NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Ryder Way resident Ann Marie Zoufaly attended the Tuesday, Feb. 23 virtual council meeting to voice her neighborhood’s concern regarding the latest construction plan to expand the Lantern Hill complex. She explained that the group of neighbors had penned a letter with over 100 signatures explaining their views on the construction plan. The construction plan is currently being reviewed by the Zoning Board of Adjustments. Mayor Al Morgan explained that elected officials are not able to comment on pending applications to the Zoning Board; however, he welcomed Zoufaly to convey her concerns to the council.

Zoufaly noted that the planned additions of 600 residential units increases the density by five times compared to the existing density levels in New Providence. She also expressed her concern regarding the height of some of the planned buildings as they are expected to be 90-100 feet high and up to six stories. She noted that the shadows of those tall buildings reduce the sunlight by 45-60 minutes each day nearby. Furthermore, she noted that the planned landscaping is “insufficient” as a barrier.

Zoufaly also offered some suggestions on how to alleviate some of the negative impacts of the planned construction. The neighborhood proposes that the taller, five- and six-story buildings be constructed near Mountain Avenue and shorter buildings closer to the residential neighborhood. She also noted that a barrier of 25-foot-tall evergreen trees would be preferred as a buffer to the residential neighborhood. She also suggested that upper Southgate Road be converted into a cul-de-sac so that commercial vehicles do not drive through the residential neighborhood to and from the new development.

A Southgate Road resident noted that the area streets adjacent to the Lantern Hill complex be taken into account when the borough begins to analyze the townwide traffic safety measures.