Home & Garden

Fellowship Village Public Hearing Set to Continue Tuesday

Initial public comment regarding Fellowship Village Senior Living's proposed expansion began at the Feb. 2 Bernards Planning Board meeting. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The entrance to Fellowship Village off Allen Road in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - Additional public comment is expected to come up on Tuesday night at a continued hearing before the Bernards Planning Board for Fellowship Village Senior Living's application to expand its health care center and construct a new community center/theater on the property.

The public was able to address the board - but only on the limited topics of traffic and parking - at the Feb. 2 meeting, following about two dozen Planning Board hearings on the application. 

The Planning Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the main meeting room at Town Hall, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge.

Sign Up for E-News

March 22 is set as the next scheduled public hearing before the Planning Board on the proposed 55,000-square-foot addition to the health center, as well as the construction of a new 21,000-square community center. Last month, the board also set an additional date of May 3 for the continuation of hearing the application from Fellowship Village, a retirement community located off Allen Road.

The continuation on the public hearing for Fellowship Village Senior Living's application for preliminary and final approval for a community center and health care addition are already posted on the Planning Board agenda for Tuesday night.

Fellowship Village offers a number of independent and assisted living arrangements for residents of the complex, as well as common facilities.

Speakers differed last month on whether they thought that the proposed project would worsen parking and create extra traffic that might potentially block emergency vehicles - or whether the plan will actually address and improve onsite parking.

At the Feb. 2 meeting, some residents of the senior living establishment, and also speakers whose parents live at Fellowship Village, expressed concern that there already is a parking shortage even before an expansion. Some said a new community center could create periodic traffic problems. 

The idea for the community center, which could be used also as a theater, was first discussed almost three years ago.The proposed community center would have a flexible design that could allow the building to be used for multiple purposes by Fellowship Village residents, as well as a theater that could be open for public productions, Henri Barre, director of development for Trilogy Theater Co., said before last month's meeting.

Others told the board that a community center, with some theatrical performances, would be an asset to Fellowship Village, and that the plan would also improve the community's parking situation. The center also would be a place for Fellowship Village residents to gather for events within their community.

"We all know we have a parking problem," said Fellowship Village Elizabeth Ryman. "It's not going to get solved unless we get this project underway."

But at the same meeting, some members of the township Planning Board also offered a critique of the applicant's parking drawings that will send Fellowship Village experts back to the drawing board.

Planning Board member Paula Axt said she had visited the health center a number of times, and observed, "I don't think there's enough parking at the health center even without an expansion." 

Another speaker recalled a night that she had fallen and required transportation to a hospital. If a theater presentation is held, vehicles all would be leaving at about the same time of the night, she observed. "What if an ambulance comes while we have a mass of people leaving Fellowship Village?"

Other board members asked for additional 10-foot-wide parking spaces, that give room to elderly passengers to comfortably exit vehicles, and an elimination or reduction in number of 37 parking spots restricted to compact cars.

Any modifications to the parking plan in the application were to be due by this month's meeting.

Some speakers said they don't think parking near the proposed 240-seat community center would be sufficient if an outside performance were scheduled there, especially if along with the audience an orchestra or larger theater ensemble was competing for parking spaces. 

After the meeting last month, Gary Dean of Dolan and Dean, traffic engineer for the applicant, said that 118 parking spots were proposed for the community center area. He said the plans were for 66 spots on blacktop and 52 overflow spaces would be on a stabilized but grassy area.

Trilogy Theater, which produces the outdoors Plays in the Park series at Pleasant Valley Park each summer, is a supporter of the application. Many of the residents crowding last month's meeting also were wearing buttons showing their support of the project.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Basking Ridge

Somerset County Residents May Drive Through and Drop Off Unwanted Medicines March 17 in Basking Ridge

February 22, 2018


BERNARDS TWP., NJ – The first "Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off"  will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the Bernards Township Public Works Garage, 277 S. Maple Ave, Basking Ridge. This drop off will allow all Somerset County residents to safely dispose of unwanted or outdated prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

The Rx Mission ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 16, 2018

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and staring at some pretty ridiculous tuition fees.

Early ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art , Bedminster,

Dan Bischoff: Critic As Artist

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, February 23, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

Somerset County Residents Encouraged to Attend a Presentation on the 'Dangers of Fentanyl'

February 22, 2018

 Somerset County residents, families, parents and educators are encouraged to attend an informative presentation on the Dangers of Fentanyl.

The Bridgewater High School Parent-Teacher Organization is sponsoring this presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5, in the BRHS Auditorium, 600 Garretson Road, Bridgewater.

Christopher Jakim, Assistant Special Agent in Charge-DrugEnforcement ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c