Plans Filed for 14-Unit Multiple Dwelling on Madison Avenue

Applicant seeking variances for use, height, building coverage and front yard to construct a 14-unit multiple dwelling on residential property.

Plans filed for property on 391 Madison Avenue 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 where a one-family dwelling is the permitted use. Additionally, variances for building height, building coverage and front yard are needed.

  • 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 three-story, 14-units proposed will consist of four one-bedroom apartments and 10 two-bedroom apartments.

There will be underground parking for 28 spaces.

The property, a portion of which contains wetlands that the plans reflect will be protected according to DEP guidelines, lies adjacent to the Institute for Educational Achievement School for children on the autistic spectrum.

The first hearing of this application by the Zoning Board was scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12.


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Lori Barton February 13, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Here we go again. I understand the right of a property owner to develop his property but I don't see where it is required that we bend over backwards to allow them to OVERdevelop their property. It is zoned residential A: single family homes. How many single family homes can fit on that site? Maybe 2? Allow them to build what it is already zoned for. The only time that variances should be granted is when there will be no negative impacts on the community. This type of multifamily residential development will cost more to us in increased taxes than the new taxes it will bring in. Madison Avenue can not absorb MORE traffic and our schools are already 25% over capacity. JUST SAY NO to development that is BAD for New Milford.
Paige February 13, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Will this increase our COAH obligation since it is new construction?
newmilford1967 February 13, 2013 at 02:16 PM
no its another traffic nightmare.......
Jon B February 13, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Sure, let's bring down the property values some more by facilitating the cramming in of people who can't afford / choose not to buy from amongst the available inventory of properties in our town, leaving them to decline in value, and thereby influencing the wider (town) market to do the same. This is NOT Bergenfield. We will never prosper as a town if we keep facilitating this behavior. Where are the new luxury condos? Where are the mid-to-premium level commercial tenants? Not in New Milford! As long as we continue to attract and facilitate lower and lower income residents, we will remain unattractive to mid-to-premium level commercial tenants, and continue a downward trend, attracting more Dollar Stores, further overdevelopment, tax hikes, and further declines in public service KPIs. We should be striving toward Ridgewood, not toward Ridgefield.
Darlene February 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM
More proposed building RIGHT next door to a school and just a stone's throw from the Middle School. No, thank you.
John February 13, 2013 at 04:38 PM
You cannot build luxury town homes there because nobody wants to look at the junk yard across the street. But if you want to build low income housing it will make a perfect attraction looking at a junk yard. We can even put signs on the cross Bronx expwy. to attract the people like they did for brookchester.
Jon B February 13, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I completely agree with you, John. What I would really like to see is someone systematically purchasing portions of Brookchester and the like, and up-scaling them in terms of luxury while also down-scaling them in terms of population density. As for the tract of land in question in this article, Lori and Darlene hit the nail pretty squarely on the head: the land should be built as zoned, and in a manner so as not to create a further burden on the town, its tax base, and ultimately its citizens.
Battle February 13, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Jon. B you hit the nail right on the head. I would like to personally go and find some investors who will purchase portions of brookchester and do what you mentioned. The reason why developers and investors are looking to build apartments and lower our neighborhood quality is because our town govt makes it easy for them to do this. Also we need to scrap that plan on madison avenue. How many more rentals is this town going to have. What a disgrace if this goes through. Wake up government.
Lori Barton February 13, 2013 at 06:00 PM
That's a great point Paige. I'm sure it will increase our COAH obligation.
Sophie's Mom February 13, 2013 at 06:45 PM
I purposely left Palisades Park for this reason - extreme over crowding! The main reason I chose New Milford is because my brother lives in town so I wanted to remain close to him. I also love that the majority of NM is single family homes - I am so against rental properties - it brings down home property value and brings in less than desirable residents! Not to mention all the over-crowding and traffic it will cause! STOP OVER DEVELOPMENT IN NEW MILFORD!!!
Battle February 13, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Can't anyone come in and build megamansions with 3500 sq feet of house and at least some value to the community beside the asthetics.
Sophie's Mom February 13, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Good idea!
Gail A. February 13, 2013 at 10:16 PM
To all those against over development in New Milford, please come to Zoning Board meetings and make your voice heard. There is strength in numbers!
tony g2010 February 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM
A house that you describe, in New Milford costs $15,000-$20,000 in property taxes per year. What would they get for their $1,200-$1,600 per month? Aging, but decent schools (not blue ribbon, but going in the right direction), no playable high school sports fields, adequate at best municipal services (I’m still looking at leaves from the fall), a mayor that cannot lead, a council that cannot get along with those from their own party; on a congested main road, down the street from a soon to be mega ShopRite and apartment complex. Who would buy it? There are far too many other properties available in towns that offer a lot more than New Milford is offering right now. Sad to say, but it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
