Proposed 14-Unit Multiple Dwelling on Madison Slated to be Rentals

Zoning Board hears application for Milford Gardens--a 14-unit multiple dwelling on Madison Avenue.

The Zoning Board began the hearing on the application for property located at 391 Madison Avenue, Tuesday. The plans call for the construction of a three-story, 14-unit multiple dwelling with parking under the building. Because the land is currently zoned for residential use, the applicant is requesting variances from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The applicant, Alex and Sons Real Estate Investments, is seeking a use-variance to construct Madison Gardens--14 one and two bedroom multiple dwellings on property zoned for one-family single unit dwelling. Additionally, variances for building height, building coverage and front yard are needed.

Carmine Alampi, attorney for the applicant, said that the height is actually two stories, not three. However, because of the slope of the land, it appears to be three stories when looked at from the back of the property because the parking garage is exposed.

"From the front of the property on Madison Avenue, it's two-stories," Alampi said.

Alampi acknowledged that the property has areas of wetlands and told the Board that prior to the filing of the application, the developer spent over one year working to obtain DEP approvals and permits.

"We did receive the DEP approval and permits," Alampi said.

When asked by the Board if the units would be 'for sale' condominiums or rental units, Alampi said that they would most likely be rental units, "at least in the initial stages."

According to Alampi, in the current climate, there is no market for condominiums because bank financing is very tight.

The applicant is asking for variances for the following:

  • The applicant is proposing a height of 38.65ft where 30ft height is permitted.
  • The applicant is proposing a three-story building where two-and-a half stories are permitted. 
  • Applicant is proposing building coverage of 21 percent where 18 percent is permitted.
  • Applicant is proposing 46.625ft where 55ft from the center line of street is permitted

The hearing on this application is continued to Tuesday, March 12.


