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:

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

Dietze is The Real Deal for Council

July 19, 2017

I have had the privilege of calling David Dietze a friend for over 20 years. As a former Councilman At Large and Council President, I know David is the real deal -- a sophisticated financial planner and keen observer of the issues facing Summit.

He’s got the energy, the skill set, the experience, the character, and the fortitude to make a difference. He knows our ...

Women of NJ Deserve Representatives Who Will Fight For Them -- Every Day

July 22, 2017

Hello Neighbors,

As your Democratic candidate for State Assembly I wanted to call your attention to my opponent Republican incumbent Nancy Munoz’s change of heart regarding annual Planned Parenthood funding. Last week Munoz announced that she plans to vote “Yes” on S3302, a long-overdue measure to restore Planned Parenthood funding which was removed from the budget by ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_70e30908816deefd62ca_yoga

Mon, July 24, 7:30 AM

The Connection, Summit

Inspirational Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_dbbcce4aa5a75e9b7b86_437f5de614f7f8187bd7_rra_logo_large

Mon, July 24, 9:00 AM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Week 6: July 24 - 28 "Nature Sleuths"

Community Calendar Education Other

Carousel_image_4593f9ec14277a7319ad_jr_girls_gym

Mon, July 24, 1:00 PM

The Connection, Summit

Jr. Girls Gym Camp

Health & Wellness

Summit Police Blotter

June 26, 2017

06/02 - At 1525 hours a report was taken for shoplifting from a Springfield Avenue business. The employee reported that two males entered the business and removed two (2) Louis Vuitton Purses. The first suspect was described as a black male, mid-30s, approximately six feet tall, wearing a baseball hat and glasses. The second suspect was described as a black male, mid-30s, approximately six feet ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Says 'Made in America' Doesn't Trump Earnings Factor

July 18, 2017

Point View's Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on Fox Business on the implications of President Trump's Buy American policy for the economy and stocks:

video.foxbusiness.com

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

Video: Point View's Dietze Says 'Dovish' Fed Influencing Market's Financial Sector

Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on CNBC on discussing how the Federal Reserve could affect your portfolio:

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 ...

Mutual Fund Illusion – Beware of What Lies Behind the Curtain

Mutual funds offer investors a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds.  The advantage is you can diversify quickly and with a nominal investment; there’s no need to purchase the underlying securities.  

Many tout the benefits of index fund investing, including low costs, diversification and the inability of professional money managers to consistently beat the market.

Ain't That Grand?

Match Game: New Head of Sales Finds Uniqueness, Quality of Historic Hotel an Unbeatable Combination

Much like the current and potential customers he now courts and provides service to, new Grand Summit Hotel Senior Sales Manager Paul Rupert was looking for something special when he was exploring his next career move.

Based in Syracuse and representing a consortium of five properties on the east coast, Rupert was looking to take his skill set and mindset to a property that offered a ...

The Floor Plan

Coming Home to Margaritaville: Island, Travel Themes as Easy as a Cool Ocean Breeze

How many times have you returned from an annual family retreat to your 'happy place" -- the Shore, Island, Lake or Mountains -- and wished you could bring back the relaxing environmental vibe you experienced, one which seemed to ooze from the surroundings?

Well, it is tough to move a body of water, beach or mountain peak, but the themes, tones and materials that help make that ...

Are You Ready for College?

In the wake of recent on campus tragedies, there are some facts you should be armed with before dropping your child off at college. Even though he or she will always be your child, once turning 18, they are a legal adult with many privacies protected; disciplinary and medical records to name two.

While you spend months preparing and anticipating for everything your child might need for ...

Art Club at Franklin

Franklin Elementary School students are prepping up their paint brushes and getting ready to paint!  Students Create items from crazy impressive paintings to detailed drawings.  Art club allows them to express their creativity and interests into BEAUTIFUL, projects!  When they sign up for the club they can join the endless fun. They  get to stay in with Mrs Bruns or Mrs Bass ...

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Recently my dad showed me a plaque he had been awarded from his alma mater.  He graduated from a well-respected University in the Midwest after WWII.  It was where he met my mom.  

 

He is 90 now.

 

The honorific award was for his participation in the University’s “Hall of Fame” football team of 1948, on which, as I had been informed many ...