's more costly?
- MR. FERANDA: Once you touch that controller box, it's more costly, yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So then my next question is: In terms of that particular signal box being moved, if somebody is touching that, whose responsibility is it based on the requirements or by law, whose responsibility is it if they touch that light to pay for it? Is there any requirement?
- MR. FERANDA: It's shown on the plans as proposed to be relocated; therefore, I'm looking at it as part of the proposed plans and part of what needs to be done for the development.
So "proposed" means it's part of their plans for improvements at the intersections.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Right, but there's no requirement from the DOT or anyone whose responsibility it is if they touch a light?
- MR. FERANDA: In this case, it's county jurisdiction, but the county defers to Ridgewood, so it's really Ridgewood's call. It's Ridgewood's ‑‑
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay. I just want to make sure that we're in control of that signal.
- MR. FERANDA: That's correct.
- MR. SCHEIBNER: Why does the signal box have to be moved?
- MR. FERANDA: Because of its location and because of the way I guess the grading for the site and other features. I know it was in the corner where the playground was going to be located.
- MR. SCHEIBNER: The amenity area?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: The amenity area, right.
- MR. SCHEIBNER: But the signal box itself is in the public right‑of‑way.
- MR. FERANDA: I believe it is.
- MR. TUVEL: Yes. Our traffic engineer is saying yes.
- MR. SCHEIBNER: So changes to the grading would actually change the grading in the public right‑of‑way?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I think what the mayor was getting at, if someone touches it, they pay for it, don't they?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: No, that's what I was getting at, but I guess now that Dave has asked that question, it's a question that should be responded to, because that's I guess that was always in my mind as an ancillary question.
- MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So what was the response?
- MR. RUTISHAUSER: According to the site plan, the existing signal control box or pole is right at the part of the curvature of the proposed exiting curb, and it's shown to be relocated back away from the curb by approximately, I'd say, like, 5, 6 feet, which would make sense because that would minimize its chance of being snagged by an exiting vehicle.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Chris, has there been other developments of any sort where they had to move the signal box and that the person developing it had to pay for it?
- MR. RUTISHAUSER: Not recently. Not in my tenure with the village. We haven't had significant developments at signalized intersections, until these multifamily housing applications.
This signal is a village signal, so any proposed relocation would have to be done to my satisfaction. I have to review it and sign off on it on behalf of the village.
- MR. MARTIN: I think this one is fairly simple, Jason. I don't think you disagree with the box and the signal, the developer pays for it. If they're going to regrade the right‑of‑way because you have to do this, the developer pays for it.
- MR. TUVEL: Whatever is legally required.
- MR. MARTIN: Even better than that, it's an engineering issue, it's a grading, and you'll follow that.
- MR. TUVEL: Sure.
- MR. MARTIN: And if it has to be moved because of the development.
- MR. TUVEL: And it's on our plans.
- MR. MARTIN: That's not a tangential. That's almost a direct. I mean, that's pretty easy, shooting at that, right? You got to move a signal, you pay for it; you got to change the grading, the civil engineer for the developer will mention the grading is right. We're talking five years down the road, it gets a little bit ‑‑
- MR. TUVEL: If it's on our plans, then we're responsible for constructing it.
- MR. MARTIN: Yes, that seems pretty easy.
- MR. TUVEL: Right.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I just want to make sure we're clear on that. Does that mean paying for the full light?
- MR. MARTIN: Whatever has to be constructed in the light world, they would have to deal with that. If it's something on Route 17 that has an effect and we have evidence about it, there may be a debate, but I see that pretty close to the problem.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
- MR. MARTIN: And I'm sure, I mean, Chris has gone over with the engineers for the developer, the grading has to be done properly so the site can runoff properly.
- MR. TUVEL: There is no question it is going to be done properly as per the board engineer's requirements.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So it's all stipulations?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I guess the consensus is move it along. Can I have a motion to open it up to the public comment? Do I have a motion?
- MR. SCHEIBNER: So moved.
- MS. McWILLIAMS: Second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Dave, and Melanie seconds.
Call the roll. A yes vote will be to open up to public comment. (At this point in the proceeding roll call is taken and the motion is passed by a unanimous vote.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. We're at the public comment portion, and if anyone wants to make a public comment, they can come up to the lectern there and state your name and address. I guess we'll put it at four minutes per person, and then we'll just keep proceeding. And if you have additional to say, we'll hear you. Okay.
- MR. GLAZER: Dana Glazer, 61 Clinton Avenue.
I was at the previous meeting, and I do recall MAYOR KNUDSEN making this request regarding the traffic, and I don't understand why this would be continuing at all. It's very upsetting for me. I feel like the goalpost had suddenly moved, and that's not fair and that's not right. Now, outside of that, I want to share a very brief anecdote. After the superstorm in 2012, we had a 100‑foot‑tall tree that fell in the back of our yard. It landed and destroyed my kids' swing set but it also went into the other yard. Now, by law, I am not responsible for the damage that happened in my neighbor's yard and I'm not responsible for the removal of the tree in his yard, all I'm responsible for is cleaning up my yard. So I spoke with my neighbor about this. And my neighbor said, "Well, that's the law, but you know what the right thing to do is." I said, "Yes, I do." So I had the tree removed from his yard and from my yard, because it's the right thing to do, because I don't hide behind the law. Because sometimes when you do the right thing, it's what you call doing something for the common good. And what I don't see here is doing the right thing.
Doing the right thing means I'm not going to do what's expected of me, what's required of me through the law. Doing the right thing is okay. I want to build something here, and it's going to impact the community, and it's going to cost taxpayers money so that I can do what I'm going to do. I'm willing to cover that. That's what doing the right thing is. So I present this to the developer at hand this evening as something to consider. Yes, we can hide behind the law. We can say, well, we're just going to do what's expected of the law, nothing more, nothing less, or we can do the right thing. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thank you, MR. GLAZER. Anyone else want to make public comment? State your name and address.
- MS. TARZIAN: Linda Tarzian, 576 Highland Avenue, Ridgewood; a 29‑year resident of the village, this little village that I love. I would like to ask each one of you, do you want this to become a Hackensack? With these four developments, I know this is public comment, these four developments are going to turn this town into a Hackensack. When I am trying to get from the west side of town into the beloved downtown, it takes me about four lights and about 10 minutes at least. If you add 66 units or 64 units at the Ken Smith facility, what is that going to do with only one lane going each way? And I know it's been discussed, but I don't know if the people here have understood the impact for an ambulance or police car. There will be no way for them to get through. The quality of life: We chose to move to Ridgewood for the small‑town feel. These four developments are going to totally change that negatively, in my perception. If someone proposes to build a prison here, do you have to do it? If someone proposed to put a zoo on the Ken Smith facility, do you have to do it, if it was part of the loophole that was created in that short period? Is this the future look you want for this town? Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you, MS. TARZIAN.
- MS. LOVING: Good evening. Anne Loving, 342 S. Irving Street. Just a few things I wanted to comment about this development. First thing, just in general about the traffic, it's just such a horrible strip along there. And COUNCILMAN VOIGT has been really clear and I completely agree with him about all the traffic lights that are going to be messed up because of the traffic coming in and out of this development. I do not understand how it can possibly be written in that there could be a look back a year or so later that. I mean, it just seems to me, it would have to be that a few million dollars would have to be put in escrow in order to possibly correct the mess. You talked about having the lights on timers, but the one right by the train trestle is going to be ‑‑ I forget what the word is ‑‑ activated by a pedestrian, so that's going to throw the timer off. So, to me, the timing is going to be off, it's going to be a nightmare. I do not understand how we could revolve that with a look back. I have concerns about water. We have so many issues with water shortage in this town, and you're adding all these units. I do not understand how we can have increased usage in water and not be worrying about that. I've heard that this is not going to be affecting the schools, the police, the emergency services, fire department. I don't understand how that's possible. I mean, you add 66 units with maybe four people or more per unit, I think that there's going to be a big impact. There was much talk about walkability, this location being very walkable. I think that's completely bogus. Everybody has cars. Everybody has cars, and people are going to be driving. Yeah, some people will commute by train, no doubt about that, but I think that everybody there is going to have a car, and I think the argument about the walkability is bogus. If there's going to be retail on the ground floor, people are going to be driving in and out. I also have huge concerns about the sanitary sewer. You know, the way I understood it from the discussions in the last two meetings was that the applicant would be responsible for the pipe as far as the street, but then the pipe going all the way down the street and I guess turning the corner and heading over to Glen Rock is going to be, I guess, the village's responsibility? We were told at the last meeting or the meeting before that the applicant would have to verify if the sanitary sewerage flow was adequate. Well, when? You know, after it's occupied? After everybody's flushing? You know, so I hope that that's going to be added in, so that if the sanitary sewer pipe blows down, you know, by Maple Avenue, I mean, that we don't have to pay for that.