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newmilford1967 February 15, 2013 at 06:12 PM
No way this a traffic nightmare without this there.Bulid 2 homes or leave it vacatent.Stop with covering every square inch land.
Lori Barton February 15, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I agree dad. Enough is enough. We don't need MORE traffic, we don't need MORE overcrowding in our schools, and we don't need MORE taxes to subsidize this development. Our zoning laws are there for a reason. JUST SAY NO to all of the requested variances. There is absolutely NO benefit to New Milford in granting these variances. Let the owner build what the land is zoned for: single family housing. He can probably get 2 on a lot that size. Residents of New Milford: you need to do more than read and post comments. Show up at the next zoning board meeting to voice your concerns. Boro Hall, Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30 (next Special Meeting devoted solely to the United Water property is Thursday, 2/28 at 7:30 PM). If you are fed up with every square inch being developed, this is your chance to stop it.
Mark flores February 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM
This development should be denied. The developer new what they were buying at the time of purchase, a property zoned for single family homes. We do not need more children in our schools or more traffic on Madison Street. We have all witnessed the traffic problems on Madison Street at the hours of school drop off and pick up.
miriam pickett February 15, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Don't sit back and wait for the BOA to do the right thing. Go to meetings and tell them you don't want to see this happen.
Jose A. Camacho, Esq. February 15, 2013 at 10:34 PM
This is another nightmare.
Michelle February 16, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Yes, if you add these 14 units to the 24 Hekemian is proposing, that's 38 more families that would be squeezed into a little 2-mile long town that is built-out, with little green to sustain them, schools that are already 25% overcrowded because there was poor to no town planning re: buildings to school ratio etc. And all for the gain of the developers, adding to their bank accounts while stripping away the quality of life for the residents of NM overbuilt parcel by overbuilt parcel. If the land is zoned residential, it is presumptuous for a developer to come in and expect that he can change the density to increase his return on his investment. If it's residential, for the sake of the town and its residents, it should stay residential. I don't understand why NM banned MacMansions. They are at least beautiful, bring value to the rest of the properties, increase the tax revenue and align with the residential zoning of the property. As for the 14-unit apartment complex, what about the COAH growthshare this development will trigger?
TommyIce February 16, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Whoa I didn't know New Milford had banned McMansions! Think of all the lost revenue in permits and tax increases. Incredible, we don't allow McMansions yet our Mayor & Council are wanting to allow McMega Commerical Development.
David Bednarcik February 16, 2013 at 04:18 AM
Please stop this development
miriam pickett February 16, 2013 at 01:38 PM
We banned mcmansions? I see them everywhere.
Darlene February 16, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Totally agree up to the point of McMansions. Ornate castle like structures sandwiched between two little Cape Cods is a jarring sight. Still, I'd rather a McMansion over a 14 unit building I suppose.
Nicholas D'Amelio February 16, 2013 at 05:53 PM
I do not believe the town band Mcmansions. They put a height limit on new construction. I believe the height of new structures was 38ft and it is now 30 ft. for a two story building. That’s why everyone is asking for a height variances. I believe you can still build a mcmansions as long as the building is not more then 30ft high.
John DeSantis February 16, 2013 at 11:49 PM
New Milford is a "built out community" and as such we all should stand against any development on the few remaining small pieces of ground that have not yet been built on. These properties should be acquired and preserved as open space or for low impact public use, or at least left zoned for single family housing. These developers are asking for variances that will create huge profits for them and huge nightmares for the folks in town. New Milford is a town that is ripe for redevelopment and we should support the rebuilding of the existing Shop Rite, the renovation of Brookechester, and redevelopment of Main Street with a plan to attract small businesses, boutiques and restaurants. Many of the existing structures in New Milford are showing their age and falling into a state of disrepair. We should vigorously support the rebuilding of New Milford in a responsible way that reflects the small town character of this community. These are the goals our mayor, council, planning and zoning boards should be pursuing.
TommyIce February 17, 2013 at 01:48 AM
What do you envision in a "redevelopment of Main Street" John? There are already 6 eateries on the road. All of the businesses on that street are small businesses already. There's no big chain or multi million dollar corporation occupying space up there. Don't forget that it is also a residential area. Sitting in traffic on a weekday morning, you can see several houses and that most of the businesses have living space upstairs. Where would these boutiques go? Should we force some of the businesses to change into that? John people don't shop in boutiques anymore. There used to be one on Main Street--Hartley's. It's where everyone in middle school had to purchase their gym uniform when I was growing up. I do agree that the Shop Rite should stay where it is and rebuild utilizing the variances that have already been granted to them. The Brookchester shopping center hasn't been the same since the bakery and Five and Dime left.
John DeSantis February 17, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Hello Tommy, I don’t think we should force businesses to do anything. Poncho’s and big Jim’s are good examples of what I’m talking about. I certainly wouldn’t want to see big chains or multimillion dollar corporations. If the county actually creates the museum and park by restoring old water company, there could be opportunities for more café type establishments and small shops to flourish on Main Street. If that opportunity did present itself, I would like to see businesses be more of the mom and pop type places. As far as people not shopping in boutiques anymore, you’re probably right. I may be wishing for days gone by, a different, easier era. But there are places where that atmosphere still exists and they seem to do best near parks or places like that. The night that we had the snow storm I walked down by the river behind Hard Castle pond. It was really pretty nice, beautiful actually. We tend to ignore the river except when it floods. If we took care of that river, created a natural but accessible environment for people to visit and enjoy, it could be a real asset to this community. The Brookchester development I was referring wasn’t the shopping center (not that it couldn’t stand some work) it was the apartments. They are in sorry shape. Redevelopment there would allow us to shift our COAH obligation to that location. I believe the Mayor and Council are already pursuing that possibility.
