Author Topic: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue  (Read 151417 times)

Offline Editor

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #225 on: September 23, 2011, 09:43:28 AM »
Debate on plan for new Hackensack hospital continues
Last updated: Friday September 23, 2011, 1:28 AM
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

The most recent chapter of a more than two-year debate over the proposed construction of a 19-story, long-term acute care hospital at the corner of Summit and Prospect Avenues in Hackensack unfolded at the Sept. 15 Zoning Board meeting.

More than 90 residents attended the meeting to listen to continued testimony about the project, one of more than 20 special meetings held regarding the planned medical facility since 2009.

If approved, the proposed hospital would be built at 329 Prospect Ave.

According to deed records, Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC purchased the property, presently occupied by a residential home, in 2007 for $1.33 million. Company president Richard Pineles also owns Prospect Heights Care Center, a 180-bed nursing home facility close to the site, as well as Regent Care Center, a nursing home on Polifly Road.

The proposed hospital would provide a range of medical services if constructed. The 120-bed facility would have 10 floors dedicated to patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center equipped for as many as 180 people. The facility would also include several driveways and five levels of underground parking.

City officials have stated that the project will need site plan approval, as well as more than a dozen variances in order to go forward. These include variances for use, parking and lot size. Pineles is also seeking approval to knock down two-story homes on four lots to build the hospital. The site is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.

Pineles first proposed constructing a 24-story hospital with 140 beds and an adult day-care center equipped to handle 250 people. However, he revised the facility's plans in late 2009.

Pineles has previously declined comment about the project, stating that it was company policy not to comment on a project that is pending and that is being proposed to the public.

Attorney Theodore Moskowitz, a Hackensack resident who is representing the Prospect Avenue Coalition, a neighborhood group opposed to the project, extensively questioned Eric Keller, a traffic engineering consultant working for Pineles, about the accuracy of notes taken by Keller. These notes included those related to testimony Keller made during hearings on the project in late 2009. Joseph Basralian, an attorney representing Pineles' application, repeatedly objected to Moskowitz's line of questioning, wondering about its relevance.

During the public's questioning of Keller, Joan Sinowitz, a Hackensack resident and nurse who used to work at Prospect Heights Care Center, questioned the impact of new traffic in the neighborhood if the hospital is built.

"Prospect Heights used to have a tremendous problem with parking," Sinowitz said.

"Based on our analyses, we still have more than enough parking," Keller replied.

Dr. Mark Johnson, a Summit Ave. resident who is a longtime opponent of the project, noted that the prolonged length of the hearing process about the proposed hospital is a necessary evil.

"The back and forth with the engineers and the traffic studies this is the way this process works," said Johnson. "But in order for us to eventually defeat this, it's going to have to go through the whole course, and everyone is going to have to have their say."

Still, for Murray Cuperman, another opponent of the project who continues to come to the generally well-attended meetings about the prospective project, there is an air of frustration, but determination, about the process.

"If you don't show up, you're not making a statement," said Cuperman, a Prospect Avenue resident. "They have to know that there are a lot of people who just don't want this building and whose lives are going to be disrupted by it. To me, it's a sin that there aren't five times as many people here. But the Nuremberg Trials didn't take this long."

The next special Zoning Board meeting about the proposed hospital is scheduled for Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #226 on: October 04, 2011, 05:04:56 AM »
24862 Previously our sources informed us that the last special meeting to hear testimony from the expert witnesses was to have been on July 26, 2011 and a decision would be made by the Hackensack Zoning Board with regard to the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital application to build or not to build. No decision was made on July 26th and a special meeting was scheduled for September 15th. At the end of the September 15th special meeting we asked the Zoning Board on which date the public would be invited to comment (no date set) and how many more meetings would be scheduled (at least 2).

SAVE THE DATE - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

During the special meeting on September 15th the applicants traffic expert was again questioned by opposing counsel about whether or not any independent research was conducted or if the applicants traffic expert simply copied the report of another traffic expert or if any notes were taken during meetings with the applicant. This traffic testimony has been cross examined to the point where I wonder how useful it will be to anyone reading the transcripts.

