Hackensack, NJ Community Message Boards

General Category => Hackensack Discussion => Topic started by: just watching on January 25, 2009, 07:32:20 PM

Title: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on January 25, 2009, 07:32:20 PM
Here is the application that was scheduled to be heard 1/21/2009 by the Hackensack Zoning Board of Adjustment.  There's a lot of cases to be heard, and they probably didn't get to this one yet.

They are probably starting with this 24-story proposal so that they can "drop" to 5 or 10 stories, and get that approved.  320 Summit Ave is on the east side, midway between Golf Place and Berry Street.  Unsure if this is the property that sold for a very high amount just a few years ago with intent to build a nursing home that goes through to Prospect Ave.

Someone should contact the folks at The Carlyle and the Barridge House, this will block their sunset views.  In fact, everyone who has a sunset view on Prospect Ave should be in an uproar. If this goes through, the rest of Summit Ave south of Passaic will be compromised. What about Bill Noonan and his group who fought Excelsior III a few years ago.

Let's see if our Zoning Board is sophisticated enough to see thru this plan.  What's the point of zoning if things like this are to be approved ???

10.         Application V# 23-08 SP# 21-08
   Address: 320 Summit Avenue  Hackensack, New Jersey 
   Block: 344  Lot(s): 3,4,5,14  Zone:  R-75 & R-3
             Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC

Applicant requests  Demolish the existing one family structure and construct a 24 story medical office building. 

The following were found to be deficient:

1.   Use Variance Required
2.   Insufficient Lot area Required 30,000 sq. ft. Proposed 20,000 sq .ft.
3.   Insufficient Lot Width Required 125’ Proposed 100’
4.   Insufficient Rear Yard Set Back Required 40’ Proposed 0’ to edge of R-3 District
5.   Exceeds Maximum Lot Coverage Required 30%  Proposed 40.5% for R-3
6.   Exceeds maximum height ratio Side Yard  Allowed 4:1  Proposed 19:1
7.   Insufficient Buffer Zone  Required 6’  Proposed 0 to edge of R-3 District
8.   Insufficient Parking Spaces Required 562  Proposed 402
9.   Insufficient driveway width Required 18-22’ for 2 way Proposed 10’ for 2 way
10.   No paving in side yard
11.   Insufficient area for back up aisle spaces-
12.   Exceeds maximum sign area Allowed  12 sq. ft   Proposed 96 sq. ft.
13.   Insufficient Sign Setback  Required 20ft Proposed 0ft.
14.    Any other Variance or Waivers that may be required.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Homer Jones on January 26, 2009, 05:56:36 PM
Does anybody know what happened with this application on the 21st?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: murphyonsummit on February 08, 2009, 03:30:07 PM
Update ...

On Saturday, February 7th we received our notice via certified mail that the issue will be discussed at the February 18th Zoning Board meeting.  The applicant, Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital, LLC, is applying for the variance for four (4) properties located at: 

316 Summit Ave
320 Summit Ave
324 Summit Ave
329 Propsect Ave  


Note, this is not just one residence that will be knocked down as part of this plan.  It involves four lots/homes to create a multi-story structure and a parking garage for over 400 vehicles on Summit Ave!  The plans are on file in the Construction Official's office (City Hall, 65 Central Ave, Hackensack, NJ) and may be viewed from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm.

Again, the hearing is Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 7 pm in City Hall, 65 Central Avenue.  Please come out and show the city that the residents of Hackensack do not support this request in the suggested location!
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Homer Jones on February 08, 2009, 07:55:59 PM
Old Homer has a question here.

Are we playing at Yankee Stadium or Shea Stadium? What I mean is that when parties make application for relief from a zoning ordinance, they are generally looking for a bump such as 8 parking spaces instead of the required 10; or placing an antenna for wireless phone service on an apartment building . In cases like these, the Zoning Board of Adjustment is the correct venue. These types of applications appear to be in keeping with what an ordinance calls for; but with a little breathing room. Let's call that Shea Stadium (at least very temporarily).

Now on the other hand; with this Summit Avenue application, might the applicant be in the wrong stadium? Doesn't this application really represent a re-zoning of the properties involved? Didn't this Planning Board and this Mayor and Council pass a new zoning ordinance within the last two years? Who owns these properties? How long have they owned them? Are we looking at an assemblage to countervene the intent of the zoning ordinance?

Maybe this game should be played at Yankee Stadium instead of Shea, and the powers that be send the applicant to the Planning Board and request that they advise the Mayor and Council that maybe, just maybe, they were wrong and recommend that the subject lots be rezoned to a Prospect Avenue type zoning designation and let the mayor and council make the final legislative determination by amending the ordinance.