miriam pickett February 17, 2013 at 12:29 PM
John, you're not taking into account the kind of traffic that is already generated by Panchos, partcularly on the weekends in the evenings in the warm weather. The people who live nearby are innundated by cars, noise and garbage. While your idea sounds wonderful on paper, you have to remember quality of life issues for that overwhelmingly residential neighborhood.
newmilford1967 February 17, 2013 at 02:02 PM
John sounds to me like your talking like your running for council and looking for votes.The people around madison are all up in arms over this.Tell the board no apts just one single family home.
TommyIce February 17, 2013 at 02:54 PM
I'm glad you've talked about the old water works building. I personally don't want to see yet another athletic field in the UW property--the town doesn't properly care for the ones it already has. Also, every recreational space seems to be geared towards the children. Adults need recreation too (and not just sports). I would love to see that property as a park. It could have a pond and can be cultivated with walking paths, canoe launches, resting places, plantings (the perfect venue for our Beautification Committee). It can become a place of reflection and peace and quiet that so many in town crave. Shave a small portion off for parking to be shared with the high school.
NM Resident February 17, 2013 at 03:09 PM
It is nice to see the community vocal, and in basic alignment against this development - I do hope folks will remember this specific traffic impact discussion the next time the FOD/ DEO discussion comes up and the FOD/ BOE folks try to convince NM residents that the traffic impact on Madison will be "minimal"...
Lori Barton February 17, 2013 at 04:30 PM
It certainly appears that everyone who has commented here is against this development. But it doesn't do any good if the comments stay here instead of at the zoning board meetings. The board members need to hear that you don't want this. They need to hear what your concerns are. Your comments need to be on the record so that if the zoning board denies these variances, there is a record if it goes to court. New Milford residents need to stand together to stop the dense development that is threatening our town and our way of life. If you look at overdeveloped communities, you do not see lower tax rates. You see HIGHER tax rates. The existing residents will be paying higher taxes in addition to dealing with the traffic nightmare and the impact on overcrowded schools. You can not afford to stay home. You need to voice your concerns at the next hearing on this: Tuesday, 3/12 at 7:30 PM at Borough Hall. (Even MORE important, the next hearing concerning the United Water property is Thursday, 2/28 at 7:30 PM)
John DeSantis February 18, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Tommy, What you described does not have to be just limited to the United Water property. A river walk or green way could stretch the entire length of town along the river. It would take time, but could be a long term plan that could gradually be accomplished. Some folks have suggested moving the football field to the UW property and restoring the existing football field to a natural state and including it as part of the water works park. What is important is to have input from the entire community, to vet all the ideas that are put forth and as a community decide together what serves this town best. What is happening now is we are being inundated with proposals that from their very conception are designed only to put profits in the coffers of the developers to the detriment of the folks who live this town. Our Planning and Zoning boards as well as the Mayor and Council should be protecting the town’s folk from these profiteering developers. Any future development of New Milford should be in the best interest of the people who live here. There should be no exceptions.
John DeSantis February 18, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Dad of 3, I am not running for council or looking for votes. What I am trying to do is influence the discussions that our elected officials are having to topics that I consider important. I will give you some examples. I will try to keep it short; you have accused me of being long winded. For over three years I’ve been trying to get some relief for the old folks with low incomes that live in the apartments of this town. To date I have not been very successful. Some of these folks are truly in dire striates. With support and help from Austin a proposal was presented to the council. They politely dismissed it. At that same meeting they discussed at length how close to an individual’s property line someone could park their recreational vehicle. Now as important as it may be to determine the acceptable distance for these vehicles to be from the neighbors, I don’t see how it compares to some old folks not having enough to eat, or cutting prescribed pills in half, or taking their pills every other day or not at all, of being so damned scared that they might end up with no place to live. I will continue to try to influence the council to make this issue a part of their agenda. continued....
John DeSantis February 18, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Over a year ago it became apparent that a development was being proposed next to our high school. The more I learned of the development the more horrible it seemed. I joined with many others in this community and we made our united voice heard. We influenced the discussion that the candidates who were running for council were having. This group will continue to attempt to influence what path that New Milford travels to find its future. It is my belief that all people should participate in our democracy and all people should make their voices heard.
robin commerford February 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM
You got that right, John. Additionally, I wish more can be done for our seniors. Other towns do provide housing for their seniors. I applaud your efforts!


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