- MR. CAFARELLI: One minute remaining.
- MS. LOVING: Thank you. Okay. Basically, what I see is that there's going to be an unquantifiable increase in cost to the taxpayers for this, with zero benefit to the taxpayers. This is going to cost us possibly huge amounts of money for traffic remediation, for sewerage remediation, for schools, police, fire, and the only person who is going to benefit is the developer; certainly not the taxpayers. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you, MS. LOVING.
- MR. SLOMIN: Dave Slomin, 36 Heights Road, Ridgewood.
I guess I want to begin by saying, I support a lot of the discussion you guys have had today. I support everything I've heard from the residents tonight. I want to begin by saying something that occurred to me the last meeting that you guys ‑‑ you know, first off, thank you for taking on such a hard job right now. Everybody here respects what you did and took on at such a difficult time and have been doing for so many years, but you guys are the Planning Board, you are not the Applicant Board, and there's a big difference. I've heard still unanswered questions from MAYOR KNUDSEN, COUNCILMAN VOIGT, board members Barto, Williams, and I feel like with some of this information you might be a week or two away from having all the questions answered you need to really make the right decision. The last meeting was several hours on off‑site improvements and traffic, and a lot of questions were raised and they really weren't answered yet, and some of them potentially could be answered later, some you're going to find out new information once the building is built, but some of them need to be known ahead of time. You guys have a requirement to know, have a better handle on what the cost of off‑site improvements are going to be, before you make a determination on a vote, and I don't think you have the information yet, especially on traffic. Some of the other stuff, sewer, I haven't heard discussions as far as sewer. Without a better answer to the Planning Board's residents and Andrew's questions, and you did, Andrew, you did raise some questions last week, this is reaction, not planning. And as a trustee for Ridgewood Citizens for Reasonable Development, I want to advocate for not reactivity, but proper master planning, which is really what the outcome of this site plan is, to plan correctly. If you need a couple of weeks, please put it off, get your questions answered. You know, that said, I believe you do need answers to these questions, especially on traffic, especially on sewer, water as well. But I do think Ridgewood needs proper development and reasonable development. Representing the other trustees of RCRD and the thousands of supporters and donors to our cause over the last 5 or 6 years, this development, as it stands now, doesn't meet the term "reasonable." It's not as if this were planned properly from a proactive Master Plan, it's reactive. From my understanding, we met, a group of citizens was called to meet at Village Hall earlier in the year and there were some changes to these plans that were presented, and we were asked: How would you feel about that? I just want to go on record saying, with some reasonable changes I would support the development that you guys have. I don't think what we've been presented, what we saw in the storyboards, our last card, the architectural ‑‑
- MR. CAFARELLI: One minute remaining.
- MR. SLOMIN: Give the village, give the residents who have spoken in our votes at the last two council elections, where everybody elected to council was vehemently against the levels of development that are before us tonight. I think you guys have, between the Planning Board and the council, potentially ways to make this more reasonable, more right for Ridgewood. And I would say before you vote, put it out in the open, let's get it right, and please do everything you can for your residents, ask your questions, make your decisions, and please get it right, make it reasonable. Thank you very much. Thanks for your service.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thanks.
- MS. TARZIAN: Linda Tarzian, 576 Highland Avenue, Ridgewood.
So we all, I think, can agree ‑‑
- MS. McWILLIAMS: I think your mic is off, if you want to hit the on button down at the bottom.
- MS. TARZIAN: So I think we can all agree, development can be welcome. These places have become eyesores, so we're not against development, I'm not. Would welcome it. Especially if we can fill the retail spaces, the existing ones, which have been empty, but I think, to echo my former colleagues' comments, can we scale back the height to keep it in line with the historic nature for a beautiful village? We can consider or would the developer consider reducing the number of units to reduce the taxation on our village services and maybe consider selling the units, so the taxes would be collected from each unit to support the sewer, the schools, and our fire and police? So I'm hoping you will take that into serious consideration. All of these in concert are going to change the nature of the village that we love. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you.
- MR. FELTSOTT: Ed Feltsott, 67 Heights Road, Ridgewood. I would just like to support my neighbors, Dave Slomin and others, who have stood up here and spoke. They've spoken about reasonable development. I think residents would agree with that, reasonable development, not what is being put forth today. One of the reasons that there was a change in the village council is because people were tired of the old village council and wanted a change and they did not want the overdevelopment of Ridgewood. It's great for the developers. Obviously they are spending a lot of money on legal fees. But, you know, you have to do what's best for us residents. I moved to Ridgewood. I have a business up in Mahwah, so this was a convenient town, but there are many convenient towns. I picked Ridgewood because it was a quaint town that reminded me of Scarsdale, where I grew up. It wasn't overdeveloped, there weren't these huge parking lots, and it was a really beautiful town. The other thing I want to point out is people speak about bringing shopping back to Ridgewood. Well, I think Macys and Nordstrom have tried to figure out how to bring shopping back to their stores. People are not shopping. They are not going to retail stores like they did 20 years ago; people are shopping online. If you look at Montclair, you know, the village, what you will see is a robust restaurant business. Restaurants work on a 70 percent profit margin. We just had the young women's clothing store go out of business on the main street, Gypsy Gordon. My niece worked for them. She was hired for the summer, and after two weeks she was told they couldn't pay their rent on their warehouse and they were forced to close. That's because you can't work on 35, 45 percent profit margin and have a business that's paying high taxes like businesses pay in Ridgewood. If you own a restaurant, and you're working on 70 percent margin or better and you skimp on your ingredients, you can make ends meet. So I do see there are going to be changes in Ridgewood. I think it will be much more of a restaurant‑type town.
- MR. CAFARELLI: Five minutes.
- MR. FELTSOTT: I think retail stores opening in Ridgewood is over.
So I would like to see changes here. I would like to see Ridgewood thrive and grow, but I would not like to see us turn into a Hackensack or Englewood or an overdeveloped town like White Plains, and you guys have done a wonderful job. You listened to a lot of feedback, and we do appreciate it. We just hope you'll not make a hasty decision, because this decision is going to affect the town for decades to come. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Feltsott.
- MS. D'ANGELO: Ardis D'Angelo, 414 Red Birch Court.