Why waste everybody's time and start the application at Shea and then send everybody back on the Major Deegan to Yankee Stadium?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 08, 2009, 11:29:19 PM
Thanks, Murphy, for your valuable information.  The city should have put that on the docket, or required that the applicant list all the houses on Summit Ave which would be potentially affected.

To answer Homer, that a complicated question, and there have been instances where the city has been sued for putting an application before the "wrong" board. Such was the case with the HUMC parking tower at Atlantic & Newman Streets. It was approved by the Planning Board, but then residents sued and the courts overturned the approved. They ruled that it has to go before the Zoning Board, which split it's vote and narrowly approved it (by only one vote).

In the case of the 24-story Summit Ave application, that's called a USE VARIANCE.  They are asking to build a USE not permitted on Summit Avenue. Definately goes to the Zoning Board.  More specifically it is a "D" variance, which is the most difficult of all variances to secure.  I believe that the application is being heard by the correct entity, the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  At least the way the laws are currently written.

Subdividing a lot, for instance to build new homes that conform with zoning, generally goes to the Planning Board.  Building a massive addition to the Shops At Riverside goes to the Planning Board, because the addition is an allowed use. There would be no use variance.

State law allows some communities to combine the boards, and have only 1 entity.  This is impractical in Hackensack due to the case load.  It's enormous compared to other communities.  In fact, right now there are more "big" applications in Hackensack than in Newark, with over 6 times our population.  The rest of us owe a debt of gratitude to the city residents who volunteer, at no pay, once a month to serve on these boards.

I have long advocated that the State legislature take a second look at defining what goes before either Board.  The Planning Board should be in charge of "big" applications, including major use variances. The Zoning board should be in charge of "small" applications, such as house additions, new decks, sign variances, subdividing a lot to build only 2 houses, and so on.   I agree with the old Homer, the folks who define the zones (Planning Board) should be the ones who have the same if the zones are to be violated in such a massive fashion. But that's not the way Municipal Land Use Law is set up.  If you don't like it, talk to your State Legislators
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: irons35 on February 09, 2009, 09:31:48 PM
316 summit bought 8-20-08 for 800K
320 summit bought 2-13-07 for 998,333
324 summit bought 2-13-07 for 998,333 from same owner as 320.
329 prospect bought 2-13-07 for 1,328,333 from same owner as 320 and 324 summit.
all sold to
BERGEN PASSAIC LTACH C/O BRACH   
   433 HACKENSACK AVE 8TH FL   
   HACKENSACK NJ 07601 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 10, 2009, 10:40:28 PM
Now, this is getting REALLY scary.  It would be one thing if they had contracts to purchase the houses, and they would only spend that kind of money if they won the variances.  But no, that's not what is going on.  They already invested 4.125 million dollars.    All for the hope of OVERWHELMING the City of Hackensack, either at the Zoning Board level, or by appeals in Court. This is big-time Chutzpah. These people have deep pockets and want to go to war.

They are going to say it's an "inherently beneficial use".  This is really going to be a battle royal. 

One thing going in the City's favor is that the Zoning Code was upgraded in June 2005.  Not only did the city specifically decide to keep the single-family Zoning current, but they tweeked the definitions.  The R1 zone (75 feet wide, 7500 square feet) was abolished citywide in favor of R60 (60 feet wide, 7500 square feet), R75 (75 feet wide, 10,000 square feet), and R100 (100 feet wide, 20,000 square feet).  R1A is now called R50, so the city has FOUR zones defining the size of single-family lots. That's how serious we are about the importance of the single-family land use.  This part of Summit Ave went from R1 to R75, so the required lot size went from 7500 to 10,000 square feet.  Eric Martindale worked on this for years, and was eventually able to push this through in the final month of the Zisa administration.

The fact that the lot size was increased, even if only slightly, shows the city's determination to preserve the street. This will play big at the hearings, and in Court.

The city would be very smart, at this time, to adopt a Historic Preservation Ordinance outlining a historic preservation district.  Certainly Summit Ave from Beech Street to Catalpa Ave should be included, as well as the east side of Maple Hill Drive, and probably parts of Hamilton, Anderson, Lookout, Clinton, and Euclid Ave. At least as far east of Prospect Ave on those streets.  The more levels of protection that exist, the more likely it is that this proposal can be defeated.  It's way overdue for Hackensack to have a historic preservation district. This is needed even if this proposal didn't exist. The 1990 Master Plan listed all the houses on Summit Ave that have historic value. 

