MONTVILLE, NJ – Chairman Gary Lewis called out applicant Millcreek apartment complex professionals at the Feb. 13 planning board meeting for submitting plans for the application the day before the first hearing. He was also not happy that the township’s planning board secretary had been excluded from correspondence in the application. Plans are required to be submitted 10 days before meetings.

Attorney Andy Norin of Faegre Drinker, speaking for applicant Millcreek, apologized but said the majority of plans had been submitted back in November and the plans submitted the day before had been “tweaked in a minor fashion.” Lewis said a rooftop amenity was not, in his opinion, minor, and the parties would have to respectfully disagree about the application for the apartment complex to replace the building in the back of the former Bayer complex on Changebridge Road in Pine Brook.

Part of the town’s affordable housing settlement, the vacant office building was called obsolete and deteriorating by Norin. It will be razed for the 295-unit apartment complex, which will be 4 1/2 stories, built on top of its parking garage which will house 268 parking spaces, Ben Crowder of Bohler Engineering said. Residents can also park outside in the existing 264 parking spaces. The site would be called “Modero Montville.”

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Architect Jack Raker of Minno and Wasko said that 47 of the units will be low to moderate income units. Of the total, 100 one-bedroom units, 116 two-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom “dens,” and four three-bedrooms. The low and moderate units will comprise 29 two-bedroom and 18 three-bedroom units. The complex will include a fitness area, a game room with pool table, and a club room with TVs. If residents have pets, there will even be a pet bathing facility for them to use. A grilling area is included in the plans, plus the rooftop facility with TVs and lounge area. When asked by board planner Joseph Burgis of Burgis Associates, Raker admitted that the wall on the rooftop lounge had not been vetted for compliance with township height codes.

Pushback from Millcreek Company that Norin informed the board of were improvements to the sewer pumping station and traffic improvements on-site that planning board professionals felt would be necessary for the complex. Norin called the comments “off track.”

Residents asked about their ability to see the complex from their viewpoints to the rear and side of the site, as well as their ability to hear the heating and air conditioning units.

The next hearing on the application, at which the traffic engineer will testify, will be March 12.

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