For those of you who could not stay all the way thru to the end of the September 15th special meeting, you missed the reading of excellent report prepared by Mr. Polyniak (expert witness hired by the City of Hackensack). A copy of the September 15th transcript is attached.

Here is an excerpt from the transcript:

MR. POLYNIAK: For a use variance application such as this, one must look at both the positive criteria, or special reasons, and the negative criteria. There are three separate criteria to be applied as it relates to the positive criteria. One is that the use is a proposed inherently beneficial use, which the proposed Bergen LTACH facility presumptively satisfies for grant of the use variance. Although this proposed use does satisfy this criteria as an inherently beneficial use, there are still a series of questions that exist with the proposed use.

The first is related to first question is, is the use that's inherently beneficial, if a certificate of need has not been acquired for the total bed count requested for the LTACH component of this building, is the use considered inherently beneficial, still.

And another question is, with respect to it, should this proposal be considered three separate uses, which is in the LTACH, the adult daycare, and the dialysis, instead of one use, which the Applicant's looking at this application to be, when each use does function independently.

When considering the negative criteria, the granting of the use variance can only occur without substantial detriment to the public good and that will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Since the use has been established as inherently beneficial, the satisfaction of the negative criteria does not depend on the enhanced quality of proof, it instead depends on the balance of the negative and positive criteria.

And for this inherently beneficial use, the Board needs to look at the four- step test per the Sica case. And it must identify the public interest at stake. It must identify the detrimental effects that would ensue from the granting of the variance.

And the Board may reduce the detrimental effects by imposing reasonable conditions. And then the Board should weigh the positive and negative criteria and determine whether on the balance, the granting of the variance would cause substantial detriment to the public good.

When looking at the overall neighborhood, Summit Avenue contains mostly one-family residences having the requisite lot area and lot size.

Prospect Avenue is predominantly high rise residential with, again, the requisite living area and lot size. When considering the project as a whole, it's my opinion that the following detrimental effects are created through the implementation of the proposed LTACH use.

The first relates to the increase in traffic when you compare it to the permitted uses. And that was discussed and disclosed within Mr. Miskovich's report. Portions of the site are zoned, on the Prospect Avenue side, as highdensity multi-family. The Summit Avenue portion of the site is zoned R-75, which is single-family with the permission of 30 percent being a building or professional use.

Traffic testimony has been provided, that there will be a significant increase in traffic as it relates to the roadway system, when comparing it to the permitted uses for the subject property.

There's an increase -- the second item is there's an increase in lengthening of the peak of the traffic on both Summit Avenue and Prospect Avenue. The testimony has been provided, by the Applicant's experts, that employee shifts will be timed to not coincide with the roadway system's peak hours. Although this is an attempt to create traffic -- to reduce the traffic issues onsite during the peak hour, the employee traffic patterns will actually negatively impact the site and the surrounding area during off-peak hours.
It can be said, when you look at overall traffic impacts, that they'll be lengthened, thereby increasing the lengths of time for the overall traffic impacts, and this creates quality-oflife issues for the entire neighborhood, specifically between 11 and 7 p. m., 11 p.m. and 7 p.m., at the shift -change hours.

There's an overall change in character of the neighborhood along Summit Avenue as a whole, along the frontage. When you look at this project, there's a creation of the passive park. Nowhere on Summit Avenue does a passive park exist.

When you look at the drop area and loop area along the frontage of Summit Avenue, nowhere along Summit Avenue is there a drop-off loop that exists for a building of this scale. When you look at the driveway/garage access to Summit Avenue along the frontage, nowhere along Summit Avenue does a below-grade garage exist which contains 413 parking spaces.

There's an overall change in character to the neighborhood with respect to the Prospect Street frontage.

Again, there's a creation of traffic and also impediments with respect to garage traffic and traffic with respect to the loading dock located on Prospect Street.

Again, the loading dock will create a situation, as the expert's testimony has stated, where traffic will be blocked on a highly-utilized roadway for a series of minutes.

In addition, with respect to the plans that were submitted for the traffic, as part of the site plan package, the W B-40 vehicle, which accesses this loading dock, is actually going to block traffic in the opposite lane traveling southbound and both northbound which is going to create sufficient and substantial traffic concerns with respect to vehicles traveling along Prospect.