Note also that the city's zoning used to have a clause, until the early 1990's, that allowed a more intensive use to protrude 75 or more feet over the zone line into a less intensive use.  That's how multi-unit dwellings reached the west side of Third Street without any variances despite an R2 zone that was 100 feet wide along the west side of Third Street. Various residents protested this, and pressured the Council, even noting that Summit Ave could be at risk by a "punch-through" from Prospect Ave.  Then a developer tried to take advantage of this loophole on Essex Street and "punch through" to Kaplan Ave, not far from the Tri-Boro Diner,. If approved, a commercial use would be on both Kaplan Ave and Essex Street. The residents there fought it bitterly, and the Council FINALLY passed an ordinance to remove that loophole.  That property is now, over 15 years later, being built on.

That ordinance change is now to the great benefit of Summit Ave, over 15 years later.  We'd have a lot less power to resist this if that old clause was still in the Zoning Ordinance.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: murphyonsummit on February 12, 2009, 03:17:40 PM
The 24-story tower will take up the lot on Prospect .... the three lots on Summit will house a circular drop-off/pick-up driveway with a five-level, underground parking garage with space for over 400 cars!  Sorry, but this is not what I thought single family zoning meant. 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey on February 14, 2009, 11:24:49 AM
I understand that this application will NOT be heard at the February 18 meeting of the Zoning Board.  There are other applications on the agenda to be heard.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 14, 2009, 05:18:49 PM
I agree, that's not my idea of the single-family zone.  Even if they deeded the surface to the city as parkland and built a playground, I wouldn't want it.

The delay could be a good sign.  The Zoning Board is known for stonewalling applications that they don't like.  There was a proposal a few years ago to make 3-story condos in a 2-family zone, and they were not townhouse-style. It was literally snaking through the back yards of houses on Berdan Place and James Street.  It was a crazy lot shape, at one point it was only a few feet wide in the middle of the lot.  After jerking them around for nearly a year and hearing every other application that they wanted to, the Zoning Board denied it unanimously.  Geneva Youngblood was furious, she was going to make big profit on the deal.

By the way, I noticed today that a bunch of burned and blighted houses on Gamewell Place, just west of Union Street was torn down.  Including one house on South Park Street. Not sure what is proposed there.  I'll make a seperate string for this item.  If the city is smart, they'd try to re-direct the Nursing Home down there, the lot is big enough.  Hey, they can buy a few more of the worn-out old houses on Union Street, and do whatever they like down there, as far as I'm concerned.  That's where we need this type of development.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: nataliemcdonald on February 15, 2009, 12:09:06 AM
I'm confused when I read this thread, so please allow me to ask a question because I've been away from home for so long.  Is this proposed tower at the same location as the two houses which were back-to-back, one on Prospect Avenue and one on Summit Avenue, and were owned by a Dr. Aurelio Buonanno back in the late 1970's?  Thanks!

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 15, 2009, 10:11:03 AM
@just watching, I got word out to Bill Noonan and some members of Concern for Hackensack in addition to my own board at The Camelot.

I was over at the World Plaza yesterday and they have the notices and sign-up sheets spread all over the front desk describing the Acute Care plans and announcing the Feb 18th meeting. Seems that someone else had already reached out to Bill as he informed me that this meeting has been postponed.

I will keep all the owners at The Camelot updated. We will be busy attending the City Council meeting at 65 Central Avenue on Feb 26th at 7:00 pm where we will be updated on the progress of ongoing PC Air Rights (Excelsior III) litigation and the Council's commitment to the voters to block this development. Perhaps the Acute Care protesters should attend so they can see how the PC Air Rights plan was successfully fended off and to voice their concerns regarding Acute Care at the end of the meeting. You have to get government on your side and if you pull your vote that can be very persuasive to anyone running for office.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: irons35 on February 15, 2009, 07:12:14 PM
yes.


I'm confused when I read this thread, so please allow me to ask a question because I've been away from home for so long.  Is this proposed tower at the same location as the two houses which were back-to-back, one on Prospect Avenue and one on Summit Avenue, and were owned by a Dr. Aurelio Buonanno back in the late 1970's?  Thanks!


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 16, 2009, 10:12:29 PM
I don't have an answer for Natalie.  And I can't believe that PC Air Rights is still in litigation.  They sold off the house they owned at American Legion Drive and Overlook, so I thought they gave up. 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: murphyonsummit on February 17, 2009, 08:00:51 PM
Still planning to attend Zoning Board Meeting tomorrow night (along with some neighbors).  Wouldn't want to have this come up and not be able give my thoughts on how inappropriate this idea is ... on so many levels! 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on February 18, 2009, 07:28:50 PM
24-story medical facility proposed in Hackensack
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
BY MONSY ALVARADO
NorthJersey.com
STAFF WRITER

HACKENSACK — The owner of two nursing homes in the city wants to build a 24-story acute-care facility on Prospect Avenue, and nearby residents are worried that it will bring additional traffic.

Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC, whose president is Richard Pineles, is seeking site-plan approval for the project, which will have a ground floor of 7,250 square feet, city officials said.

The proposal also includes driveways and a parking garage. The property, occupied currently by a residential home at 329 Prospect Avenue, was bought by the company in 2007 for $1.33 million, according to deed records.

The area is zoned residential, and the neighborhood is mostly made up of multi-story residential buildings. Prospect Height Care Center, a 180-bed facility that is owned by Pineles, is close by.

Barbara Rubin, who lives across the street from the proposed site, said the area already has too much traffic and can't afford any more.

"This street has trees and the people just walk around, and it's just lovely,'' Rubin said.

"I don't understand how they think they can get away with this."

According to a notice sent to area neighbors, the developer is seeking several variances, including use, because the site is zoned for residential and multi-family dwellings.

Pineles, who is listed as president of Regent Care Center on Polifly Road as well, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Mellone said the application is scheduled to be heard tonight but that the Board of Adjustment will likely not get to it because of a busy agenda.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 19, 2009, 01:11:07 PM
The Record, of course, continues their tradition of reporting only part of the story.  That's why people are sick of The Record. They made no mention that most of the property is on Summit Ave. That's the big news, of course.

HUMC is their biggest advertiser, so they were totally supportive of the Cancer Center.  Unsure if these nursing homes advertise in The Record, but if they do, expect all news coverage to be slanted.  Those in Hackensack long enough recall how slanted their coverage was of the proposed condos in Borg's Woods, which they owned.  I can't wait till The Record is out of Hackensack. 

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 22, 2009, 07:58:47 PM
Here is the meeting notice for the City Council Meeting to update interested residents on the Excelsior III goings on. Don't forget that many of us voted in the Council based on their promise that they would resist the existing Excelsior III plan. Please attend and at the end you may get a chance to speak your mind on the Acute Care Center. As with Excelsior III it took an incredible amount of organizing on Bill Noonan and Concern for Hackensack's part to get this job done but you can see that several years after we declared defeat of the project it continues to go on. Does anyone think that a developer desperate and foolhardy enough to build a tower over the railroad tracks would give up so easily. They may have sold the house on American Legion but that doesn't mean that they have pulled up stakes and gone home. The only way to win this fight and the next one is to show the Mayor the power that you do have - your vote:

Dear all:
 
One week from tonight (Thurs Feb 26), 7Pm at the Civic Center, the City Council will host a meeting to discuss the status P. C. Air Rights and their intended development of Excelsior III.
It is really important that we have a large turn out to show our continued opposition to this over development.
I believe we all know that apathy will send the wrong message.
Please spread the word and get as many people there as possible.
If you need a Meeting Reminder Notice to post, please just email me and tell me how many you need.
 
Thanks,
 
Bill
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 25, 2009, 12:56:00 AM
Bill,

Thank you so much for your leadership and for your continued vigilence, over so many years.

Also, what's missing in this debate is the overall picture of where we want development in Hackensack.  If Summit Ave is "rezoned by variance", it will wind up rezoned for real.  In fact, that's what happened to Prospect Ave.  The Whitehall came in by variance around 1960, and then 5 years later they rezoned the street accordingly.

If this goes through, no doubt a great many developers will swarm upon Summit Avenue from Essex to Passaic over the next 20 years (the economy won't stay down forever).  They'll be focussing on Summit Ave instead of in the downtown area.  Especially developers who want to build in Hackensack, but can only do one major project at a time.

We really need development on State Street, on Union Street, along the river, etc. Hackensack is a city, we can't stop big development, nor should we.  But we do have an obligation to DIRECT it into the areas that we desire to be redeveloped.  That's what zoning and planning is all about, and that is why this particular application is perhaps the most offensive proposal to ever come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment in the history of Hackensack. (I must admit that the 1963 Co-Op city proposal on South River Street just north of Route 80 runs a close second).

We do have an obligation to preserve our historic homes.  We do have an obligation to minimize loss of views, and minimize traffic congestion where we are already maxed out.  I wish someone would post the Mission / Purpose of the Hackensack Master Plan, that sums up a lot of issues. Does anybody doubt that Summit Ave is already maxed out on traffic capacity, due simply to the proximity of HUMC and Prospect Ave
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 25, 2009, 07:45:57 AM
Don't forget we are minutes away from that horror traffic show - the Garden State Plaza now tricked out with movie theater. How CRAZY is that. During the holiday I don't even drive in that direction. Only get on Rt 17 on Sunday. I have an anxiety attack whenever they try to repeal the blue laws.

