Author Topic: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue  (Read 151191 times)

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #240 on: December 08, 2011, 07:51:11 PM »
27630 The Zoning Board will be opening the floor for public comment in about 25 minutes.

27891
Public input on hospital sought

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

BY STEPHANIE AKIN

STAFF WRITER

The Record

HACKENSACK Members of the public will likely have their last chance to comment on a proposed 19-story acute-care hospital today, when testimony is expected to wrap up after three years of hearings on the controversial project.

A vote on the proposed Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital, however, will likely be scheduled for a later date, to give the owners time to respond to any last-minute city requests typical of this type of application, said Rich Maligieri, attorney for the Board of Adjustment.

The property's owner has proposed demolishing two-story homes on Prospect and Summit avenues to make way for the 1.15-acre facility. It would include 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 people.

Richard Pineles, who is listed as the company's president, is affiliated with five New Jersey nursing homes, including two in Hackensack, according to state records.

The project needs special city approval because the property is zoned for residential use and the facility would exceed several building restrictions, including regulations on parking spaces, driveways, lot size and the location of the building on it.

Opponents, some of whom hired attorneys, say the traffic and parking problems it will bring with it would lower property values and destroy the neighborhood.

Today's hearing, the 25th since 2009, will include testimony from the applicant's planner, the last scheduled witness. The special hearing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers in City Hall.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 07:54:42 AM by swapcatsr »

Offline Editor

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #241 on: December 09, 2011, 02:32:18 PM »
Hackensack residents assail hospital proposal at public hearing
Last updated: Friday December 9, 2011, 7:32 AM
BY STEPHANIE AKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK Neighbors of a proposed 19-story acute care hospital urged city officials Thursday to reject the project, saying it would increase traffic in an already congested area, lower property values and herald the downfall of two of the citys most prized residential streets

If it is approved, there will be a rush to the exits, said William Schroeder, a Prospect Avenue resident. They will sell their properties and the predatory vultures will rush in.

More than 60 residents attended what was expected to be one of the last public hearings on the proposed Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital after three years of debate. Several of those who lined up at a microphone to voice their objections acknowledged that the facility would benefit the community the developers have said there is a need for more adult medical day care providers but only if it is built in a commercial part of town, such as near Hackensack University Medical Center, about a mile away.

Many of their reservations were echoed by two members of the citys Zoning Board, who asked the developers to consider whether they would be willing to scale back the services offered at the facility, redesign the structure and address potential traffic and parking problems before they vote.

I truly believe that the reality of the situation is that traffic is horrible there and that its going to be worse when its built, Zoning Board Chairman Michael Guerra said, to applause from the audience.

Zoning Board member Frank Rodriquez added that he did not accept testimony from the developer that the proposed hospital, which is not affiliated with HUMC, would require any fewer than the 562 parking spots required by the city. The developer has proposed 402.

The propertys owner has proposed demolishing two-story homes on Prospect and Summit avenues near Golf Place to make way for the 1.15-acre facility. It would include 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day care center for up to 180 people.

Guerra asked the developer to consider reducing all of the proposed areas of care, or even focus on only one service rather than all three.

Richard Pineles, who is listed as the companys president, is affiliated with five New Jersey nursing homes, including two in Hackensack, according to state records.

Experts representing the developers have testified that the facility would not have a substantial impact on traffic in the area.

But residents, many of whom live in high-rise apartment towers on Prospect Avenue, said they saw the proposal as the first step in Pineles attempt to expand his footprint toward his existing facilities and that an approval of the project would put a developers interests over those of taxpaying homeowners.

I ask you to think about your loyalty to the community of Hackensack versus your loyalty to a commercial venture, said Dorothy Monopoli, a Prospect Avenue resident and real estate agent, addressing the members of the Zoning Board.

The project needs special city approval because the property is zoned for residential use and the facility would exceed several building restrictions, including regulations on parking spaces, driveways, lot size and its location on the lot.

The developers are expected to return with their response to the citys requests at a public meeting on Jan. 19, after which a vote on the proposal is likely, Zoning Board Attorney Richard Malagiere said.

