Government

Summit Planning Board Unanimously Endorses Fair Share Housing Ordinance Amended to Address Resident Objections Regarding DeForest Ave. 'Overlay Zone'

The designation of an affordable housing 'overlay zone' in the DeForest Avenue area drew neighborhood concerns. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit

SUMMIT, NJ—The Summit Planning Board has endorsed an ordinance to comply with the City’s recent agreement on affordable housing, but that ordinance has been amended, apparently to assure that objections of residents of the area of 25 DeForest Avenue are overcome.

When the Planning Board decided to go along with the agreement on affordable housing between the City and the Fair Share Housing Center in January, one of the linchpins to that agreement with the creation of “overlay zones” -- eight areas of the City that could allow for affordable housing.

Joseph H. Burgis of Burgis Associates, the City’s planning contractor, said at the January meeting that creating an "overlay zone" -- placing it 'over' an existing zone -- would give a developer the option of doing something in a zone other that which currently was permitted in that zone.

Sign Up for E-News

It was indicated at that time that a developer would only be given this alternative option if development on a site was torn down.

However, the possible density of housing that could occur in one of the originally-proposed eight overlay zones -- zone surrounding 25 DeForest Avenue -- was opposed in January by residents of the area.

The residents argued that inclusion of the site, with possible high-density, multiple-family housing, would go against the City’s recently-adopted Master Plan, and a vote by the Planning Board late in 2016 against a proposed, multiple-family development on the 25 DeForest Avenue site.

That conceptual plan, by developer Mark Yeager, would have expanded the Gateway I Zone to the site of the Bouras Building at 25 DeForest Avenue and, in the process, made way for a combination four-level parking garage and townhouse complex, near the Bouras Building, at Beechwood Road and Euclid Avenue.

Following its endorsement of the Fair Share Housing Agreement, the Planning Board appointed a subcommittee to review its options.

Going along with recommendations of that subcommittee, the Board voted at its March meeting to reduce the number of proposed overlay zones from eight to seven. This would mean the combination of overlay zones on the current Salerno-Duane property on Broad Street and Park Avenue and a 4.2-acre tract on Park Avenue that currently is the site of a hardware store.

It also decided to incorporate the zoning changes that would go along with the Fair Share Housing Agreement into the City zoning ordinance.

However, and perhaps of most interest to the residents of the area surrounding 25 DeForest Avenue, the planning body endorsed adoption of design standards targeting the overlay zones that would take into account historical development and massing in an area.

Among other goals, it also would encourage multi-story development and the inclusion of a substantial amount of glass on retail space to be included in any development to give pedestrians a better view inside stores. 

Planning board chairman William Anderson, a member of the subcommittee, said it was his understanding that the subcommittee wanted to satisfy the concerns of the DeForest Avenue residents while taking into account the rest of the City.

City assistant engineer and subcommittee member Rick Matias added, however, that it was his understanding that the design standards were meant to encourage developers to follow certain guidelines without making the guidelines into requirements.

However, fellow subcommittee member Jennifer Balson-Alvarez said she understood the standards to be more obligatory, in order to give potential developers a better idea what to expect when they came before the planning board for approval of a project.

Anderson replied that he believed the provisions were aimed at trying to strike a balance between preserving neighborhoods and opening up the planning body to potential litigation.

Burgis said the Board did not want to make affordable housing development “cost generative,” rather to create the ability for cost-effective, affordable homes.

He added that the Board should retain the specificity of the guidelines, yet encourage affordable housing development without having the design parameters impede this development.

The proposed ordinance is expected to go before the Summit Common Council for introduction on April 4, with the Council returning it to the Planning Board with its suggestions and comments, and possible subsequent adoption by the Council at its first meeting in May.

Burgis said the ordinance would have to come back to the Planning Board after its Council introduction so that the planners could determine if it was consistent with the newly-revised Master Plan.

In response to a question from Planning Board counsel Clifford Gibbons, the City planner said the proposed overlay zone design standards were meant to augment -- rather than supersede -- existing City design standards.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

I Look Forward to Being Your Voice on Council

November 13, 2017

I would like to thank the voters of Summit who put their trust in me and elected me to the Ward 2 seat on Summit’s Common Council.  It is an honor to serve, and I will do my best to represent you, listen to your voices, and work collaboratively on your behalf. 

I would also like to thank all the residents who came out to vote, whether you voted for me or not.  Your active, ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f2f2d247362b1d408cba_9906f34029ddc0233120_6993cae24c243913b37e_unknown

Sat, November 18, 2:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

NJDTE Hosts Nutcracker Story Time at Summit Free ...

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_cbf556f0236267ded1ab_broadway_by_the_book_graphic

Sat, November 18, 8:00 PM

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre, Summit

Broadway by the Book

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar

Summit Police Blotter

November 14, 2017

10/25 - At 0952 hours a report was taken for a theft of jewelry from a Beechwood Road business. The victim reported that the incident occurred at approximately 1600 hours on 10/24 when a male party was in the business. The individual made a purchase of a pair of earrings after looking at several necklaces. Shortly after the male left the business, the employee noticed a Pyrite Gold Freshwater ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Indicates Dividend-Plays Harder to Find in Light of GE's Cut

November 17, 2017

Point View Wealth Management Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on CNBC discussing dividend stocks and GE's turnaround plans:

cnbc.com/video

For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive financial planning, ...

Atlantic Health System Announces Clinical Trial of Drug for Locally Advanced or Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage company and leader in the field of cancer metabolism-based therapeutics, announced today, the initiation of a Phase I clinical trial of CPI-613 in combination with chemotherapeutic agents, gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel, for patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. The study will be conducted in collaboration with Atlantic ...

A Deep Dive into Bonds

Most investors understand the basics of bond investing. However, when evaluating individual bonds for a personal portfolio, a more specific understanding of the unique bond terminology can help an investor make the best decision.  Here is what you should know about your bond portfolio.

What is bond insurance and will it protect me? Bond insurance is protection purchased by the bond ...

Ain't That Grand?

Bird is The Word: Celebrate a Truly American Holiday at Summit's Legendary Lodge

Once the calendar turns to fall, the ambience and feel of The Grand Summit Hotel hits its stride. From the moment you walk into the hotel lobby, you know you have entered a piece of history complete with wood beamed vaulted ceilings, and a large stone fireplace at its center.

When we think of the holidays, our memories take us to classic settings, and The Grand Summit Hotel captures the look ...

The Floor Plan

For Luxury and Durability, Make LVP Your MVP

Combine durable vinyl with the realistic look of wood in a plank format and you have a surface that offers the best of all worlds, one that is the perfect flooring solution for any room in your home.

Luxury Vinyl Plank -- or 'LVP' flooring is:

Water Resistant
Durable
Soft Underfoot
Easy Care
Budget Friendly

Unlike natural woods, LVP can be used in areas where ...

Who Loves to Clean? - We Do!

Cleaner Blending is all about making smarter, more transparent choices about every ingredient we add or eliminate.

It’s a tradition we’re carrying forward from our founder, who began Smoothie King by blending different fruits and vegetables with high-quality supplements that made him feel better.

Go on, take a look inside our blenders! We are making smarter ...

The Last Game

My daughter recently played the last soccer game of her career.  

 

Yippee!  No more practices!  No more tournaments!  No more long drives to obscure fields!  No more tiny black turf pellets all over the car!

 

No more selfish surges of pride watching her athletic achievements.  No more thrilling victories.

 

My daughter is a ...