There are also other series of safety issues that are created through the implementation of the proposed design. Again, the loading, the backing up of vehicles in and out of the loading area. The driveway from the garage on Summit's frontage has no notification that the access to the garage is not permitted by larger vehicles, other than a hanging block which extends deep into the site and deep into the garage area.

Should a larger vehicle turn into this garage area, a vehicle would need to back out onto Summit Avenue or make a multipoint turn within that exit driveway to exit the site, as stated by the Applicant's professionals. This too is a significant safety issue. The safety of the vehicle which cannot access from the Summit Avenue driveway is blocking it and other vehicles follow into the Summit Avenue driveway, there's going to be a significant safety and stacking issue that would occur at this driveway location.

It should be noted that the clearance, as designed, would create access issues for common SUV vehicles such as vans, such as Econoline vans, which exceed the height of 6 -foot 6- inches which is the height of the bollard system that's located along the frontage.

The Summit Avenue below-grade access drive and loop drive roadway, that are directly in front of the Summit Avenue frontage, conflict with one another entirely. If two vehicles are present at that location, sight distance issues will exist as you'll have two vehicles, located at the same location, attempting to make right-hand turns at that same location.

In addition, there's going to be conflicts with respect to those two vehicles, as with respect to the knowledge of who turns first and what safety issues would be created with respect to that knowledge of not understanding what movement and who to be making the movement at that point in time.

When you look at the garage with respect to the Prospect Avenue garage and access related to it, and the sloping o f the driveway, there are a series of concerns.

Although this isn't a Bergen County roadway, when you look at Summit Avenue as a whole, the application of design standards require a 50foot section with two percent slope or less to provide adequate acceleration for vehicles that would be exiting that driveway and entering into the Summit Avenue roadway system. In addition, the driveways don't illustrate any vertical curves which would require reduction in slope so that vehicles wouldn't bottom out neither the top of either the garage and/or the lower area of the garage.

Added onto that, if one reviews the Urban Land Institute, the Dimensions of Parking, 4th Edition, speed ramps and non-parking ramps, which are the entrance drives off of Summit and also the entrance drive off of Prospect, that manual basically states that those ramps should be limited to 12 and-a-half percent slope at their max.

The Applicant's provided slopes which are 16 percent slope in those areas and that steep condition should be eliminated a s basically this manual states that 12 and-a-half percent slopes should be utilized.

When you look at the site as a whole, there are significant issues related to the overall development and its effects with respect to the surrounding neighborhood and to the above. There's a shadowing effect, with respect to the building, as it relates to both Summit and Prospect. It could affect adequate light and air and open space o f the buildings in the adjoining lots and the adjoining properties. There are issues with respect to lot area, lot width, height ratio with respect to front yard, rear yard, lot coverage, height ratio with respect to side yard and buffer zones, which all impinge on the adjoining properties.

When you look, again, at items that I discussed with respect to safety, what it does illustrate, and also these requested bulk variances, that the development scope and scale is just too large for the surrounding neighborhood, based upon these bulk variances, and that the site is too small to support this development as designed and that substantial change would be needed to eliminate these site safety conditions.

There's been significant testimony, by both Mr. Keller and Mr. Miskovich, as it relates to the overall parking. And it appears, with respect to some of the testimony and some of the answering with respect to questions that the public and some Board members have had, that there's discrepancies as it relates to the potential accuracy of the surveying information provided. The Applicant's traffic engineer assumed that the long-term care, acute care, dialysis and adult daycare facility, were comparable with the Prospect Heights facility. Questions were asked of the project owner to gather info, as it related to the report and the analysis and the calculations, and when you look at the two facilities, if this comparison is not valid, the entire analysis and all the assumptions that are provided, related to parking, fails.

The Applicant did not use similar ITE rates, which I'll discuss further, and they didn't use the Hackensack Zoning Ordinance, with respect to parking, to perform their analysis. A lot, again, of the testimony related to the Prospect Heights facility and assumptions that were utilized as their basis of design.

In previous testimony by the project owner, there was discussions that he had wished that the parking garage for the entire existing facility at Prospect Heights was larger, and then through further testimony, with respect to an adjoining parking lot, the statement was further that the Applicant was renting approximately 30 parking spaces from a synagogue in the vicinity of the building.