I agree that it is time to develop other areas of Hackensack sorely in need of increased traffic flow. I like the seedy area by the Anderson train station along Passaic Street.

Here is a meeting notice reminder from Bill Noonan for the Thursday, Feb 26 City Council Meeting:

Dear all:
 
Just a reminder about the meeting this Thursday at the Civic Center at 7:00 PM. The City council will give us the latest on the 6 year struggle against the developer of Excelsior III, P.C. Air Rights. The latest information that we have makes it even more imperative that we show up in large numbers.
P.C. Air Rights is appealing the latest lower court ruling. The importance of this meeting takes on even more significance, as I am sure that the City has spent a large amount of money in legal fees to fight what would be another source of revenues and in these economic times the temptation for their resolve to weaken, I'm sure is being tested.
So Please do all you can to contact everyone in your building to make sure that they know about the meeting and it's importance. If you need anything, just email me and I will see that you get what ever you need.
 
No matter what the council has to say we must display our resolve and show them by our numbers that we will never give up our fight.
 
Thank you for your help,
 
Bill


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 06, 2009, 08:08:17 AM
I attended the February 26 meeting with the City Council and the Acute Care project was discussed at length. Some things to note: 1. there is an area down by Hackensack Hospital specifically zoned for the type of project that they want to build but I suspect that the builder got those houses relatively cheaply similar to the Excelsior III acquisition of land 2. the builder will get a certificate of inherent beneficial use quite easily making your fight a lot harder and more about reducing the scale of the building and underground parking (7 levels) than making them go away 3. an organized petition drive is going on right now 4. the City Council has to physically see you come out against this project or in a short time you will be sitting in your car idling on Prospect Avenue for a long long time.

City of Hackensack Zoning Board meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and this project will come up for review again on April 22 at 7 pm at 65 Central Avenue. Be there and make your voice heard.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on March 07, 2009, 12:28:37 AM
Are they petitioning the Zoning Board or the Mayor & Council ????

Someone PLEASE tell the petitions that the Zoning Board of Adjustment has never, and will never accept petitions. Especially after the applicant's attorney objects to it.  I've seen this happen several times, including a petition against the HUMC Parking tower on Railroad and Atlantic Avenues. 

Petitioning the Mayor & Council is a good idea, and it doesn't matter if the petitioners support the administration or not.  The Council and city attorney will take the standard response, which is that it is illegal for them to meddle in an application to the Zoning Board.  Technically they are right, and they have to make this standard response. 

But if it is a big petition to the Mayor & Council, the message will be sent loud and clear.  Politicizing the issue is probably the best way of defeating the project.  I've seen that done several times as well.  Including Excelsior III.  The opposing candidates for Mayor & Council were tripping over each other to state that they were the best qualified to oppose the project.

Hey, there's an election campaign going on right now.  Oooh, how timely.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 13, 2009, 08:19:08 AM
I've got the petition and it is a petition to the Mayor and City Council. They would like to see the completed petition at the Zoning Board meeting on the third Wednesday in April not April 22 as I first thought. They also want to see the people come out so be there on April 15th at 65 Central Avenue.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 31, 2009, 12:26:02 AM
The petitions have been circulated to most of the buildings on Prospect Avenue.

There will be a Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 13th at 7pm at the Civic Center on 65 Central Avenue behind the Police Station.

The Zoning Board meeting is on Wednesday, April 15th at 7pm in Council Chambers in City Hall at 65 Central Avenue.

If you want to show your opposition to the Acute Care project which will be located on Summit and Prospect Avenues please attend both of these meetings if possible.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 14, 2009, 08:23:35 AM
We need your support at the Zoning Board Meeting (City Hall) at 65 Central Avenue on Wednesday, April 15th 7pm.

Please get the word out to your neighbors here and in the other buildings. You can also receive up to date information at the following website:

http://www.preservehackensack.com/home.html

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 16, 2009, 08:13:33 AM
Hackensack Zoning Board has called a special meeting for Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm at City Hall 65 Central Avenue 3rd floor auditorium to hear the testimony for the Acute Care Center. At times it gets very cold in there so bring a sweater or a coat.

It is imperative that all who oppose this project attend the Special Meeting. Be informed. It is your job to question and challenge the testimony of the applicant's expert witnesses.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey on April 16, 2009, 02:37:48 PM
Highlights of Bergen Passaic LTAC April 15 hearing

The hearing was limited to testimony by the applicant, Mr. Richard Pineles and to questions from the zoning board and the audience.  The hearing ended at 10:30 PM and will be continued at a special meeting on May 14.  The first order of business is expected to be continued questioning of Mr. Pineles.  Some highlights from the meeting:

The proposed LTAC would occupy 12 stories and would accommodate 144 inpatient beds.  The applicant presented a certificate of need to the board.  It was noted that the certificate was for 72 beds and not for the 144 beds proposed.  This issue was not resolved.

