Hekemian Addresses Revisions to Site Plan; Board Members Sworn In

Attorneys for the S. Hekemian Group answer why the scope of the residential component was reduced; re-appointed and newly appointed Board members sworn in.

During Tuesday's Zoning Board meeting, the applicant's attorney, Antimo "Andy" DelVecchio, informed the Board that the removal of 197 housing units from the site plan of the United Water property was done to satisfy their concerns regarding the high density of the residential portion of the project.

The residential component of the original site plan included 221 multi-family units with a four-story parking garage that included 428 parking spaces. The revised plans call for 24 fair market housing units and 54 perimeter parking spaces.

According to DelVecchio, and the two Hekemian experts that testified at Tuesday's meeting--architect Christian Lessard and engineer Michael Dipple-- these 24 units will satisfy New Milford's COAH obligation.

Board member Joseph Binetti noted that the area where the 197 units were removed is the same location where the original field was proposed by Hekemian during their April 2011 presentation at New Milford High School.

DelVecchio also said that with the changes in the residential component comes the removal of two variances:

  • Maximum building coverage: 18 percent permitted/13.75 percent proposed.
  • Maximum total impervious coverage: 58 percent permitted/56.21 percent proposed.

Variances being sought are:

  • Land use variance (change from residential to mixed-use).
  • Maximum building height: 2.5 stories or 30 ft. permitted/3 stories or 37.17 ft. proposed. 
  • Maximum number of families: 1 family single residence permitted/24 multi-unit residences proposed.

Parking variances being sought:

  • Parking for supermarket, bank and residential units: 547 spaces required/438 proposed. Variance needed for 109 spaces.

During the meeting, Karl Schaffenberger and Eileen DeBari were reappointed and sworn in by Board Attorney, Scott Sproviero. Schaffenberger was re-elected as Chairman. Newly appointed alternate member, Gerard Ix, was sworn in and is replacing Frank Appice. Ix had previously served on the Zoning Board.


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Lori Barton January 10, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Sorry, Jimmy, but nothing about this developer is reasonable. I have sat through hours and hours of painful testimony. This developer cares only about its bottom line. The health, safety, and well-being of New Milford is never a part of the testimony. It's all about what's good for Hekemian and Inserra. I, for one, will continue to fight this to the bitter end. I still think New Milford can get this land back. But if I lose, at least I know I gave it everything I had and I will be able to live with myself knowing I fought for the quality of life that I wanted when I moved here 34 years ago.
Michelle January 11, 2013 at 05:27 AM
Last night was disturbing. I’m uncomfortable with the hearings proceeding without the new ZB member listening to the tapes. He is hearing this testimony out of order and out of context. I don’t understand why Frank was removed almost a year into the hearings; it seems disruptive and inconsiderate of the process. He should be able to follow this application to its end to ensure the continuity and soundness of the proceedings, regardless of the politics involved. (No offense whatsoever to the new member; I’m speaking to priority here only.) I continue to dislike DelVecchio’s snotty comments, saying “Since we like to talk about minimums…” Hello. Their actions will significantly affect our lives, and frankly their whole presentation has barked bare minimum -- no amenities, no fencing around dangerous standing water, fire trucks unable to turn into any entrance other than the one that will flood, narrow minimum-design-standard lanes that invite collision, traffic counts on the least busiest days when the fewest people shop, the infamous 30-year old map and outright refusal to consider data that proves it wrong -- and DelVecchio acts as if we’re somehow looking a gift horse in the mouth. Then he has the audacity to say that they had to endure the pleasantries of sending a representative to this Board (speaking of Pagano), as if we haven’t had to endure the callous, cocky, and self-serving pleasantries of DelVecchio and his crew of paid-for miscreants.
Michelle January 11, 2013 at 05:29 AM
DelVecchio blamed Liebman for the delay, calling it a curve ball, when the fact is the curve ball came from Hekemian once again up and changing his plans. Liebman was right to question it. The plans were incomplete and didn’t even state whether the 24 units were affordable or market-rate; they changed so drastically as to make almost none of the testimony heard so far accurate. But the absolute most unsettling revelation was Lessard saying that ShopRite wasn’t going to necessarily be the user since that’s the way these things go. DelVecchio then said that Lessard wasn’t aware of what he was talking about, that ShopRite is committed, despite the fact that Lessard is an experienced architect who testified that he’s worked on hundreds of projects and most likely knows how these things go. Hekemian is a slippery fish. Lessard sat next to me after testifying and cavalierly said to me, we should just go with it, otherwise we’re going to get something worse. Was that a threat? Unfortunately, it’s a familiar one. I sent him home thinking. On an up-note, Dipple is getting increasingly comfortable with admitting that water will “flow out through a pipe into the Hackensack River as originally designed.”


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