This, to me, illustrates that some of the assumptions that may have been made with respect to this facility, may not be applicable for this project as a whole.

MR. BASRALIAN: If this is a written report that he has, instead of reading it, why don't I get the report instead of reading it in? It seems that it's a prepared text, that's what he is utilizing.
If there's been a report that he was going to submit to this Board --
CHAIRMAN GUERRA: I'd like t o hear it.
MR. BASRALIAN: I'm not objecting to hearing it, because I do want to hear it, but if there's a written report, shouldn't I be entitled to it?
MR. MALAGIERE: He's put his notes in place, that he's reading from. There's no written report.
Your objection is on the record. The record is clear that you characterize it as reading from his prepared statement.
MR. BASRALIAN: That's what he's reading from. You can ask him.
CHAIRMAN GUERRA: He's going to continue to read. Mr. Basralian, sit down.
Thank you.

MR. BASRALIAN: I'd like a copy of it as part of the entirety.
MR. MALAGIERE: You're going t o get a transcript.
MR. BASRALIAN: But I'll make my objection on the record after he's done.
MR. MALAGIERE: You did.
CHAIRMAN GUERRA: Go ahead.

MR. POLYNIAK: Based upon the statement and the need of additional off-site parking, the question that needs to be asked is, how could the same analysis be utilized for the Bergen LTACH facility when a facility that has an insufficient amount of parking is being utilized for the design and analysis and it's been proven to be incorrect with the insufficiency of parking.

It's my opinion that the assumption inputted to determine the number of required parking spaces, based on review of this facility, are flawed.

When reviewing the Zone Plan and Master Plan, there's no reference to the medical use on the subject property. In particular, the site is not located within the healthcare services zone, which is bound by Prospect Avenue, Essex Street, Atlantic Street, Railroad Avenue, which would specifically permit this use.
The development as a whole, when you look at it, would substantially impair the Zone Plan and Zoning Ordinance. And a series of applicable goals and objectives, with respect to the Master Plan, are going to be violated. In addition, a series of general plethoras of the MLUL will also be violated as part of this project.

As a whole, the third prong of the criteria relates to reasonable conditions with respect to the proposed development. I testified to a series o f safety issues with respect to development. I'd like to discuss them a little bit further and I think that all of the safety issues that I've discussed should be considered to be eliminated a s part of this project.

Again, to go into them further, no vehicle should be permitted to back in or back out of the subject loading area. A new loading area, eliminating this condition, should be required as part of this development. We have heard testimony that other facilities in the area make the same backing out movement onto Prospect Avenue and that the number of vehicles is insignificant. This is really the only justification that we have heard throughout this proceeding, to permit this movement. This reasoning, in my opinion, is unacceptable when considering the safety aspects of the development.

To add on, with respect to some of the traffic engineer's testimony tonight, the Applicant's
traffic engineer could not think of a design, in his 30-year career, where a driveway of this type has been proposed or designed as part of any proposal that he' s looked at, reviewed and/or designed.

When looking a t the conflicts of the driveways on Summit Avenue, again, an entirely different access arrangement should be proposed.

Again, we have a condition where we have confusing traffic movement, sight visibility issues with respect to those two driveways, and a series of conflicts that create safety conditions at the driveway locations.
The driveways in those locations should be designed and/ or eliminated to limit those issues.

Again, as I testified, there are applicable manuals with respect to driveway sloping.
They haven't been utilized a s part of this application. We would recommend that those driveways be redesigned accordingly with respect t o the sloping of a 12 and- a- half percent sloped driveway.

Again, that could affect the headroom with respect to the driveway and could require substantial design changes with respect to the sloping of the parking garage.

We would also want to see the creation of that acceleration or flat spot along the top of the driveway when attempting to enter and exit the traffic flow on Prospect Avenue. Being that you will have single-unit or smaller truck vehicles accessing the driveway, having a truck exit the driveway underneath, on a slope over the 12 and-ahalf percent, would create significant issues for a vehicle or truck exiting the driveway and entering the traffic flow pattern on Prospect Avenue.