The top 4 stories would house an 84 patient dialysis center.  The center would operate from 6:00 AM to 5:30 PM, 6 days per week and could handle about 250 patients a day.  Assuming that as many as 20-25 patients per day are residents of the LTAC facility, that leaves some 225 patients per day to be transported to the facility.  Logistics of the transportation have not yet been discussed in detail.

In addition to these activities, the facility would have a medical adult day care facility with a capacity of 250 clients at any time.  This program would operate from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, 6 days a week.  Logistics of the transportation of these clients remains to be discussed in detail.

The applicant indicated the facility would employee some 500 people, both on day and shift work and that these employees would be assigned to park in the on site 5-story below grade garage.  When questioned about employee parking at Prospect West (336 Prospect Ave), the applicant admitted that there was insufficient parking and that employees were required to park nearby on the street, but that would not be the case for this facility.

I encourage others to add their observations.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on April 17, 2009, 11:14:49 AM
Are you saying that that the 24 story plan is down to 16 stories ?  Also what is the actual height. 

Residential construction is usually 8 foot ceilings, plus a little floor and ceiling, say it comes to 8.5 feet per story. Office and medical construction usually has 8-10 foot ceilings, and has a huge drop ceiling at least 4 feet thick above each drop ceiling for HVAC systems.   So Maybe each floor is 13 - 15 feet.  Do the math.  A 16 story commercial building might be as tall, or taller, than a 25 story residential building.

I believe that the 21-story Camelot at 245 Prospect Ave is the tallest existing building on Prospect Ave, and the 25-story tower on Overlook Ave is the tallest building in Hackensack .

I think this 16 story building, for medical use, would still be the tallest building on Prospect Ave, and possibly the tallest building in Hackensack.
Title: Intersesting!
Post by: SackResident on April 20, 2009, 12:25:51 AM
Spoke to some friends of mine over the weekend who are legal eagles. They had some very interesting information on this acute care center going up. They pointed out to me that it was very strange for a City Council to come out and show their opposition to a project such as this before the application was in. They knew all about the two meetings we had and the fact that the council spoke at the zoning board meeting prior to the application being presented. I thought this was a good thing as being a condo owner in town I don't want this thing going up in my nieghborhood. They told me it was anything but good and the city may have caused some serious damage in the attempt to stop the project. They explained to me that by coming out against the building before the application was presented they showed extreme prejudice against the applicant. By doing so the applicants attorney can use this against us and could very well get this application through. I was dumbfounded to think our attorneys could have dropped the ball on this. I told them there was no way seasoned attorneys could have let that happen and thats when I really got surprised. They told me that since the applicant had already secured the properties and has met the State requirements and the fact they could show inherrant need the building was most likely going to go up. He said the City most likey knew this and these meetings were nothing more than political grandstanding for the upcoming election. I am disheartened if this is the case. If this nonsense about showing prejudice against the applicant is true then why else would they go ahead and do it. I feel we may have been had and another building that we did not want is going up. As we know the attorney for these guys is the same guy who represents the hospital on many of their development projects. I have read some of the previous post about signing a petition and I thought back to this EMS issue we jsut had recently. The folks supporting the EMT's gathered over 1200 or so signatures and were told by the council that the city does not acknowledge pettions due to the type of government we have here in Hackensack. If that is true why are they telling us to get a petition together. We need to check this out. Can someone find out if the city can be petioned or not? Thanks
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 20, 2009, 01:14:27 AM
SackResident: you are heavy on conjecture and light on fact.  Looking at your prior post (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php?topic=983.msg3271#msg3271), it's clear who you support in the upcoming election. 

And you're accusing the current administration of politicizing this issue? Now that's interesting


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: SackResident on April 20, 2009, 06:05:08 PM
Editor,

What facts am I light on?   I know most citizens that I have spoken to are against this building going up, as am I.  The fact that the current council may have "dropped the ball" is the issue, not the fact that I am voting for Citizens for Change(1-5).  Do you think they handled the situation correctly? 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 20, 2009, 07:11:29 PM
There is no issue here. Challengers need to make issues. 

As a city employee, I prefer to stay out of municipal politics and typically refrain from commenting in threads like this.  On the other hand, I don't want visitors walking away with the wrong impression. When I read accounts of second-hand, annoymous, legal opinions about things that "likely" occured, I raise a yellow flag.   