I've lived in Ridgewood for 14 years. I have three children who are all born here and have grown up here. I am disturbed that, even though concerns about public safety have been raised, talk of this housing proposal is still being pushed through. Water restrictions for the past two years have been heightened much more than in years past. This is all without any additional homes. Now imagine adding a significant number of new apartments. How can we allow something as large as this to pass, when we don't know how it will impact our water shortage? It's our job to protect our residents. What if there's a fire, will there be enough water pressure in the hydrant to save the house? No one knows for sure, and the builders don't care. And then there's the issue of traffic. Several years ago, a friend of mine, a mom of three, was hit by a car in town. Through a miracle, she survived and she's okay, even though she had severe internal bleeding and it was touch and go for quite a while. I remember the pit in the stomach of every person that knew her, how we hung on day‑to‑day crying and praying for her to pull through. I remember this like it was yesterday. Imagine how many more accidents like this will happen with the additional traffic caused by this many new units in such a condensed space. These accidents are going to happen more and more often. And the next time we might not be so lucky. Think of the kids, of the mother who gets hit by that car, think of the husband who's now forced to continue raising them alone and live his life without his wife. And then there's the schools. I understand a study was done last year that found that all these new units would result in so few students that the impact to the town would be de minimis. Anyone in this town who has heard about that study has heard the so‑called results of the study and literally laughs when talking about it. Ask yourself, how could this many new units truly result in a non‑impactful number of new students? I came here for the Ridgewood schools. Almost everyone I know has come to Ridgewood for the well‑known schools. If apartments are built, people will come for the schools. So, of course, they'll have kids, that's why people come to Ridgewood. I think everyone knows the study resulted in false information in order to move forward an agenda that was being pushed by people who want these buildings to be approved. And then I learned at the last meeting that there will need to be upgrades to traffic lights both at the intersection of the site and surrounding intersections. So just to be clear, the Ridgewood taxpayers, who don't want these buildings in our town, will now have to pay extra to support these new intersection upgrades. That's a scam on the Ridgewood families. Everyone I've spoken to regarding the high density buildings don't want them. The families here don't want them. And now the town is going to have to pay to have something that none of us want. How can we, in good conscience, vote yes to this? I know there's a concern of a lawsuit if the Planning Board votes no. But consider this, I personally would rather Ridgewood pay more to defend a lawsuit than have Ridgewood pay to enable the implementation of something that the people of Ridgewood don't even want, and I know I'm not alone in this opinion. It's very easy to understand what's happening here. Builders have a lot of money at stake and want to push this through for their own financial gain. But what about the people of Ridgewood? Where does that leave us? Tonight I ask you to vote your conscience, what you know in your heart is right for the Ridgewood people both from a safety perspective and from the perspective of how this will impact our schools. I know several friends who really wanted to be here tonight, but it's summertime and people have plans. Please don't mistake the empty seats to mean that the Ridgewood public supports this in any way. There are reasons why people couldn't be here to show their opposition, some are on vacation, some are at their kids' baseball games, but please know that their absence doesn't mean that they actually want this building as it is proposed to go in. Everyone I've spoken to is against this.
- MR. CAFARELLI: Time is up.
- MS. D'ANGELO: And don't simply cower to the threat of a lawsuit by political bullies who don't care about Ridgewood or its people. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thanks, Ms. D'Angelo.
- MS. REMIS: Hi. Jane Remis, 118 Madison Place. What I have to say is similar to what the last speaker said, in that, you know, I am concerned about the traffic and I know we need to upgrade those traffic lights. I think what I've heard is Chris say that they're, like, already 25 years out of date, so one way or another they need to be replaced. I can put up with a little more traffic, but I'm much more concerned about what the developers will do to increase pedestrian safety? Because if they put in, like, a CVS‑type store, which I actually think might be a nice ‑‑ it might be nice to have a store that you could go to for different things and walk to, but I want to be able to safely walk there. And every day after school, I've actually gone and counted the GW students who walk toward town, and you can't really count them, it's got to be like 100; Friday is more. They go to West Side Bagels, they go to the village. If there's something like a CVS‑type store, they're all going to be going there. That's my concern, can we do something to get there more safely and is that in the plans? If it is, I'm sorry, I missed it, but, you know, also, like, I know we're trying to do a lot to make this a walkable town for seniors, and this is probably an undoable idea, but, like, is there any way to make some sort of pedestrian walkway from, like, Ridge Crest down to that, I don't know how that would work, but like down to that development, if they wanted to go to that store? Because, you know, rather than having them come down, you know, and not just the seniors, but, like, anyone who lives in the Heights area, you know, without coming down to Ridgewood Avenue, crossing the train station, crossing again, is there any possible way to make some sort of connection, in case there's a store or if you want to go to even East Coast Burger or something, you're just crossing one of the worst intersections in town. So that, you know, basically, that's all I have to say. I hope that there's going to be something done for pedestrian safety in the event that a store that has, like, maybe poster paper or they just want to go there after school and spend a few minutes before they go home. Thanks.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank, Ms. Remis.
- MS. ROMERO: Marisol Romero, 258 Steilen Avenue.
Good evening. Basically just two points. First is, when I think of everything that's been spoken about in regards to, like, the safety and the traffic, I keep thinking about the children, and a prime example was about two weeks ago. My son, my oldest, attends Ridge, and third graders did their annual trip, which was hosted in part by the village, which was very nice, thank you, MAYOR KNUDSEN, and they had to walk from Ridge all the way down underneath the train station down to Graydon, because they came to visit the village and get to know how the village works, and then they went to Graydon Pool. And I can tell you, there were at least 75 students, that's not including the teachers and the aides. And when I think about that, the swarm of this big group of children that do a yearly trip, it's part of their yearly trip, that they are so excited to come and visit the village and then go to Graydon Pool. They're going to have to take that long trip, and I just keep thinking about the traffic, the traffic, and the traffic, because the more traffic you have, and I should know this, I grew up in Queens, the higher risk in instances of accidents. I can't just imagine, someone pointed it out, if it's a one‑way this way, one‑way that way, if someone is struck, how do we get to that person to give them immediate care or take them to the hospital?
Then my second point is, one thing I keep hearing, and appreciate that some of the members said this, was that we have all these trains that are nice and shiny and they're moving, but we really don't have a good sense or at least I don't get that feeling of how the whole picture is going to look. And to me, there's a saying, the truth is always shorter, but I don't feel like I'm getting that from the developers. I don't feel like we're getting answers, clearcut black‑and‑white answers, about things that are going to be happening or the way things are going to flow or this or that, and it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I think I agree with some of the people that spoke that regardless of how you feel, whether you're for the development or against the development, at a minimum this has to be thorough planning. And so I ask that when you think about pushing through on this, have you really done due diligence? I feel like we have not done due diligence, not because you guys haven't asked the right questions, but because we aren't getting answers that are clearcut. That's it. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you, MS. ROMERO.
- MS. TARZIAN: I figured my enormous tax rate allows me to speak one more time. I hope that ‑‑ and, again, I thank all of you, I didn't do that earlier, for the responsibility you've taken on.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Just state your name again.
- MS. TARZIAN: Linda Tarzian, 576 Highland Avenue. I know that you're not supposed to look at the whole, all the proposals, but I'm asking you as a resident that when you consider tonight's proposal, that you really look at the impact on the corridor, the L‑shaped corridor, Broad to Franklin, and what a nightmare it's going to be like, because Ken Smith, it's been shuttered for how many years, and when it was opened there would be maybe one car going in every half hour. With 66 units or 64 units, correct me if I'm wrong, two cars per unit, probably 2 to 4 kids per unit eventually, there is going to be a significant impact. We talked about it. I just want you to know again, even though the representation isn't here tonight, as taxpayers we do not want it as is.
We understand that there are ways to beautify the downtown district, somebody owns the property, what about a retirement center or adult housing? Scale it back. There might be less cars with seniors in there. Sell the units. There might be another way to get around some of the valid concerns. Right now I'm allowed to water my lawn twice. I'm very concerned the impact that has been raised on the water; 66 units on top of all the other ones that are being considered and are already approved. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thank you, MS. TARZIAN.
Anyone else? (No response.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. Seeing there's no one else from the public that would like to make a comment, I guess, MR. TUVEL, you can make a closing statement.
- MR. TUVEL: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do I have a motion to close public comment?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So moved.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Call the roll, Michael.
(At this point in the proceeding roll call is taken and the motion is passed by a unanimous vote.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Public comments are closed. We are now going to move on to a closing statement from the applicant.