miriam pickett February 14, 2013 at 02:19 PM
We are a small town. Our roads are not designed to handle the kind of traffic that this and other proposed projects will engender. We are a small town. Our schools are already overcrowded and the combination of the families with children in this proposed apartment development and the one on the UW property will push us past the tipping point in our schools. We are a small town. Do we really need another apartment dwelling? If you are really concerned about overdevelopment in New Milford, join SOD at the Zoning Board meetings. Educate yourselves about the issues involved and actively oppose these kinds of projects. We are a small town.
Jon B February 14, 2013 at 03:21 PM
@Gail and @Miriam - Some of us simply can't make it to the meetings, but why not act as our proxies and voice the opposition on our behalf, leveraging these posts as evidence of our opposition. We live in a technological age where it is sometimes not feasible to attend meetings in person, but I can tell you that I certainly have spent entire days participating in meetings without physically sitting in a room with any of the attendees; Surely you folks can help ensure our voices are heard!
Sophie's Mom February 14, 2013 at 04:20 PM
I agree. For example, I work in NYC so I never get off the bus before 7pm - but if all of our comments here where printed out and bought to the meetings by someone then they could see that there are many residents (I'm sure the majority) that are against over development in New Milford. Is there any other way, aside from attending meetings, that we can express to the Mayor and other town officials that we are against over development? Thank you.
miriam pickett February 14, 2013 at 05:20 PM
In about a month the Board of Adjustment will begin hearing comments from residents and interested parties as to whether they are for or against the development of the United Water property. At that time you will be able to speak to your objections (or support for that matter) and raise any issue you believe to be pertinent. If the people who oppose the UW development plan show up in large numbers and voice their opposition, it will indeed make a difference in the deliberations of the Board. They know that a core group of SOD shows up at all the meetings and asks questions. They need to see new faces. I appreciate that it isn't easy for everyone to get to the meetings. But when it comes time to make your voice heard, I urge you to get there. How much more effective it will be if there is SRO in the chamber? We have presented the M&C a petition. Now we need to be physically present to combat this development plan.
Gail A. February 14, 2013 at 11:05 PM
I agree that it is hard to attend these meetings after a long day. I also have to admit that after living in New Milford for almost 30 years (oh geez, I can't possibly be that old), I only started attending meetings about 6 months ago when I got wind of what was happening with the United Water property. Before that, I would mainly get my information from other sources, but this whole over development situation is too big for even me to ignore. My children are now in their twenties, but they loved growing up in New Milford and I want it to stay that way for future generations. My suggestion is to continue what you are doing by reading the New Milford Patch articles and to try to attend some of the more important meetings, like the BoA meeting that Miriam mentioned.
TommyIce February 15, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Lourdes you can send an email or a letter to the board as well. I think that would have more impact than posts on the Patch. As has been stated many times, Patch is anonymous.
Sophie's Mom February 15, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Tommy, thanks for the advise. I will do that. This is the first time I'm getting involved in town issues of any kind since I just purchased my first home in NM a few months ago. Have a great weekend!
Lori Barton February 17, 2013 at 04:45 PM
I think it would be effective if you also emailed a copy of your letter to the TwinBoro News as a letter to the editor. (slossar@northjersey.com with "letter to the editor" in the subject line. Include your name, address, and phone number for verification purposes.) This way even more people see it and those residents who do not have internet access are also included. It is important for new names to express that they don't want overdevelopment and why they don't want it. It is also really important for parents of school age children to get involved in this fight. I know it is hard to go to meetings but it is REALLY important. Right now, it is more important to attend zoning board meetings than to attend PTO meetings for the future well-being of the children in New Milford. Next hearing on United Water property is 2/28 at 7:30 PM at Borough Hall and next hearing on 391 Madison is Tuesday, 3/12 at 7:30 PM. For the sake of your children, grandchildren, yourself and the impact on your taxes, you really, really need to be there.
robin commerford February 17, 2013 at 09:29 PM
FYI, today's Record newspaper reported that from 2000-2010 that there is a 15% to 30% loss of children in New Milford . How is it that our schools are overcrowded?
Lori Barton February 17, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Hi Robin. The story in The Record reports a reduction in children under the age of 5. Those kids are not yet in school. From what I understand, the schools are about 25% over the capacity as recommended by the state. So if this decrease remains, then we will still be at capacity, just not over capacity. And as the real estate market continues to rebound and houses continue to sell, we may soon have another increase in the number of school age children, too.
Ann Piccirillo February 18, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Patch reported in June that the state's report card grading school performance shows that New Milford High School has an average classroom size of 22.4 percent versus the state average of 19.1 percent, strengthening SOD's argument that the proposed residential portion of the United Water property development will burden an already overburdened school system. Read the story here: http://patch.com/A-tJr8
robin commerford February 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Thanks for the info!


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