Albert Dib
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: SackResident on April 21, 2009, 06:45:53 AM
I encourage you and all city residents to ask a lawyer about this and I'm sure they will get the same response.  Wake up Hackensack.  Inquire about this issue.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 21, 2009, 08:25:05 AM
Prospect/Summit Avenue are organizing and we will look into this "legal" issue. Some things to note:

1. When the Mayor and some of the City Council got up to speak they did so as residents and not in their official capacity and as a courtesy to their official role they allowed them to speak before the public.
2. The applicant's attorney reminded the Zoning Board to remain impartial.
3. The present Mayor and crew got alot of votes from Prospect Avenue due to their support of the resident's position against Excelsior III.
4. We had already established that the applicant had received inherently beneficial use so our purpose should be to keep the project scaled down although if we can present obstacles or alternatives ie moving the project to another zone then that is another day before the 2 year construction begins.
5. The petitions are for the Mayor/Council to see how much the residents really don't want this project not and possibly for them to measure how many votes they might get if they support the issue. All of us including the Mayor realize that this is an election year and supporting the residents wants is what gets people voted in. We have to acknowledge their support of the fight against Excelsior III has helped to keep them off the block up to today.
6. The Zoning Board questioned the applicant regarding how he selected this Summit/Prospect location and also asked why not the zoned area down by Atlantic so it may be up to the Mayor/Council to find a parcel with possible incentives tax or otherwise to lure the applicant away from the site in question.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: SackResident on April 22, 2009, 09:21:35 PM
swapcatsr

1)They did so as the mayor and council and were introduced as the Mayor an Council at the zoning Bd. meeting. They were acting as the City Council.
2)Only the zoning bd. attorney was impartial. The City attorney was there and he was not impartial. By the way the City attorney reviews alot of the zoning Board attorneys work. Isn't that a contradiction of staying impartial.
3)This case is still in litigation and under appeal. Could go on for years at a huge expense. There are better ideas out there.
4)Is minimizing the impact and getting the most from the developer a good thing? I say it is if the building is going up.
5)You CANNOT PETITION the City of Hackensack "It's the law" The current council enforced it in 2008 "1600 signatures"
6)He already owns the property. don't you remember the term they used was captured.
 
Now I know Mr. Editor will be all over me but oh well. Each thing I listed is true and factual. By the way haw can someone say they are not political on this forum and openly endorse a slate of Bd. of Ed candidates. His statement, though it may be factual is a political endorsement just as my factual statements are not a political endoresement.
 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Homer Jones on April 22, 2009, 09:34:04 PM
Have no fear: Judge Jonathan Harris is going to have a field day with this one.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 22, 2009, 10:14:04 PM
To be clear, I said "I prefer to stay out of municipal politics and typically refrain from commenting in threads like this".  

My "endorsement" was in a school board election (not municipal). The school board is a separate entity. Also- my comments were directed towards the quality and character of those I know and support.  I did not comment on the motivations, judgment or decisions of the opposing candidates. I think negative campaigning skews the facts and am always skeptical when I hear it, in this or any election.  

SackResident: I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the facts or outcome, but I'll leave it there. I'm happy to host frank, honest discussions on these boards. That's one reason why I set up the boards 5 years ago and I'm glad people are using it.

 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: SackResident on April 25, 2009, 04:12:57 PM
I find it hard to believe that someone with your inteligence could not figure out the ties of your endorsed Bd of Ed candidates to the MHF council ticket. Wow, even their literature used the same mailing permit. Go figure. It is ok to pick sides just don't pretend not too. People will like you better if they know you are not dancing around an issue, especially as an editor of a blog. Back to this big building on Summit. I went online and checked campaign contributions to the encumbants ticket. I find it very disturbing that Joe Basrallian (attorney for the applicant) has donated a large chunk of money to them this year already with possibly more to come. He also donated a large sum when they ran last time. At that time I believe he was doing a project for the hospital. NO special interest there? Wake up folks. Most of thier campaign money came from outside of Hackensack.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on April 26, 2009, 01:42:21 AM
Hey SackResident,

Whatever you do, don't say one negative thing about Ken Zisa on this website.  That's when the real trouble starts.  Of course, I am completely muzzled in my ability to say anything specifically negative about him, or I could be sued.  That's the whole idea of the lawsuit, and it is definately working. But I can say that I don't like him and I don't support him politically.  I'm just "not allowed" to say why.

I like this council, especially Melfi.  Melfi's personal committment to Summit Avenue, to preserving the integrity of the city's zoning ordinance, and to property Maintenance matters citywide cannot be understated.  The amount of time and effort he's put in on these issues is amazing, just ask Zoning Officer Joe Mellone.  My biggest issue with the City Council is their relationship with Ken Zisa.  Frankly, I would be open to the idea of new faces on the council, just to help diminish the political power base of Ken Zisa.  I openly support taking measures to weaken the power base of Ken Zisa. This has to be done within the Democratic Party, and I advocate that all Democrats vote for any Republican opposing him in any future election for ANY office. (Hey, I still haven't say anything specifically about him, so I can't be sued.)