E-mail: akin@northjersey.com

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #242 on: December 16, 2011, 07:25:58 AM »
27976 Prospect Heights picture courtesy of our Prospect Avenue neighbor. "Prospect heights can't even have their garbage picked up they need to bring it out to the street to the truck blocking traffic. See attached picture. Thanks"

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY JANUARY 19, 2012 AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

The applicant is expected to return with their response to the citys requests on January 19, after which a vote on the proposal is likely.

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #243 on: January 02, 2012, 03:47:41 PM »
28646 Attached is a copy of the transcript from the December 8th Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting.

On Thursday January 19, 2012 the applicant will respond to the recommendations made by the Zoning Board during the December 8th Special Meeting. Perhaps we shall hear the Zoning Board's decision on the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital application as well.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY JANUARY 19, 2012 AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
« Last Edit: January 03, 2012, 09:58:14 AM by swapcatsr »

Offline Whitey

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #244 on: January 09, 2012, 09:34:20 AM »
See this article in today's Record.  Medicaid funding seems to be drying up.


Day-care closure to leave seniors, disabled in lurch
Sunday, January 8, 2012    Last updated: Monday January 9, 2012, 6:38 AM
BY COLLEEN DISKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

One of the state's longest-running medical day-care programs for elderly and disabled residents is shutting down, a casualty of the growing funding headaches in New Jersey's long-term-care industry.

Staff member Ana Fernandes giving a gift bag to Dr. Hyman Levine at the Daughters of Miriam Center, which is ending the program in Clifton on Feb 3. Residents and their loved ones are scrambling to find other options when the Daughters of Miriam Center in Clifton closes the program on Feb. 3.

"I didn't sleep for two nights after they told us about it," said Susan Fenkanyn, 88, who has severe asthma that sometimes leaves her so short of breath that she has trouble walking.

It's possible that some of the center's 50 clients, particularly the 18 seniors enrolled in a day program for dementia sufferers, will have to enter a nursing home because their needs are beyond what family members can provide without some assistance, said Dr. Louis Chodosh, the program's medical director.

"There's no question that half of the people in the dementia program would be in a nursing home without the care they receive here," Chodosh said. If that happens with any of the Medicaid recipients in the program, Chodosh said, "it's going to cost the taxpayers and the government more money than it would to have them in this program."

Meanwhile, industry advocates warn the cuts to Medicaid and Medicare that are causing this program to close could force other facilities to cut their services.
The Daughters of Miriam Center is located in a building that also houses a 210-bed nursing home operated by the non-profit organization. It was one of the state's first adult medical day-care programs when it opened in 1975.

Such programs seek to offer the health monitoring and daytime companionship that can help keep seniors with chronic conditions from prematurely entering a nursing home. It is also an essential service to family members who need the help caring for their elderly loved ones.

The people enrolled in the program, and their families, were notified of the pending shutdown about a week before Christmas.

Carol Hamersma whose 84-year-old mother, Betty, suffers from dementia and attends the program three days a week said she was still absorbing the news of the closure and hadn't had a chance over the holidays to investigate other options.

The day program has been part of the patchwork of services Hamersma has pieced together to enable her widowed mother to remain in her Clifton home in spite of her disease's progression.

"We have some home care services that come to the house, and I stay over about two times a week," said Hamersma, a music teacher who lives in Woodbridge. "But a program like this is so worthwhile for her. It's part of being healthy that she has something to do. If she sits at home, it's the TV, and that's no substitute for getting out with people.

"Even if she doesn't remember all the names and the faces of the people,I can see that she's happy when she's here," Hamersma added.

Frank DaSilva, chief executive officer of Daughters of Miriam, said the non-profit decided to close the day program because it needs to plug a $1.2 million hole in its budget caused by steep Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rate cuts to all nursing homes in the state.

The services provided by Daughters of Miriam's adult day-care program are not eligible for Medicare reimbursement, and only 21 percent of the participants are Medicaid recipients. So the program itself was not directly affected by those cuts. But DaSilva said the adult day care operated at a deficit the past decade and that the organization, which also operates independent living apartments for seniors, helped fund it with community grants and other donations it receives.

