LITTLE FALLS, NJ - An application was approved by members of the Little Falls Planning Board that would allow the construction of a mixed use three-story building on Route 23.

The property, currently a 10,000 square foot empty lot, is owned by Pamela Sendowski, who sought to build on the property. The property is located on 178 Newark Pompton Turnpike.

According to John Veteri, Sendowski's attorney, a "D" variance approval was necessary for residential allowance in the B1 zone, which is for business districts. It would allow for five apartment units to be built above two retail business spaces. The property used to be the location of a large home that was also owned by Sendowski.

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According to Veteri, an application was first submitted for approval in July. Then in August, the board requested some modifications to the building prior to their approval. Sendowski's architect Daniel D'Agostino of Plan Architect, LLC, told board members that those modifications would be met at the planning board meeting on Oct. 5.

"We made some revisions based on the August hearing," said D'Agostino, during the meeting. "Furthering our last presentation, we've redesigned the building to have more of a residential aesthetic."

D'Agostino said that brick and clapboard siding will still be used, but that a Victorian looking slate roof will be the style of the structure.

"We've modified the structure roof line from the previous flat roof and with more of a 3-story looking structure to a mansard, which is an elegant and simplifying element of the structure," he added.

A mansard or mansard roof (also called a French roof or curb roof) is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterized by two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope, accented by dormer windows.

"One of the positive attributes of this mansard roof is the slate roof, with its ability to blend in with adjacent residential buildings. It also has a historic feel that's akin to the French baroque style of this roof line," he noted.

D'Agostino informed board members that as a result of the modification, the building will be made smaller. The former presentation had a second and third floor that was identical in size.  In so doing a loss of square footage will result in one of the residential units-bringing it down from six residential units down to five residential units. As a result, the parking demand went down as well.

"We previously looked at a parking demand of 20 units, we now have a parking demand of 18," he explained, adding that 12 onsite parking spaces will be included on the property.

David Fantina, site engineer, said that the building is 34-feet and one half inches in height, which is a half inch below the requirement. Fantina also noted some landscaping changes as well, including the planting of three street trees. Other feature changes includes curb cuts, walkway changes and fire hydrant relocation, and the installation of two rear doorways to be located in the back of the building. Relocation of the stop sign on the property was also discussed.

Veteri said that builders are going through all the details of construction drawing and mapping out a schedule.

"A mixed use building is what's in demand right now," added Veteri. "The Sendowski family are great people and builders, and they will build a structure the town will be very proud of."

Veteri added that the project will break ground sometime this April.