- MR. TUVEL: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mayor, COUNCILMAN VOIGT, members of the board, for your time and attention during the course of these proceedings. I think we're on our sixth proceeding over a nine‑month period. The first thing that I wanted to talk about in connection with this application is the role of the board. I think that's an extremely important aspect of this application, and the board's deliberation. And forgive me if I come across a little professorial here what the law is, but I think it's very important to the board's decision‑making in connection with this application. This application and the Planning Board specifically, is governed by Section 25 of the Municipal Land Use Law, which are the duties and powers of the Planning Board. The duties and powers of the Planning Board ‑‑ well, there are different categories: Subdivision, capital improvements, variances, conditional uses, site plan; only one applies here, which is site plan. We have no variances. We have no conditional uses. We're not talking about a capital improvement project. So the scope of the board's review is extremely narrow. And what the case law has said about the scope of that review, and I'm going to quote, this isn't me, this is what the courts say, is that "the Planning Board's role in considering a site plan application is circumscribed. The object of site plan review is assure compliance with the standards under the municipality's site plan and land use ordinances." And that's a case from the Appellate Division from 1997, Shim v. Washington Township Planning Board.
So site plan review is never intended to include, and this again is another quote that was actually used in your counsel's memo that I agree with in terms of the direction the board has to go in in connection with this application is "Site plan review was never intended to include the legislative or quasi‑judicial power to prohibit a permitted use." So where does that leave us? What has the case law said what flows from there? And what flows from there is a Planning Board, this is again quotes from an Appellate Division decision, is that a "Planning Board has no authority to deny a site plan on its view that a use permitted under the zoning ordinance is inconsistent with the principles of sound zoning." So that's the premise, that is the scope of the board's review. I know many of you know this, but I think it's important for everyone to understand this during the course of their deliberation. And why is that important? Well, why is it important that we have these laws, rules, and regulations in connection with a board's review? Well, there's policy reasons, very important policy reasons about it.
No. 1, it would lead to arbitrary rulings. Boards could just simply make arbitrary rulings. There would be no guidelines, rules or regulations, and there would basically be anarchy with respect to zoning and planning throughout the state. It would violate due process. Applicants, developers, whether it's an individual, a developer, a corporation, a non‑profit, whatever, there's an expectation that an applicant has, when they come to a Planning Board, that when they comply with the rules and regulations, that the application will ultimately be approved. Now, what I said based on a lot of the comments that have been received this evening and that we've heard during the course of the proceeding is not a very popular statement. I don't consider myself a brain surgeon for figuring that out, that the zoning and the planning principles that guide this application are not very popular within this room, but that's the law that this board is guided by. As a board member, you're obligated to follow those laws, whether they're popular or not. This is a fully conforming site plan before this board. That's a very rare thing, actually. I doubt many attorneys, and I do this on a regular basis, have an application that is completely variance or waiver free. This application complies with all the zoning regulations within your ordinance and site plan regulations within your ordinance. What that means is that the applicant has designed a plan within the confines of the laws of the village which have already been set out and it's consistent with its Master Plan and zoning goals and objectives. So what does the law dictate there? And then again I'm going to quote from case law, this isn't me talking, is that "The denial of a site plan application would be a drastic action when the pertinent ordinance standards are met."
- MR. MARTIN: I think it's drastic measure of the Shim case, is that what you're saying?
- MR. TUVEL: Yes, I'm quoting actually directly from the case law itself. I didn't paraphrase or anything, I'm quoting directly.
- MR. MARTIN: I have the quote. Go ahead.
- MR. TUVEL: I think you have it as well in your memo. There's also the Dunkin Donuts case versus the Township of North Brunswick, which states that when an applicant meets zoning and site plan ordinance standards, off‑site traffic conditions cannot be a basis for denial. That's also important, because we've heard a lot about off‑site traffic and a lot about off‑site conditions, and I'll get to more about that in a minute. But, again, looking at the confines of the board's analysis and the board's purview, it's very important that you stick within those confines. Architecture: There's case law on this issue as well, where it says that a board does not sit as an architectural review board and that generally the style of architecture is the exclusive prerogative of the applicant, so long as all the other ordinance requirements are met. That's again not me, that's straight from the case law that govern Planning and Zoning Board proceedings. So this application conforms, and that's with all of your zoning requirements and site plan requirements, and that's been confirmed by both planners for the village that have reviewed this site plan. And, in fact, to be quite honest, it's actually less intense than some of the zoning ordinance requirements. For example, the zoning allows 35 units to the acre, this is 32.8 units to the acre. We're actually less than the impervious surface that's permitted, and we're reducing it from existing conditions, which you don't get a lot in urban areas, are actually preferred from a planning standpoint. We're more than double the size of the lot area that's required. And our FAR, floor area ratio, which really goes to the nonresidential component in the application, is actually 28 percent less than what is permitted. So we meet a lot of the requirements on point, but we're actually below a lot of the permitted standards in terms of intensity. We also meet the affordable housing obligation that we're required to have in connection with this application. Now, there were some comments made that there wasn't enough due diligence done. In fact, I've actually never worked on an application that had so much due diligence done. There is a complete document that governs the traffic impacts of all four of these developments. I mean, I know we're only talking about this one, but there was an analysis done that went site‑by‑site analyzed all these issues from a traffic standpoint, utilities standpoint, municipal services standpoint, schools standpoint. It's very rare, as an attorney, that I actually get to work on a project that actually analyzes all those things within the confines of a permitted use. So to say there hasn't been due diligence done, listen, I know when there is change, people are apprehensive, and that's only human nature, so I don't blame people for saying what they say or thinking what they think, but there has been an enormous amount of due diligence done in connection with this application. I wasn't a part of it, I know many of you were. There were hearings upon hearings where experts discussed many of these issues. So you ask, well, if we meet all these requirements and we're actually conforming and you must approve the application, that's what I'm saying, well, why are we even here in the first place? We're here in the first place, because a Planning Board still has the obligation and the duty to impose, if it feels necessary, reasonable conditions on a site plan; even if it's fully complying, it can impose reasonable conditions. It must approve, but there can be reasonable conditions that are implemented. So, let's talk about some of the reasonable conditions that have been implemented during the course of the dialogue between the board, the applicant, and the public, and all the professionals that have been associated with the project. So, No. 1, we agreed to meet all the requirements of the village engineer. His report had site plan requirements, stormwater management requirements, soil movement requirements and sanitary sewer service requirements, and we've agreed to comply with all aspects of his report in all of those categories. Your traffic engineer, as I mentioned earlier, Shropshire Associates, they issued their initial letter on January 17th, I think probably our second or third meeting. So we got an initial report, we thought that was going to be the only report, but we got another one. But in connection with that first report, which mainly dealt with on‑site issues but also delved into off‑site to some degree, we agreed, and I'm just going to hit some of the highlights, I'm not going to verbatim go through the report, but some of the items that we agreed to, we agreed to everything in the report, but just some of the highlights for the board's recollection.