Now some of those donations and money saved by closing the center will need to be used to help keep the nursing home afloat. Like other nursing home administrators in the state, DaSilva was caught off guard when daily Medicaid reimbursement rates were cut by more than what was expected. In his facility's case, the rate dropped 5.3 percent instead of the expected 3 percent.

Since November, Daughters of Miriam also has laid off or reduced the hours of several employees to save what amounts to the salaries of eight full-time-equivalent workers, said DaSilva, adding that other cost-cutting measures will still be needed to address the funding shortfall.
 
Long-term care industry officials are plying state officials and lawmakers with requests to rescind at least a portion of those Medicaid rate cuts, but few hold out much hope that money can be found as New Jersey just went through a grueling year of budget cuts.

"This is one of many difficult choices that had to be made in balancing this year's budget," said Donna Leusner, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Senior Services. "Medicaid funding for nursing homes represents nearly half of the budget of the Department of Health and Senior Services so it is very difficult to make cost reductions without affecting these facilities."

"Growth in New Jersey's Medicaid program coupled with a loss of federal funds resulted in a $1.4 billion reduction in the state's overall Medicaid budget, making program reductions necessary," Leusner said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this is the reality in states across the country."

At the same time that the state's Medicaid budget took a hit, the federal government also rolled back Medicare reimbursement rates to nursing homes. Industry advocates say they have no hope of winning back any of those federal Medicare dollars and instead are trying to get state lawmakers to realize that more facilities, besides Daughters of Miriam, may be soon be forced to cut services.

Daughters of Miriam staff members have spent the past few weeks researching alternative services for the 50 seniors, who attend the center between two and five times a week, depending on need. Just as it's possible that some of the sicker patients could end up in a nursing home, program directors say it's also possible that some of the healthier ones will resist switching to a new program where they don't know anyone. Those patients will end up spending more days alone, with their medical needs untended, officials said.

Fenkanyn, a longtime Passaic resident, said she doesn't think she will be comfortable in one of the alternative day programs recommended to her, because the participants there primarily speak Spanish. Instead, she's inclined to stay home this winter and "get started early on my spring cleaning" and try to find a new program later.

At 89, Herb Adelman is one of the healthier patients served by the program. He attributes that to the regular medical screenings hereceives from the nurse on staff. And he partly credits the regular company and recreational outings for his ability to live independently despite a heart condition that requires participation in cardiac rehab three days a week.

"They keep us busy here, and that's the point," said Adelman, a widower who still lives in the home he's owned for 45 years in Passaic Park. "That's what keeps me going."

Email: diskin@northjersey.com

« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 09:40:16 AM by Editor »

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #245 on: January 19, 2012, 07:07:32 AM »
29375

REMINDER - THURSDAY JANUARY 19, 2012 AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
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 - DECLINED
« Reply #246 on: January 19, 2012, 10:20:59 PM »
29411

Dear Neighbors, the Bergen-Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital application was denied unanimously by the Hackensack Zoning Board today.

As we were leaving the court house we learned that an appeal is being filed. Once an appeal is filed I will keep you updated here.

Thank you for your support.

You may continue to contact us at prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com.


Offline Editor

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #247 on: January 20, 2012, 09:11:38 AM »
Hackensack Zoning Board rejects application for 19-story hospital
Thursday January 19, 2012, 10:38 PM
BY STEPHANIE AKIN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK City officials on Thursday night denied a controversial application to build a 19-story health care facility on Prospect Avenue, saying the project would bring parking and traffic problems to the neighborhood.

Zoning Board Chairman Michael Guerra summed up the boards stance against the proposed Bergen Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital, or LTACH, before a unanimous vote.

The bottom line is the LTACH is misplaced in this neighborhood, he said, adding that it would be better suited in the citys hospital zone surrounding Hackensack University Medical Center. The two facilities are not affiliated.

The vote incited a round of applause from an audience of about 60 people, including residents of Prospect and Summit avenues who have sat through three years of hearings. Some of them had hired two attorneys to present their case to the board.

Joseph Basralian, the attorney for the applicant, said he would appeal.

