The S-2 Zone History
BTN investigated the creation of the proposed S-2 Age Restricted Housing Development, based on concerns from residents. These concerns included lack of transparency and the S-2 zone being developed specifically for “Glen Park Village, LLC”. BTN has outlined all the events that have transpired about the S-2 zone.
To begin, we asked Nancy Spiller, Glen Rock Building Department, what is the procedure of changing a zone like A-1 / A-2.
She stated: “To make a zone change recommendation, the Planning Board recommends the proposal to the Mayor and Council. They consider it and if they want to move it forward, there is a first reading. IT then comes back to the Planning Board to make sure this is what they recommended- then back to the Mayor and Council for a final reading. IT gets published , then the law has changed.”
On January 9th, 2014 Gregory Associates, the builder for “Glen Park Village, LLC”, approached the borough about their potential senior housing project on Prospect. They were told that they could apply for a use variance from the Zoning Board or apply to the Planning Board for a recommendation from the Planning Board to the Mayor and Council to rezone the property.
This discussion of which is the best action to take, lasted several months between the developer and the Planning Board.
On February 5, 2015 David Rutherford, Esq. presented the proposed Glen Park Village, senior housing complex to the Planning Board. This proposed complex would reside on 3 adjacent properties. 2 which were owned already by Glen Park Village, LLC (569 Prospect Ave, 575 Prospect Ave) and 1 they were working on buying from the Village of Ridgewood. The senior complex would include:
- 69 units (both 1 and 2 bedroom)
- 84 parking spaces
On May 4, 2015 was the first time that the Planning board discussed the establishment of a new housing zone, S-2 Age Restricted Housing District. The Planing Board admitted that the developers request of a zone change, was a catalyst for this zone to be created.
Per Mr. VanLangen, “This ordinance would set the criteria for the rezoning of any property (or combination of properties) to construct much needed senior housing.“
Both the 2008 and the 2014 Reexamination of the Master plan outlines the need of more senior housing.
The Planning Board had numerous concerns including:
- Front yard: min 40 feet from a public street (A-2: 50 feet)
- Side yard: Min: 15 feet (A-2 : 12% of the width of the lot or 6 ft – which ever is greater)
- Combined Side-yard: minimum 30 feet (A-2: 25%of the lot width)
- Rear yard: minimum 30 feet. (A-2: 30 feet)
- Height: 3 stories or 45 feet
- Density: 35 units per acre (proposed)
- A-2: 32 feet
- OB-2: 3 stories or 42 feet
- S-1 3 stories or 35 feet
Because of the concerns, the planning board cancelled the next open meeting to reviewed by the borough professionals.
On June 9th at a special meeting of the planning board, It was clarified that this zone will be an Age Restricted, not senior, housing district. This housing will be for individuals 55 + and no children are permitted to permanently live there.
In addition, based on the Boards concerns, Ms. Cofone, Borough Planner, changed the setback and the density of the proposed development. One thing that was not changed was the proposed height. Ms. Cofone, noted that the height, density, and setbacks proposed are reasonable for this type of development. She also assured the board that each S-2 proposal would be looked upon case by case.
At this time it was proposed to be presented to the Mayor and Council. At the June 24, 2015 Public Council meeting, the first reading of the S-2 age restricted housing district was passed. The final passage was set to be on July 29, 2015. During the work session on July 27th, the S-2 final reading was postponed due to several reasons seen in the 7/29/15 work session article.
Since 7/29 they have not discussed the S-2 at a council meeting so the council can meet with the different boards to talk about safety concerns of the height of the building and the other language concerns.
Since 2/5/2015 there has been no mention of Glen Park Village, LLC in any of the board meetings.
Fellow BTN readers, do you think that there was a lack of transparency on this or that this zone was made just for this developer?
We will keep you informed as new information on both the S-2 and Glen Park Village, LLC emerges.