We agreed to increase the visibility of the signal heads. We agreed to ensure that the stop bars are properly located within the development. We already had stop bars placed, there was some additional recommendations by your traffic professional that we agreed to. We're improving the sidewalk across the driveways by way of color and texture to delineate vehicular crossings for pedestrian access. In terms of on‑site circulation, we agreed to modify the signage on‑site to delineate to your traffic engineer's satisfaction fire lanes that are associated with the project. We comply with all regulations and fire codes, but there were some additional items that were requested for on‑site circulation. From a parking standpoint, not only your planner but your board engineer confirmed that we not only comply with the Residential Site Improvement Standards, also known as RSIS, in connection with the residential development of this application, but as part of all the parking as it relates to nonresidential as well. So we comply with the ordinance, we comply with the RSIS, we also comply with the ADA requirements as to parking. There were some comments that we agreed to as well, designating certain parking spaces as employee parking; providing protection for the building columns on the site; modifying the location of handicapped signs; and we're agreeing to prohibit parking along the site's frontages. In terms of trip generation, something that was discussed this evening, the report indicated that they agreed with the trip generation analysis utilized in the report. When I say "report," I mean proposed by the applicant or testified to by the applicant. There was some technical design requests for the signals that we agreed to comply with. So that was the first traffic engineer letter. So I guess in terms of due diligence, not only do we have the history of all the traffic analysis done in connection with these projects, we also had two traffic reports done for this project, as well as your village engineer's civil review letter as well. So, in terms of the second letter that was issued on April 13, 2017, there were six comments that were made, and based on those six comments, there were six recommendations that were suggested by your traffic expert. So, No. 1 ‑‑ and we agreed to comply with all of them, but just to sort of summarize what they are. We agreed to repair all of the sidewalk on the south side of Franklin and east side of Chestnut pursuant to the report. We agreed to re‑stripe all crosswalks proposed between Chestnut and Franklin, as indicated in the report, and ensure that all the handicapped ramping was ADA compliant. The N. Broad and Franklin signal was discussed a lot by the board as well as the traffic expert. The traffic expert had some recommendations for that signal. We agreed to the activation on each approach. We agreed to video detection. We agreed to improve the visibility of the signal heads. The handicapped ramps are to be updated per the board engineer's letter, and we're installing a Franklin Avenue crosswalk, pursuant to the letter as well. The fourth recommendation was that we provide traffic striping and pavement markings and that they be replaced along Franklin between Chestnut and N. Broad. We agreed to do that. The fifth recommendation, we agreed to reinstall the Chestnut Street centerline. And, finally, we agreed to the proposed improvements indicated in the report for the signal at the intersection of Franklin and Oak Street. So, in terms of due diligence and traffic analysis, we agreed to comply with both of your traffic expert's recommendations for both on‑site and off‑site improvements that we can make.
Lastly, your planner's letter, your planner again confirmed that we are fully compliant with the applicable ordinance requirements that govern this application. We agreed with the landscaping comments provided in her report, as well as the crosswalk comments to the amenity area. And when I say "her report," I mean Ms. Manus' report dated May 12th or updated as of May 12, 2017. Despite the case law that I read on architecture, we also agreed, since architecture can be somewhat subjective, to meet with Ms. Manus, the planner, as well as a subcommittee of the board to work out any architectural comments that the board may have that could potentially lead to an aesthetic change to the building. So those were the changes that we agreed to as part of "reasonable conditions" that I like to call them that the board implemented on a fully conforming site plan based on the recommendations of the board's experts. Now, there are other changes that we made to the plan based on back and forth between the board and some additional dialogue that we had with the board and its experts. For example ‑‑ I won't name them all and just bear with me, I promise I'm going to finish soon ‑‑ we agreed to place an 8‑inch‑diameter main within Franklin Avenue. It is to be lined to reduce inflow and infiltration. The developer agreed to monitor the sanitary flow through a meter. The parking area, as viewed from Chestnut Street, is now completely screened. We reduced, and I don't know if everyone here remembers, we reduced the retail space in connection with this project from 8,000 square feet to 5,500 square feet. I know that was done probably in the first several months of our hearings. I don't know if a lot of members of the public were at those meetings, but we did reduce significantly the portion of the development that's related to the retail space. We made sure that all proper sight triangles were established. There were 22 spaces adjacent to the building that have been changed for retail use only. That was at the request of several of the board members at one of our first meetings. The parking space sizes were modified to comply with all RSIS requirements. By doing that, our application fully conforms with all Residential Site Improvement Standards as it relates to parking and drive aisles and all other applicable state requirements. So, my point to the board in raising all that is that the process basically played out exactly as it should in that you have a permitted use that's fully compliant; however, the board has a chance to review it and say, hey, what can we do to make this project a little bit better, even though it fully conforms? And from that, we have that entire list of items that I just mentioned that have been implemented based on dialogue between the applicant and the board, its professionals, and questions and comments that we've received from the public. And that wasn't rushed, that was over the course of six hearings over nine months. It's not as if we had one or two meetings on this project and just were done. There was a long dialogue between the board and the applicant in connection with this project. Another thing that I'd like to mention is, unlike some of the other multifamily housing projects that were mentioned, and I know they kind of get grouped together even though they should all be viewed individually and on their own merits, but since they were mentioned, this is the only one that is seeking absolutely no relief whatsoever from the ordinance. I believe some of the others had some maybe minor variances or deviations, but this application does not deviate at all. I just wanted that to be noted. So, in sum, the board has an obligation here to approve this application under the law with reasonable conditions, I believe I've read, and maybe the board will have some additional ones based on what their counsel has written during the course of the meetings or during deliberations, but we've gone through the process, as it should, and I think we've come up with a better plan, based on back and forth between the applicant and the board. And I know that's not a popular statement to be made, and I know that there's, you know, some public opposition that's come here, but that's also ‑‑ and I don't even quote case law on that either, the public opposition is not a basis for denial either. How many people in the room put up their hands and said they don't want it versus they do want it is not a consideration for the board to make. The board has to look at the application within the confines of the ordinance. So, with that, Mr. Chairman, unless there's any procedural questions for me, I appreciate your time in letting me speak and sum up. I know there's been a lot of back and forth and it's gone over a long period of time, but I do appreciate the board's time and dedication to the process, I know the board wants to come out with the best project possible and I think we've done that. So I would respectfully request that the board make a motion to approve the application based on reasonable conditions, the ones that I read, and in the event that there are any others, and we're here to, of course, answer any other questions that you may have. And I thank the public as well for their participation in the process.
- MR. MARTIN: MR. TUVEL, just a couple of points I want to see if we can agree on. And I apologize, I didn't answer your calls earlier today, I was at the hospital.
- MR. TUVEL: No, Chairman mentioned when you weren't here at 7:00, because you're usually on time. I hope everything is okay.
- MR. MARTIN: I believe it will be.
You're not seeking any variances, correct?
- MR. TUVEL: No.
- MR. MARTIN: No waivers?
- MR. TUVEL: No.
- MR. MARTIN: No site plan exceptions?
- MR. TUVEL: Correct.
- MR. MARTIN: With that, you know, I appreciate what the board does, the developer does, the town does, but the public coming out for this I think is very important as well. What I'd like to just say for the record, because I think the public deserves it, the Dunkin Donuts case that was thrown about a few minutes ago, Dunkin Donuts v. Township of North Brunswick, the Appellate Division held that the Planning Board did not have authority to deny a site plan approval because of off‑site traffic conditions, stating "The authority to prohibit or limit use as generating traffic into already congested streets with a high rate of accidents is an exercise of the zoning power vested in the municipal governing body." And there's another case Stochel v. Planning Board of Edison Township. The bottom line is, the "governing body" means the village council. So whether you like it or not, the zoning power as to, you know, whether it's allowed was vested with the governing body, the Planning Board has different duties. In terms of the Planning Board, the board must decide on the facts produced at the hearing. All testimony and all evidence on which the board makes its decision must be part of the record and the board's decision must include the findings on the record, the facts, and make its decision inclusions on points of law. So, you take what the applicant presented, you decide whether that's sufficient or not in the burden of proof. You take what the board's professionals independently presented objectively and decide how that fits into the application and see what facts and expert evidence that is required is sufficient for the board to make a determination. In terms of what the Planning Board can do with the zoning use that the governing body requires of it, a municipality's authority to plan and zone allows it to impose conditions on a developer as part of the police power of the ordinances, so the Planning Board can put on conditions. There's a case called ERG Container, et al. v. Board of Chosen Freeholders, Morris County.
- MR. TUVEL: Everybody is writing down these citations, Chris, so you better get them right.
