Mayor Vic DeLuca forwarded the following memorandum from the Planning Board to the Township Committee concerning the Dunnell Road Redevelopment Plan. As Patch reported on Wednesday, the Plan was recommended to the Township Committee on Tuesday, November 10.
The Planning Board found that, in total, the plan was in accordance with the Township's overall Master Plan but did make recommendations for limiting the height and bulk of any proposed development for the site. Because this redevelopment plan has been the subject of much discussion in the community, particularly among those Maplewood citizens who have formed the group Save Memorial Park, Patch is publishing the Planning Board memo in full below:
TO: Township Committee
Cc: Roger Desiderio, Township Attorney; Joseph Manning, Township Administrator; Robert Bratt, Acting Township Engineer; Liz Fritzen, Township Clerk; Planning Board members
FROM: Tom Carlson, Planning Board Chair
RE: PB Review of Draft-Dunnell Road Police Building Redevelopment Plan
Pursuant to the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law, NJSA 40A:12A et seq., the Planning Board, at its meetings of October 13, 2009 and November 10, 2009, held a review of the Draft Dunnell Road Police Building Redevelopment Plan of September 2009, prepared by the Metro Company, LLC. The Redevelopment Plan was referred to the Planning Board for review by Ordinance # 2604-09.
Board members present were: Thomas Carlson, John Branigan, James Nathenson, Craig Miller, Deryck Palmer, Eric Burbank, Nancy Adams, Lester Lewis-Powder, Richard Greenberg (Alt 1) and Mayor DeLuca, present as the Class I representative.
The Planning Board made the following finding regarding consistency with the Master Plan:
· Citing several of the Goals and Objectives listed in the Master Plan, including the promoting of market rate residential development and enhancing future development that could incorporate sustainability, the majority of the Planning Board found that the Redevelopment Plan is generally consistent with the Master Plan. John Branigan dissented, stating that in his view the Redevelopment Plan was not consistent with the Master Plan’s provisions regarding Historic Preservation, optimizing the use of Public property, promoting sustainability and maintaining the character of the community.
On a motion by Deryck Palmer and seconded by Craig Miller the Board voted by general consent that the Redevelopment Plan is consistent with the Master Plan. Negative (1) John Branigan
The Planning Board made the following recommendations regarding the provisions of the draft Redevelopment Plan:
· Restrict the total allowable height to the highest roof or accessory rooftop element to no more than 50 ft. In making this recommendation, the board cited the definition of Building Height in Section 271-3 of the Maplewood zoning ordinance, which allows an additional 20% in overall height for rooftop elements such as chimneys, flagpoles, roof-access shuttles, elevator penthouses, utility equipment such as air-conditioning units or other mechanical equipment, etc. Thus the board’s recommendation is to impose a permitted Building Height of approximately 42 feet, with an additional allowance of approximately 8 feet for accessory rooftop elements, in accordance with the definition of Section 271-3.
On a motion by Deryck Palmer and seconded by Nancy Adams the Board Voted by general consent that the height be restricted to 50 feet all inclusive. Abstention (1) Mayor DeLuca.
· In general, reduce the scale and mass of the allowable development to more appropriately keep in accord with the character of the neighborhood.
On a motion by Deryck Palmer and seconded by Craig Miller the Board voted by general consent that within the Redevelopment Plan strong consideration be given to the concern regarding mass and scale. Abstention (1) Mayor DeLuca
· Require a minimum front yard setback of 25 feet.
On a motion by Nancy Adams and seconded by Eric Burbank, the Board voted by general consent to require a 25 foot front yard setback. Abstention (1) Mayor DeLuca
· Insofar as possible, protect and preserve the mature trees situated at the rear of the property on the embankment.
On a motion by John Branigan and seconded by Richard Greenberg the Board voted by general consent to recommend that the protection of mature trees at the rear of the property in the embankment should be stressed. Abstention (1) Mayor DeLuca.
The Planning Board made the following recommendation concerning the provisions of municipal zoning for the properties in the immediate neighborhood of the Redevelopment Area in question:
· Modify the zoning provisions for the immediate neighborhood, along the west side of Dunnell Road, to be consistent with the bulk requirements of the Redevelopment Plan, particularly with respect to allowable height and minimum front yard setback. In making this recommendation, the board cited the desirability of developing a unified planning vision for the neighborhood.
On a motion by Deryck Palmer and seconded by Craig Miller the Board Voted by general consent to recommend modifying the zoning on the nearby properties to be consistent with the Redevelopment Plan. Abstention (1) Mayor DeLuca