Again, vertical curves should also be required on these driveways to eliminate any bottoming out of roadways -- of vehicles on these roadway systems and driveways.

Again, no access drives restricting traffic should be provided without sufficient notification. And that relates to the Summit Avenue access drive where we have high bars that would create situations where we could have stacking or queuing and no turnaround areas available for vehicles exiting and entering back onto Summit Avenue should they not be able to enter the driveway in this location. If this safe turnaround area isn't provided, again, we could have vehicles backing out onto Summit Avenue, which entirely is an unsafe condition.

In the end, as I mentioned prior, all these unsafe traffic movements must be accommodated through a site redesign and all these issues actually are created as part, again, of an overdevelopment of the site.
With respect to the quality-oflife issues concerning the development, it's my opinion that the building height and size and scope should be reduced to address the light and air issues with respect to open space and the violations of the height ratio and setback violations.

The parking spaces, in my opinion, should be increased to address offsite impacts with respect to parking onsite.

Again, the testimony has been provided that the leasing of parking spaces, of approximately 30, is occurring at the synagogue offsite.

Assumptions, with respect to surveys, when designing and analyzing the parking needs of the Prospect Heights facility, created this deficiency with respect to that facility. And the same assumptions, with respect to the design and development, have also been applied to the Bergen LTACH facility. And when you look at it with respect to the need to at least these parking spaces, it illustrates erroneous assumptions and surveys which potentially could create additional offsite parking issues with respect to the LTACH facility. This additional parking, that potentially could be needed for the Bergen LTACH, would further tax the neighborhood with respect to offsite parking and the potential, again, need for leasing of parking spaces for this facility at other locations. When looking at the parking demands of this facility, the Applicant should either look at and utilize the parking analysis with respect to the Hackensack Zoning Ordinance and/or the ITE rates which are very similar to those uses which are being applied for as part of this application.

When you look at the hospital use within the Bergen LTACH facility, and you look at the Hackensack Zoning Ordinance, 3.9 spaces are required per bed. With 120 beds being proposed, that's 468 parking spaces. When you look at the ITE rates for a hospital, at the 85th percentile, the ITE rates per parking generation require 4.92 parking spaces per bed. So, in actuality, when you look at the
Hackensack Zoning Ordinance compared to the ITE rates for hospital use, they're more restrictive and actually Hackensack is a little more liberal with respect to the parking spaces of a hospital onsite, which, again, is a very similar use when you look at the LTACH facility.

When you look at the Hackensack Zoning Ordinance with respect to the dialysis, there's nothing that compares to it, so what we have looked at is we have looked at it as an office use and in comparing it w e have also looked at ITE rates with respect to a medical /dental office use for the dialysis center.

In looking at that, a parking ratio of four spaces per 1,000 gross floor area square footage would create a need, for the square footage within the building, of 100 parking spaces.
When you look at ITE rates, again that medical/dental use, 4.27 parking spaces is required for the 85th percentile.

When you look at the medical daycare facility that's proposed or adult daycare facility that's proposed on the subject property, again there's no use that specifically is characterized within the Hackensack Zoning Ordinance.

What has been applied and what we feel is a similar use, with respect to the medical adult daycare facility, relates to a community center. And when applying that use, you look at the need for an additional 40 parking spaces. In comparing the two, looking at it, the total parking spaces that would be calculated would be 800 - - I mean 608 parking spaces being required when only 413 parking spaces are provided.

Using this analysis, potentially would eliminate any possibility for an on-street parking deficiency and onsite parking deficiency and the need for satisfying that deficiency somewhere else within the City.

It's our opinion that one of the conditions is that the Applicant should be required to reduce the overall size of the facility, to address the parking constraints as presented. Again, the site provides a new, below-grade garage with access points on Summit Avenue, with none existing along Summit Avenue. Garage access points shall be eliminated as they're a quality-of-life issue and again the safety conditions. The loop driveway should be eliminated and, again, the significant traffic impacts that occur, with respect to the subject property, should be reduced through the size and scale of the building.

To address these reasonable conditions, it's my opinion that the application presented would have to be dramatically revised and that there's the possibility that the facility could not be accommodated on the subject property without significant program revisions and without substantial reduction in the program entirely.