- MR. MARTIN: You already have them. The court noted the Planning Board could address the noise and traffic which would be generated by the intensification of a permitted use. What does that mean? That means the governing body, the village council, allowed the use. There's arguments here and concerns of the citizens, "I believe that it's going to be intensified. There's going to be more traffic." So, the Planning Board can address that by imposing appropriate restrictions and conditions in connection with site plan approval, rather than barring the proposed use, because the use is something that's not vested with this Planning Board. I believe our very own planner, Ms. McManus, addressed that in her testimony. So, with the standards that MR. TUVEL presented and hope some clarification by me, you need to take the facts as a board and move forward.
- MR. TUVEL: Mr. Chairman, if it's okay, very, very briefly could my client, the principal of the developer, say a few words just very briefly?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: I don't see a problem with that. Sure.
- MR. TUVEL: Okay. So I'd like to call on Mr. John Saraceno.
John, we got to just swear you in.
- MR. MARTIN: Raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
- MR. SARACENO: I do.
J O H N S A R A C E N O, 17 Coventry Court, Ridgewood, New Jersey, having been duly sworn, testifies as follows:
- MR. MARTIN: Just state your business and address.
- MR. SARACENO: My address is 17 Coventry Court, Ridgewood, New Jersey.
- MR. TUVEL: John, before you get into the substance of what you want to say, can you just for the record state your role in connection with the project and the applicant?
- MR. SARACENO: I am a member of the partnership that owns the property. What I'd like to say is, I've heard the comments. There's a lot that goes into these processes. This room is a bad room, it doesn't allow for the dialogue that people want, but I would like to express to the people that showed up tonight and the people that showed up for 10 years, because this is how long this has been going on, there has been constant dialogue. Your representatives have represented you well, and there will be ongoing dialogue. Tonight is not the end of the process, it's actually a very long one between an approval and the development of this site. I'm not going to apologize for it, because I still think it's the right thing to do for this site. I still think it's the right thing to do for Ridgewood, and I'd advocate for it as vehemently as I have for the last 10 years for the next 10 years, but I'm not insensitive to it, none of the partners are. There's a lot of Ridgewood residents that are in support of this. There's a lot of Ridgewood residents who are actually involved in this project. I think that's a good thing, because we do care, and I think it's evidenced by the things we do quietly in the community for many, many years and will continue do so. As relates to this, I'd ask people to trust the process, trust your mayor, trust your council people, trust the Planning Board.
The room doesn't allow for dialogue, and it doesn't allow for a give and take, it's just the essence of the Planning Board process, but the diligence is ongoing. We will look at all those things from the standpoint of in the future and look backs and things relative to lights and other culvert issues, and try to create a project that does not change the character of Ridgewood. I have no interest in changing the character of Ridgewood; I want to enhance the character of Ridgewood. I live here. I've lived here for more than 20 years, and I want to live here for another 20 years. I hope that people appreciate the process and appreciate that "developer" doesn't equal "bad guy," and developer doesn't equal someone who's sort of out for their own personal well‑being in every sort of turning corner.
The reality is, as I said in the beginning, I'd advocate for it today as hard as I have to this point and I would do the same thing as I did to this point. And I hope that the people who are opposed appreciate the people in the seats that are necessary to control and influence this process that does so in a way that will create a great project in Ridgewood, it's just that this room doesn't give you the feeling that it's going to get there, but it will. I hope that you can just trust that myself and our partners are going to do something that the village will be proud of, once it's over. Thank you.
- MR. TUVEL: So, Mr. Chairman, I think that concludes our presentation. We're happy to answer any questions or if issues come up during the course of deliberations that you need us to waive, where appropriate, we're happy to do so.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do I have a motion to formally close the hearing?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: So moved.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Jeff. Second?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And Joel is the second. Okay. It's a motion to close the hearing.
Call the roll, Michael. (At this point in the proceeding roll call is taken and the motion is passed by a unanimous vote.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Now we're on to the deliberation part. Does anyone need a five‑minute break or anything?
COURT REPORTER: I do.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. I was picking up the vibe. All right. So we'll take a five‑minute break, and then we'll start deliberation.
(A short recess is held.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. We're going to come back to order now.
Okay. Michael, call the roll.
(At this point in the proceeding roll call is taken with MAYOR KNUDSEN, COUNCILMAN VOIGT, VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI, MS. McWILLIAMS, MR. SCHEIBNER, Ms. Barto, and CHAIRMAN JOEL present.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. We're back on. It's deliberation time, and I guess we'll start with Dave, unless anyone has any comments they want to add quickly before we go down the line. Dave.
- MR. SCHEIBNER: First of all, I would like to thank the members of the public who came tonight and made their voices heard. This is an important part of the process. Some of the sentiments that were voiced, while they don't directly impact what we need to do as a board, it's important to hear them. I did want to say that change is hard, and change that this particular development presents is probably a bigger change than most of us have seen in the village, but when I moved to the village, there were three hardware stores, most of the businesses in the business district were locally owned, there was much less traffic. So what each individual feels like needs to be preserved is not necessarily the same thing. We've actually lived through a lot of progress in the 33 years that I've lived here, and change isn't so bad after all, in my experience. So, getting back to the application that we have before us here, it's big, but it's smaller than it could be. It presents more activity in an area that is already busy, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Ridgewood is a busy place; it's not a sleepy town. It's a vital place. It's an active place. And bringing families into the center of Ridgewood could actually be a positive thing. So, seeing that there are no variances, there are no exceptions, I don't see how we can turn this application down.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thanks, Dave.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes, I'd also like to thank the public for coming out. Their concerns are well noted, and hopefully they will be addressed as we move forward with this, you know, and they relate to safety of our downtown, our children. They relate to our taxes, ensuring that our taxes are not going to go up. They relate to making our town a very manageable place, I think, for everybody. So, you know, I'm going to throw out some other reasonable conditions for this development, and hopefully we can discuss these as part of our deliberations. So, what I think we talked about last week with The Dayton, and this relates to the infrastructure and relates to the infrastructure needs based on what this development is going to probably impart, that relates to sewer and water, and the concern we had with The Dayton was that if there is a significant amount or a cost of infrastructure that needs to be improved dramatically, that is something we can revisit, if it gets to that point. And my concern is that us spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the infrastructure for this thing to function adequately, that's one thing that I'm concerned about. The other thing I'm concerned about relates to the Franklin Avenue corridor. I think we need and the developer needs to work very actively with Bergen County in ensuring that we can procure some additional traffic lights here that will not put an undue burden on our village and increase our taxes for doing so. I just want to make sure that that's something that we think about, we talk about. The other thing I wanted to talk about was the look back. This is something that concerns me a bit and it relates to, Joel, your comment that in its totality, these developments, plus we're going to have the Starbucks, which is a drive‑through, and that particular corridor is going to be very active over time, so that the concern that I would have is if we do anything as it relates to the upgrades of the intersections in the look back, whatever timeframe that is, that if additional improvements need to be made, again that is something that ends up being negotiated between the village and the developer and maybe even multiple developers such that, you know, again, we do not have to bear the brunt of any additional costs that are incurred in any upgrades to any of the intersections. So those are the three things I'd like to put on the table. I don't know if that's stuff you want, like, to talk about a little bit further. So that's it. Thanks.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Thanks, Jeff.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Sure. So, first, thank you to the applicant, to your professionals, to the folks that came out on your behalf, and to Jason Tuvel, who has absolutely been very polite and very professional through this process. I really actually have to compliment you, you've been outstanding. I just want to thank the residents for coming out this evening. I think it's all good. Before I get started, I just want to share this little story that happened years ago in my house, you'll appreciate it, Ardis, and I know Jane Remis left. Years ago in my house, when my kids were maybe 4, 8 and 9, I did what I called "amnesty night." Whenever they did, the worst thing ever they did in their life, they could tell us and they wouldn't get in trouble for it. So my kids started to ‑‑ each one told a little story, but my third son, there was a lot of whispering going on and I couldn't quite figure out what the problem was. I thought: Did you steal something? Did you kick someone? Did you do something so awful? And finally he said, "No. But you promise I can't get in trouble and I'll never be punished?" I said, "Promise." "I was riding my bicycle on Franklin and I was hit by a car." And he never told us for over a year, because he feared we would never permit him to ride his bicycle again. The woman who hit him helped him pick up his bicycle, made sure he was okay, he straightened out his bicycle, had a little scratch, and rode away. So I share your concerns about our children on Franklin, pedestrians, and I share your concerns. I have heard the applicant, and they've addressed these concerns and have made some accommodations with the improvements to clean up sidewalks, the handicapped‑accessible ramps and other such things, and we'll be looking at those. But in this instance, we don't get to vote with our heart, it's not a luxury here, we have to apply the law. On June 2, 2015, right here in this room, I guess it was, maybe it was at BF, now I don't recall, there was a vote on a Master Plan Amendment. And that Master Plan Amendment opened the door for ordinances to be adopted at the Village Council level. At the time of the Master Plan Amendment, I said I don't think this is good, I think the density is too high, the building is too big. What happened? I voted no. When it came to the ordinances at Village Council, March 22nd, 2016 ‑‑
- MS. McWILLIAMS: March 23rd.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Thank you, 23rd. Again I voted no, knowing full well that there would be an inconsistency with the Master Plan and the ordinance, and that would have to be defined and addressed, but, nonetheless, a 3/2 vote, the council majority supported the ordinances. The clock ticked, and these ordinances became law, and that is the law that we need to apply today. That means there's this box, and the applicant can put their box inside of this box, and as long as they don't need any variances or any special accommodations, they are compliant. And that's the bar, that's the measure that we have to apply to this application and others. Last week was The Dayton application. So inasmuch as necessarily I always felt that the density was too high, this is the law, this is what we have to deal with today, and, you know, just in terms of the cost to infrastructure improvements, all of that I unequivocally agree with as stipulated and all these things will be outlined. I was hoping this was the Dunkin Donuts case, because that would be very easy, but we're not talking about a Dunkin Donuts here today, we're talking about a multifamily housing development. So, based on just applying the law fairly, I will support the application as it is presently in its state to be fully conforming with zoning. I do believe that we will have reasonable conditions applied to that as we go down through this process, but we will support this.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thank you, Mayor. Frances.