The board made the decision it thought was appropriate, he said. If we disagree, we take the next step.

The propertys owner proposed demolishing two-story homes on Prospect and Summit avenues near Golf Place to make way for the 1.15-acre facility. It would include 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 people.

Richard Pineles, president of the company seeking to develop the hospital, is affiliated with five New Jersey nursing homes, including two in Hackensack, according to state records. Basralian told the Zoning Board that his client had already made several concessions to address its concerns, including voluntarily reducing the size of the building and the number of patients it could accommodate.

Basralian also presented the facility as an improvement to the neighborhood, saying the developers build a park on Prospect avenue and install computerized traffic lights that would change according to traffic flow.

Board members, however, said they were unconvinced.

I dont find it very compelling that the applicant came before the board with a very, very large facility and by their own initiative, not by anything we said suddenly reduced it to a very large facility.

Board member Frank Rodriguez added that the developers had not shown any evidence that the new traffic lights would significantly alleviate congestion in the area. He added that the open space the developer had presented as a 30,000-square-foot park on Summit Avenue was simply the facilitys front entrance.

The project needed special city approval because the property is zoned for residential use and the facility would exceed several building restrictions.

Email: akin@northjersey.com

Offline just watching

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #248 on: January 20, 2012, 07:25:03 PM »
Congratulations on the denial to all those who fought so hard for so many years.  This may have been the most controversial zoning application in the history of Hackensack. I can only think of two others that could even be contenders for that title, and neither dragged on for so long. There's never been a case that dragged on for YEARS just for the hearing and decision. Well, we all know it is going to court one way or another, so it's good news for it to go to court with a unanimous denial.

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #249 on: February 04, 2012, 11:57:40 AM »
29985 Hackensack Chronicle

Hackensack Zoning Board votes down hospital plan on Prospect

Thursday, February 2, 2012    Last updated: Friday February 3, 2012, 1:24 AM

BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR

After almost three years of debate, the Hackensack Zoning Board unanimously rejected a plan to build a 19-story hospital on Prospect Avenue at a special Jan. 19 meeting, citing concerns about traffic, parking and neighborhood quality-of-life issues.

The proposed project, known as the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH), generated concerns among residents living on Prospect and Summit avenues near the project site. Some residents hired two attorneys to present their opposition to the plan.

Zoning Board Chairman Michael Guerra echoed this disquiet just before the boards vote.

"The bottom line is the LTACH is misplaced in this neighborhood," Guerra said, followed by applause from a crowd of more than 60 residents, many of whom had sat through more than 20 special meetings focused on the controversial project.

"We have a hospital zone, and the thought has been that it belongs in the hospital zone," Guerra added, referring to the designated area surrounding Hackensack University Medical Center. The proposed project and the medical center are not affiliated.

"Were disappointed with the decision of the board, and well explore our alternatives," said Richard Pineles, the president of the company seeking to develop the hospital.

According to attorney Joseph Basralian, who represents Pineles, these alternatives include an appeal.

"The board rendered a decision it felt was appropriate. If we disagree, then we take the next step," Basralian said.

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 stated that the project would need site plan approval and 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 on Prospect and Summit avenues near Golf Place to build the 1.15-acre hospital. The site, located at 329 Prospect Ave., is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.

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.

Basralian argued that Pineles had made compromises to allay concerns about the project, including a reduction in the buildings size as well as the number of patients it would treat.

Basralian also argued that the hospital would install computerized traffic lights that would aid traffic flow and that the developers would create a park on Prospect Ave. as part of the project.

Board member Frank Rodriguez refuted these claims, however, stating that the developers had not demonstrated that the new traffic lights would actually improve traffic flow. Rodriguez also noted that a 30,000 square-foot park on Summit Avenue to be included as an open space component of the project was just the hospitals front entrance.

"I dont find it very compelling that the applicant came before this board with a very, very large facility and by their own initiative, not by anything thing we said suddenly reduced it to a very large facility," Guerra added.

At the end of the meeting, residents Murray and Tama Cuperman, who attended most of the special meetings, spoke approvingly about the end of a chapter in the hospital project saga.