And it should be noted that all the safety and quality-of-life issues that are created are entirely due to the scope, scale, and intensity of the development. And that it's my opinion entirely, that the site is too small to accommodate all of these safety/ quality-of-life issues and parking issues for this development.

(Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Excellent report.

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #227 on: October 20, 2011, 08:25:24 AM »
25541 The next Special Meeting will focus on the testimony of the City of Hackensack's expert, Mr. Polyniak, which is excerpted in the prior post. The applicant's counsel will cross examine Mr. Polyniak's testimony. If there is time the public may be invited by the Zoning Board to question Mr. Polyniak. Even if residents are satisfied with Mr. Polyniak's testimony they should ask questions which may validate the testimony or support it.

REMINDER - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #228 on: October 21, 2011, 12:20:19 AM »
The next meeting (looks like the one before the last) is coming up on Wednesday, October 26th. Thank you to everyone who shows up at each and every meeting. Together we are making a statement and our collective presence has an impact even though this may not be obvious. So just 2 more meetings to attend and we must keep up our presence. Hope we can all get more people to attend. Every voice counts. It is very important that when we have the opportunity to speak, that every one of us, shy or bold, voices our opposition. If you do not have a specific question, all you need to say is "I Object to this application and ask the Zoning Board to deny it". We cannot say this enough.   

For those inclined to ask speak, think about the questions you  might ask Mr. Polyniak which could concern our quality of life issues in relationship  to his testimony (see his testimony in the post above). Such questions/ testimony will reinforce Mr. Polyniak's findings enough to make them valid and also help to form an integrated foundation when this matter is appealed. Remember every word spoken on the record will strengthen our position and every unspoken word favors the builder/Mr. Pineles. If the Zoning Board grants the application let it not be because we didn't say enough.


Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #229 on: October 24, 2011, 07:58:50 AM »
25736 We have a copy of a letter which requests that Mr. Richard Pineles be made available for renewed cross examination. This request stemming from Mr. Pineles' initial responses to a number of questions asked during previous Special Meetings which were deferred to his experts and were subsequently not answered by the expert.

During earlier Special Meetings several residents have asked the Zoning Board when they will receive responses to questions they had asked and were still unanswered.

Email: ProspectAvenueCoalition@yahoo.com if you would like to receive a copy of the letter.

REMINDER - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 26, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #230 on: October 26, 2011, 08:36:44 PM »
25835 We just arrived at the Special Meeting. Mr. Basralian has been and continues to cross examine Mr.Polyniak. The Zoning Board has just announced that Thursday December 8th at 7pm is to be the LAST meeting to hear this application.

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #231 on: October 27, 2011, 08:18:10 AM »
25861 Last month we asked the Zoning Board when the residents would be allowed to cross examine the expert witnesses and/or comment on the Bergen Passaic Long Term Cute Care Hospital application. We tried to lock down a date and time but we were told only that there would be a public comment section.

Last night Mr. Ditkas was kind enough to ask the Board on our behalf to specify the agenda for the last Special Meeting. We learned that Mr. Basralian will question one of his expert witnesses for approximately 20 minutes and then the floor will be opened for public comments. Mr. Pineles will not be made available for more questioning nor to answer questions which he originally did not answer. The Zoning Board will permit the residents to also question all of the witnesses.

Finally, we will hear the Zoning Board's decision on the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital application.

ProspectAvenueCoalition thanks you for your long and continued support. Please come on December 8th and get your comment on the record.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY DECEMBER 8, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 10:43:18 AM by swapcatsr »

Offline Whitey

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #232 on: October 27, 2011, 11:19:39 AM »
I thought this would be applicable to the LTACH construction.  From The Record

Valley's expansion will face number of Ridgewood regulations
Wednesday, October 26, 2011   
BY BARBARA WILLIAMS
STAFF WRITER
The Record

RIDGEWOOD About 22,000 truckloads of soil and bedrock would have to be hauled away from The Valley Hospital site if its plan to expand is approved, according to an expert hired by the village.
 
To deal with that many construction vehicles, Ridgewood would need to restrict the hours dump trucks can haul excavated soil out of the village and work with the hospital on the traffic routes that will be used, said Christopher Rutishauser, the village engineer.
 