- MS. BARTO: Sure. I want to thank everybody as well for participating in this very long process. You know, I'm just going to echo concerns that have been raised throughout: You know, the concerns about traffic in the immediate vicinity. There are safety concerns, so far as emergency services being able to reach these residents in light of the traffic issues. There are unknown costs to the village that we're all concerned about, I think. You know, as is noted by the public, this was an automobile dealership. It certainly is going to have an increase in volume of traffic in and out. That intersection is going to be problematic. So, you know, I agree with COUNCILMAN VOIGT that we need to seriously make sure that we have all the correct conditions in place. And in light of the fact that it's otherwise conforming, I will vote in favor of the application.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Melanie.
- MS. McWILLIAMS: First, I thank Jason for allowing me, to be newer at this end of the process up here, and being so courteous and polite in all of your responses and answers. You were nothing but helpful all the way around. The public for showing up, when you did and when you could. I know how hard it is to come to these things. John, I appreciate your comments and your partners'. I try to see things from every angle as possible. Jason, you brought up the role of the board and what it is that we're required to do, and, you know, I sometimes feel like the law tries to fit everything into the box that applies to it specifically at that moment; it can be the exact opposite at another, should the case that you're working on at that moment require. You say we're not here to address whether or not this is sound zoning, but is it sound planning? Is it sound zoning? Is it sound living? Is it any of those things? And it can't be denied, but that has to be a conversation.
It is a fully conforming application, and I feel as a fully conforming application, because sound zoning was overlooked in the original process, and I wasn't here for that process and that's just my comment here in the moment, that there is an expectation of approval by the developer, and, you know, where that pertains of the role of the board, I'm trying to find a way for those two to jive here in this application. And, you know, like I said, applying terms like "reasonable" where it suits the developer and not apply the same "reasonable" behavior to the intent of the board, that bothers me. I can't sit with that well. Units per acre, you know, you bring up the fact that you're 32.8 and you just don't find that in "urban areas." I think that was your exact sentence. This isn't an urban area, this is a suburban area.
- MR. TUVEL: Sorry, if I said that.
- MS. McWILLIAMS: I understand, I'm not trying to ‑‑ and maybe I misheard part of what you said. You know, my list of concerns are: The safety, the traffic, the lights, the cost to the village. What happens when, down the line, down that corridor, things that everybody here has addressed, the pieces of the puzzle don't work and the cost to the village is too exorbitant for us to bear and it isn't necessarily in your or the developer's pocket? Then we all lose, because we can't upgrade the way we need to and the development is ultimately going to suffer, in my opinion, because it can't withstand what it would be, filled to capacity, and would it be thriving? And I have real concerns about that. You know, this particular development, like Dave said, I think in particular where it sits and the mass of it, all of the safety and traffic concerns, the amenity area, I've been very clear, I cannot get past that, that's a basis of a big part of the ordinance. And I think the "amenity area" is kind of pushing the definition of that. There isn't a single arbitrary or capricious thing in my not supporting the application, arbitrary with the goal or random or by chance, unpredictable is what that means, and capricious meaning, you know, autocratic and domineering and taking no consideration to anybody else in the role you play. And I take everybody's. Either nothing of my not supporting it does any of those things, but I don't support this application.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Joel. (Applause.)
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Please don't applause.
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: I'll keep my comments fairly brief, because I have notes for the past how many months, nine months, whatever. I think Jason did a good job of summarizing the application. There are many times during the hearings where I think we were just trying to allow the diligence, and we kind of deviated and got into some kind of safety issues and things that really aren't our purview. A lot of what the applicant proposes is as of right. We have ordinances in our town, and I think MAYOR KNUDSEN summed them up well; we have a box, and they can build this in the box, and they've done it. And I don't think anybody would disagree that the Ken Smith property is certainly in need of redevelopment. I mean, it's an eyesore. It's ridiculous. And it's a prominent spot in our community. I agree with Melanie that the outdoor amenity area is a joke. It won't be used. You know, I can picture that just being a useless spot, and that's really unfortunate, because I don't think that's the intent of the ordinance. The intent is to have an outdoor area the residents can enjoy, not whatever, a place where maybe someone can sit and watch a train go by. That's kind of missed. I agree with a lot of what Jeff said with being concerned about the downstream effects of this development, literally and figuratively, literally the downstream effects, the waste flowing, it's a narrow pipe and you're going to burden the whole system, and you're going to burden the traffic system, the infrastructure of the town. I have concerns about that. I think there were finite questions that remained unanswered throughout the hearing as far as the exact impact, the exact number of children or cars or pedestrians. And I think that's okay, because I think as a board when we do this, we have qualified professionals come in and they give their opinion and other professionals come in and they give their opinion. We question them as a board, we challenge them, and that's a good, healthy process, and I think we've done that. I think everybody on the board's paid attention. We've asked a lot of questions, we've not just accepted reports for what they are. And we've had professionals on both sides, the village and the applicant, come together, and I think they've done a good job. So, generally, I would favor the application. I'd just close by saying I'm really looking forward to re‑examining the Master Plan in its totality in the future with this board, because that's really what we need to be doing when we move past these multifamily applications.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thanks, Joel.
All right. I would like to thank the applicant, Jason, you did a very competent and good job presenting. I would like to thank our experts for assisting us in this difficult and long process. It's very helpful. I'd like to thank the public for the input. We are kind of just like an antenna, receiving information coming in, we ask questions and we try to do what's best for the village under the circumstances. We are confronted with having certain ordinances that we have to comply with, and this is a conforming plan, so, you know, based upon that, you have to work within that framework, but, again, it's a balancing act, you know, it's conforming on the one hand, yet we want to get the best thing for the town. And, you know, I believe the applicant wants to have a win situation for the town too. They're going to be residents, so they have a vested interest.