"It took three years to get here, but its very gratifying," said Murray Cuperman. "In the meantime, peace and quiet stays on Prospect and Summit avenues."

"We need something like this project, just not in that place," added Tama Cuperman. "There are plenty of other places where it can be built."

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #250 on: July 04, 2012, 10:17:00 PM »
33085 LTACH APPEAL WATCH

Richard Pineles has 45 days after the resolution is passed by the Hackensack Zoning Board to file an appeal. The resolution has not passed thus far so no appeal can be filed at this point.

Pineles attended the last Hackensack Zoning Board Meeting only to learn that the resolution would not be passed during that meeting so he was told to return at a later date.

Our Prospect Avenue neighbor living in a building next to the LTACH told us that the LTACH was recently taken to court over some damage caused to their cars from falling tree branches lining the property. The LTACH removed the trees.

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #251 on: October 02, 2012, 11:34:15 AM »
35147 LTACH APPEAL WATCH

The clock has started ticking.

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #252 on: October 08, 2012, 01:03:54 AM »
35296 Attached is the resolution which was passed by the Hackensack Zoning Board on September 20, 2012. We will let you know if an appeal is filed.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 04:50:42 PM by swapcatsr »

Offline Prospect Avenue Coalition

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #253 on: November 26, 2012, 11:33:21 AM »
36674 LTACH APPEAL WATCH

The appeal has been filed on November 7, 2012.

Offline Editor

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Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
« Reply #254 on: November 29, 2012, 10:26:09 AM »
Hackensack and its zoning board sued over medical center denial
Thursday, November 29, 2012
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK The company behind a proposed 19-story medical center has sued the city and its zoning board over the denial of its application, claiming it didnt get a fair review.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment denied the application in January, saying the project would bring traffic and parking problems to the residential neighborhood. Residents had packed hearings, held protests, and hired two attorneys to oppose the plan, fearing it would hurt their property values and worsen congestion.

The applicant wanted to demolish two-story homes on Prospect and Summit avenues to make way for the Bergen Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital, or LTACH. It would have included 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and a medical day-care center for up to 180 adults.

The company claimed the medical center would fill overwhelming demand for long-term acute care and dialysis while meeting the needs of a growing senior population.

The project needed special city approval because the property is zoned for residential use and the facility would have exceeded lot, parking and other building restrictions.

But the project didnt get a fair shake, the applicant claimed in the lawsuit field earlier this month in state Superior Court. Bergen Passaic LTACH charged that city officials conspired to delay the process and tainted the outcome with bias and prejudicial comments.

The mayor and council members implored the board to deny the application, and council candidates used the issue to advance their campaigns, the company claimed.

"The city and the board engaged in a political scheme to deny the applicant a fair and just forum to present its application and likewise the opportunity to have an impartial and objective fact finder and decision maker," Bergen Passaic LTACH alleged in the lawsuit filed by attorney Joseph Basralian.

City Attorney Joseph Zisa said comments from officials outside the zoning board, such as council members, would not hurt the outcome.

"Most of the board members have been on the board for years and have vast experience," he said. "They weigh every application fairly and without any outside influences."

The company also charged that the board allowed an objecting attorney to harass the property owner; applied different standards for its own experts; and engaged and interviewed the applicants engineering consultant, creating a conflict of interest and forcing the applicant to switch engineers in the middle of the process.

The company also claimed it faced unreasonable delays and fees, noting there were 23 total meetings. Twenty of those were special meetings, and each of those required a $3,000 fee be paid to the city.

Zisa said the hearings, which stretched nearly three years, were needed so that all experts and citizens could be heard. The special meetings are granted at a developers request so they and their experts can be heard promptly at meetings.

Zisa also said the special meeting fee was imposed to cover a $125 payment to zoning board members, and to cover staff and other administrative costs.

Richard Malagiere, the zoning boards lawyer, said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and so couldnt comment.

When told of some of the claims in the suit, he did say: "Its unfortunate the applicant has lowered themselves to those kinds of allegations."

Bergen Passaic LTACH is asking the court to reverse the denial, compel the city to refund overcharges and award legal fees.

Email: adely@northjersey.com

 

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