The 100 daily dump truck trips necessary to remove all the soil and bedrock would have to work around school drop-off and pick-up times, he said.
 
There will probably be between 12 and 15 cubic yards per truck thats a good amount, Rutishauser said. Theyll have to apply for a soil permit from the village and that permit has a lot of conditions.
 
Rutishausers comments followed a presentation by a geologist Monday night to the village council on the hospitals proposal to grow to 1.17 million square feet.
Laurence Keller, the geologist, said the excavation would require 22,000 dump trucks -- a dozen an hour, eight hours a day. He also noted that a half-million gallons of water will have to be pumped from the site daily during construction, affecting the groundwater within a 1,000 to 1,500-foot radius of the hospital. Keller noted that the excavation could cause home foundations near the site to crack.
 
The council is considering whether to approve, deny or alter a vote by the Planning Board to allow the $750 million project.
 
On Tuesday, hospital spokeswoman Megan Fraser said the points Keller brought up have already been addressed by hospital professionals.
 
 All of the concerns will be part of the developers agreement, which is a very comprehensive document and well create it with the input of the village and the board of education, Fraser said. You have to remember anything that will affect the neighbors will affect our hospital buildings and patients first. Weve developed plans to successfully resolve each of the issues.
 
Fraser said surveys will be done on homes before and after the construction to determine if the hospital is responsible for any damage.
 
Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, a group opposed to the project, say the plan is just too big for the 15-acre site. Some fear their foundations will crack from the vibrations of the excavation. They also say the new 94-foot building will be too close to the Benjamin Franklin Middle School.
 
When you go 17 feet below groundwater, 94 feet up and need 22,000 trucks to clear the site, at what point is the tipping point for being too large for the site? asked Pete McKenna, president of Concerned Residents. I understand there may be some negative effects to the hospital but it is reaping all the benefits.
 
E-mail: williamsb@northjersey.com


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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #233 on: October 28, 2011, 12:14:03 PM »

It might be relevant.  Unsure.  The geology might be fundamentally different at the two locations. 

Prospect Ave is a hill composed of shale bedrock, we know that. Valley Hospital in Ridgewood is located in a flat area. There could be bedrock close to the surface, but more likely the entire excavation is in sediments, meaning sand, silt, or clay.  Based on the comment about pumping huge amounts of water and this affecting the groundwater for 1000 - 5000 feet radius,  I suspect that they are excavating in sediments, and specifically that they are excavating below the water table. 

There could be a whole range of different issues between construction in sediments and construction in bedrock.

Offline Homer Jones

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #234 on: October 28, 2011, 01:28:06 PM »
The site that would be most analogous to the "acute care site" would be 300 Prospect Avenue. I believe that there has been mention of this project on this blog where  private developers constructed the 300 Prospect Avenue development on the east side of Prospect Avenue between Prospect Avenue and Third Street and where it took years for them to remove the pile of shale that sat along Third Street causing the red runoff that plagued the area during construction.

This was years before the most recent problems that occurred on the site.

Offline Editor

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« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 11:28:08 PM by Editor »

Offline just watching

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #236 on: October 29, 2011, 04:48:56 AM »

Just did some quick math. So on the high end, Valley Hospital would be excavating 330,000 cubic yards versus 60,000 cubic yards at 300 Prospect.  What is the projected amount of cubic yards to excavate at the LTACH on Summit Ave ?

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #237 on: November 08, 2011, 07:18:06 AM »
26430

Talk for new Hackensack hospital continue

Friday, November 4, 2011    Last updated: Friday November 4, 2011, 1:27 AM

BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

More than 20 special Zoning Board meetings regarding the proposed construction of a 19-story, long-term acute care hospital at the corner of Summit and Prospect avenues in Hackensack have been held since 2009.

At the most recent meeting on Oct. 26, there were about 50 residents who attended the hearing to listen to continued testimony, less than the more than 100 residents present at earlier meetings.

But despite the colder weather that might have contributed to numbers being down, those present were still steamed by the planned project.