I did like hearing that it's going to be a process and it's not over, and there is room for even further improvement. I mean, you did indicate certain pluses, but, with certain developments, you know, there's also downsides with respect to certain things, so, you know, we're aware of that and we take that into consideration. So we've heard the evidence over nine months, a lot of witnesses, expert witnesses, a lot of questions, and the Ken Smith area is just a dead area, it does need redevelopment, it hasn't really done anything. I think it's kind of a key piece of property within the town, and something nice should be there. And I think this can be a win/win for the village, but, you know, we also would like to have certain conditions that take care of any negatives that might be coming from the development. I'd like the one condition with respect to the tower element, having a committee and the planner review that so that we can make sure that we get it just right, because it can be a really showcase element for the town. Also, as MAYOR KNUDSEN mentioned, with moving that light box, I mean, if it's moved, you know, the person should pay for it, you know, that might be a condition. Affordable housing mixed throughout the project would be another condition. Upgrades to the sewer was the other thing that we have. And, again, with the off‑tract improvements, you know, there should be a look back on it just make sure we confirm it out and make sure we're not being short‑changed as a village on it, so I think that's very important. So, I mean, it's a difficult situation. I mean, again, you can't just vote with your heart, you have to vote with what the law is and what our charge is. We have to determine whether the development plan conforms with the zoning ordinance and the applicable provisions to the site plan ordinance. I would say that the applicant has met the burden under the circumstances for it, and, you know, I would be voting in favor of it with the many conditions that we have to make sure that it's done right and protects the village.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: I wanted to ask one more question.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Sure.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: So, two things that were said this evening and I just wanted to address them both. My board colleague, Melanie, suggested this wasn't sound zoning. That's not what our task is here tonight. Our task is not to determine whether or not this is sound zoning, our task is to apply the existing zoning laws to this particular application. As much as some of us would likely be happy to have that conversation, that's not what we are tasked here to do this evening. The one thing she said that I definitely wanted to address was the exterior amenity space, and I think the vice chairman also pointed that out, and I appreciate that both raised it. And my question would be: Is the applicant willing to work with us at a later time on that exterior amenity area? Because I do think that it's really nonsensical. It doesn't really work, and it appeared to be just an aside to build that, an obligatory, you know, an obligation.
- MR. TUVEL: Can I answer that?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Sure.
- MR. TUVEL: I don't want to speak out of turn. I think that was in Ms. McManus' letter. So I would say as part of the architectural, same type of subcommittee. Since it was part of her purview in her review, we can include that analysis in those meetings.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Great.
- MR. MARTIN: Similar to the tower committee?
- MR. TUVEL: Yes. Exactly.
- MR. MARTIN: I'm a little more comfortable with the board. Other applicant attorneys may not be happy with that, but go ahead.
- MS. McWILLIAMS: As a quick comment, my comment wasn't that this isn't sound zoning, I said I was quoting Jason when he said that's not our role to determine if it's sound zoning, and, then, you know, I was trying to look at the bigger picture of sound planning, sound living, how it affects things in our community, and hearing other pieces of commentary and thought process. I wasn't quoting it specific, I was trying not to say those words. If I did, then I didn't mean to.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay. Just as a point to ‑‑
- MS. McWILLIAMS: No, I'm aware that's not our role here.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: One other comment. I guess there's going to be a subcommittee. I would say that I would like Joel Torielli, MAYOR KNUDSEN, and Isabella to be on that committee, because two architects and the mayor I think would be a good fit to look at it.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: It's a great idea, and I thank you for that. The only one thing that we will have to do, once again, we all know our board colleague has been quite ill, so we'll just have to ensure that she's physically able to participate.
- MR. MARTIN: Or one of the alternates.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Okay.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: All right. Any other comments?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Oh, just the look back in the one year, that would be a stipulation.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Whoever makes the motion.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I would like to hear you guys are okay. We made several stipulations here, I want to make sure that you're agreeable or not to them going into the resolution as stipulations; yes or no?
- MR. TUVEL: Yes.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: You'll agree to the stipulations that I made?
- MR. TUVEL: I'll work on the resolution with Chris.
- MR. MARTIN: We'll get the transcript.
- MR. TUVEL: Sure.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: It makes it easier.
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Okay.
- MR. MARTIN: I think Jason has all the transcripts.
- MR. TUVEL: Yes, I do. I have them.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Do I hear a motion from anyone?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Motion to approve with the stipulations that we made during our deliberations, which I think are in the transcript.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And the ones during the hearing process too, right?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: I'm sorry, say that again.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: And the ones during the hearing process?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: And the ones during the hearing process. As long as those are stipulated to, I'll make a motion to approve the application.
- MR. MARTIN: The board stipulations and conditions?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Stipulations and conditions, yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Do I hear a second?
- MR. SCHEIBNER: Second.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. We have a motion made by Jeff to approve the application with conditions and stipulations that were set forth in deliberations and during the hearing process, and we had a second from David. So we're going to call for the roll vote. If you say yes, you're agreeing for the motion to approve.
Okay. Call the roll, Michael.
- MR. CAFARELLI: MAYOR KNUDSEN?
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Yes.
- MR. CAFARELLI: MR. SCHEIBNER?
- MR. SCHEIBNER: Yes.
- MR. CAFARELLI: COUNCILMAN VOIGT?
COUNCILMAN VOIGT: Yes.
- MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Torielli?
VICE CHAIRMAN TORIELLI: Yes.
- MR. CAFARELLI: Mr. Joel?
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Yes.
- MR. CAFARELLI: MS. McWILLIAMS?
- MS. McWILLIAMS: No.
- MR. CAFARELLI: Ms. Barto?
- MS. BARTO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. The motion is carried, it's approved with all the stipulations and conditions.
- MR. TUVEL: Great. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN JOEL: Okay. Thank you for your time.
- MR. TUVEL: I'll be in touch with you, Chris. Thanks a lot.
MAYOR KNUDSEN: Hang on one second.
- MR. SARACENO: John Saraceno, 17 Coventry Court, Ridgewood, New Jersey. First of all, thank you. I take everything, to a certain degree, personally, so I appreciate the vote of confidence in us and our team. I know that the scale of these things in the multiple numbers can give everybody pause and I get it, I'm a resident. I'm not insensitive to it. One of the things that I think I wanted to and outside of approval we could speak, there has been ongoing continuous negotiation to try to amend this plan, both from an architecture perspective, from a density perspective, and for other things that I think make the project a better project, one that we like better as well. But obviously in the context of this room and this process, it's always difficult to actually get to the sort of point where we can speak frankly and openly about some of the stuff. I don't make the rules, I just follow them. So, even though we had a compliant application, in that it didn't require variances, and obviously from a technical perspective, I know that makes it difficult on Planning Boards, since I know I could have gone down a different path and I think our partners could have, but as a resident and someone who cares about the process, and I know the council and the people that have been involved, and Susan and Jeff and Matt, and inside the declaratory judgment action and other stuff that we've had, conversations, is a project that I think when it's all said and done, everyone here, including Melanie, will actually like it. I just thank you again and hope that when it's all said and done, we have a project that we're all proud of. So thank you. I appreciate it.
- MR. MARTIN: We'll continue to work together.
- MR. SARACENO: Yes.
- MR. MARTIN: For the record, I saw Mr. Mandlebaum (phonetic) in the audience and he has been nodding his head in support of your comments, both the first time you spoke and the second time. And I know he's been here at every hearing, and I for one appreciate his commentary. We didn't necessarily grant all the issues, but we're willing to work through it.
- MR. SARACENO: Looking forward to it.
(Whereupon, this matter is concluded. Time noted: 9:43 p.m.)
Adoption of Minutes: The minutes from July 18, 2017 were adopted as written.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Date approved: September 18, 2018
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