William Broughton, Township Manager for Teaneck, appeared before the Zoning Board Tuesday to amplify the concerns raised by the residents of Teaneck regarding the proposed .
The calls for the demolition of two houses to make room for a parking lot, the addition of a roof deck and expansion of the restaurant by approximately 600 square feet.
Broughton, a 22-year veteran of the Teaneck police department prior to becoming the Township manager three years ago, cited flooding and increased traffic as his main concerns and stated that because most of the residential houses in the vicinity of the restaurant are located in Teaneck, this is primarily a Teaneck problem.
Broughton said that the area surrounding the houses slated for demolition, and Sanzari's New Bridge Inn, have historically been prone to flooding.
Saying that both the street and the parking lot floods, Broughton added, "We're very concerned for our residents and their quality of life and how this building will impact flooding."
Additionally, he said that parking is problematic in that neighborhood with overflow from the restaurant clogging the streets.
"That street is already used as a shortcut," he said. "We can't have all the traffic entering and exiting Riverview--that's unacceptable."
Attorney for Sanzari's New Bridge Inn, Carmine Alampi, ensured Broughton that not all traffic will be exiting onto Riverview.
Broughton also addressed the suggestion of speed humps made by Sanzari's engineer, Robert Costa, at the
"Speed humps are not an alternative in Teaneck," he said. "We do not believe as a general philosophy that speed humps work. We've never had them."
A group of residents from Teaneck voiced their disapproval regarding the Sanzari expansion.
"There are only two houses in New Milford that are being affected by this," said Zeevyah Benoff. "The rest of the houses are located in Teaneck; it is Teaneck that will be most impacted by this."
Benoff had with her a petition signed by Teacneck residents against the proposed expansion. Over an objection from Alampi saying that it was inappropriate to produce the petition, Board Attorney Scott Sproviero allowed Benoff to read the statement from the petition stating that the people of Teaneck are against the expansion.
Of the five Teaneck residents who spoke, all shared the same concerns--flooding and traffic. Two of the residents were mothers with young children who expressed their fear that the increased traffic will jeopardize their children's safety as they play in the yard, as will the people who drive away from the restaurant who have consumed alcohol.
After listening to the impassioned comments of the Teaneck residents, Chairman of the Zoning Board, Karl Schaffenberger, suggested that the board obtain their own traffic consultant and said, "I feel for these people, I honestly do." Schaffenberger put forth whether the board should hold off on voting for the application and carry it over to the next regular meeting of the Zoning Board, Oct. 9. A majority on the board voted to postpone the vote.
Alampi agreed to extend the statutory time to hear this application.
After the meeting was adjourned, residents of Teaneck approached Sproviero objecting to carrying this matter over to the next meeting of the Zoning Board citing that Oct. 9 was the religious observance of the Jewish Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles.
Sproviero said that because Oct. 9 is not recognized as a federal holiday, he is not willing to postpone the hearing of this case.