"They shouldn't build it," said Jenny Sommer, a Prospect Avenue resident, during a meeting break. "It'll be too crowded, too congested, and bad for the people living on Prospect Avenue."

If approved despite the ongoing controversy, the proposed hospital would be built at 329 Prospect Ave.

According to deed records, Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC purchased the property, presently occupied by a residential home, in 2007 for $1.33 million.

Company President Richard Pineles also owns Prospect Heights Care Center, a 180-bed nursing home facility close to the site, as well as Regent Care Center, a nursing home on Polifly Road.

The proposed hospital would provide a range of medical services if constructed. The 120-bed facility would have 10 floors dedicated to patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center equipped for as many as 180 people. The facility would also include several driveways and five levels of underground parking.

City officials have stated that the project will need site plan approval, as well as more than a dozen variances in order to go forward. These include variances for use, parking and lot size. Pineles is also seeking approval to knock down two-story homes on four lots to build the hospital. The site is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.

Pineles first proposed constructing a 24-story hospital with 140 beds and an adult day-care center equipped to handle 250 people. However, he revised the facility's plans in late 2009.

Pineles has previously declined comment about the project, stating that it was company policy not to comment on a project that is pending and that is being proposed to the public.

Joseph Basralian, an attorney representing Pineles, questioned Gregory Polyniak, an engineering expert and planner for the board, during the Oct. 26 meeting.

Polyniak testified that the substantial increase in traffic that the planned medical facility would bring to the area could be "detrimental" to the character of the neighborhood. Basralian countered by asking Polyniak to be more specific about how the neighborhood's character would actually change.

Toward the end of the meeting, attorney Theodore Moskowitz, a Hackensack resident who is representing the Prospect Avenue Coalition, a neighborhood group opposed to the project, requested he be allowed to re-examine Pineles about certain details concerning his previous testimony. Pineles testified early on in the hearing process.

Board Attorney Richard Malagiere stated that having Pineles re-testify would be unnecessary and would only serve to further prolong the hearing process. Moskowitz subsequently withdrew his request.

No matter how many more special Zoning Board meetings take place before a decision is made, local resident Lillika Weinberger was one of those present who has made up her mind about the project.

"We had a dress rehearsal with the collapse of the parking garage," said Weinberger, a Prospect Avenue resident who referenced the collapse of a parking garage at a nearby building on her street last year. "This project will really destroy the neighborhood. Who would want to move on a street with all of this mess going on?"

The next special Zoning Board meeting about the proposed hospital is scheduled for Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #238 on: November 26, 2011, 11:50:47 AM »
27060 Folks - although we have heard "this is the final Zoning Board Special Meeting to hear this application" once or twice before we can not afford to wave off the notice and miss this opportunity to get your comments on the record.

Many of you have already gotten your comments on the record i.e affects on quality of life; traffic; sirens; safety; security of the park area; reduction in available street parking; 14 wheeler tractor trailer trucks backing up into the driveway to make deliveries; removal of truck loads of dirt; NJ Transit bus delays, detours and dust/debris due to construction; decrease in property value; flooding; affect of blasting on neighboring buildings; etc. You only need to say "I object to this application".

If the applicant files an appeal then you, the resident, will no longer have any say in the matter. There will only be the transcripts for the appeal judge to review. In the event of an appeal, your concerns memorialized via the transcripts will not be the various complaints from a handful of people but issues and concerns voiced by an entire neighborhood of residents who are living in this single/multifamily vibrant community which already has a huge sprawling hospital campus that has attracted medical professionals by the droves to knock down and rebuild offices/homes on Summit Avenue (as described by my neighbor "the gold coast of Hackensack").

If you have not been able to attend the Special Meetings and/or you have been unavailable to question the expert witnesses and/or the applicant you may support those who oppose the construction of this hospital now by stating your name, address and voicing your objection during the public comment section of this final Zoning Board Special Meeting:

REMINDER - THURSDAY DECEMBER 8, 2011 AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Flyer attached.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2011, 03:26:30 PM by swapcatsr »

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #239 on: December 06, 2011, 10:25:42 PM »
27542 Attached is a copy of the October 26th transcript.

REMINDER - THURSDAY DECEMBER 8, 2011 AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

See you all on Thursday.

 

anything