However, that being said, it is clear to me that these Citizens For Change challengers absolutely do not fit the shoes of a Mayor and Council.  I don't think that Citizens for Change knows the relationship between ratables and taxes, or how homeless facilities lower property values and destroy the tax base as well as the economic climate of our downtown.  I cannot support them.  Who knows, they might be happy with these 3 houses on Summit Avenue being used as homeless shelters, just as long as the Nursing home is built elsewhere.

The real Hackensack insiders know there is an on-again, off-again rift between Ken Zisa and Lynne Hurwitz.  (One of Lynne's closest political cronies is Loretta Weinberg....just connect the dots). If you recall, Lynne Hurwitz's group interviewed and ran candidates for City Council in the Spring of 2005, and there was tremendous behind-the-scenes dispute over this whole matter.  Jack Zisa and his running mates retired undefeated, and the new council ran and became the new administration.  I recall that all the Zisa's were upset with the change. Councilman Roger Mattei was besides himself with frustration, that he was just pushed aside after 16 years of total loyalty.  Loyalty is something he values the highest. He thought it was a total stab in the back, and to some extent he was right. Mark Stein thought it would be a 4-year intermission, that the new council would be discredited by tax increases, and he'd come back to run again either for Mayor or for City Council. He's not getting that opportunity (yet), and that's probably why he's running now for the School Board.  Whether he wins or loses, we haven't seen the last of Mark Stein.

In my humble opinion, Ken Zisa is supporting this current council just to maintain a political base in his home town, out of political expediency.  I suspect that Ken Zisa would have been much happier with his brother still as Mayor.  It is well known that his great loyalty is to Joe Ferreiro, and vis versa.  The current council is happy to have his support, because the Hackensack Police have a substantial political influence in Hackensack and throughout Bergen County.  But I don't think the council ever took any orders from Ferreiro. And they certainly aren't beholden to Joe Basralian just because he gave a donation. All the big-shot lawyers donate to candidates.

As for the Summit Ave project, I'm unsure if the Council's action in opposing the project carries the legal burden it's been alleged to.  If anything, they may open themselves to being personally sued. Historically, incumbant elected officials are usually fearful of taking a stand on Zoning and Planning Board cases.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 26, 2009, 09:39:22 AM
SackResident: I searched the NJ campaign contributors database (http://www.elec.state.nj.us/ElecReport/SimpleSearch.aspx) and don't find any donations to the incumbents from Basralian in this, or any city election.  Can you specify what database you used? 

Justwatching:  You are just so knowledgeable. You must write for NJPolitics.

Chief Zisa's career public service speaks for itself. As for recent defamatory statements again him, the judge said there's enough evidence to move the case forward and denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the case.

Just some housekeeping: This thread is about Summit Avenue, not the election. If need be, start a new thread.  We have one already for the 2009 election (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php?topic=983.0).

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on April 26, 2009, 10:03:44 PM
Editor

I am not SackResident, but I also found this donation on  http://www.elec.state.nj.us/ - Public Information. I searched under Karen Sasso. It is in their filing dated 4/13/09.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 27, 2009, 02:07:48 AM
Thanks Peanut.  Yes, I did find the $500 donation from Mr. Basralian.  Is this the "large chuck" of money that SackResident referred to? I also see that the challengers accepted $2,000 from NAI Hansen and Associates, an international real estate firm.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on April 27, 2009, 06:47:22 AM
The problem I have with the donation from Basralian is the date - March '09. I believe he has donated to them before, but it this date is while this Summit application is pending. Does NAI have anything pending with the other candidates?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 27, 2009, 09:35:40 AM
Did Basralian's donation in the 2005 election (also $500) have anything to do with the Summit application? Of course not.  Obviously he was a supporter then too.  Trust me when I say that no one thinks they can buy Summit Avenue for $500.  I only point out the NAI donation for the record.  Candidates can accept money from supporters without being beholden.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on April 27, 2009, 09:51:45 AM
Mr. Basralian donated more than $500 in 2005, individually and through his firm. The timing of this donation and the ongoing connection to the administration is what raises my interest in this subject.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: averagejoe on April 27, 2009, 07:59:08 PM
basralian is a senior partner in winne banta.unless you are naive you would recognize that large firms tend to contribute in the towns in which theyre located.and they expect nothing in return beyond basic courtesy.no smoking gun here,try again!
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on April 27, 2009, 08:40:02 PM
Wee bit defensive aren't you Joe? The administration could have refused his donation based on the appearance of impropriety. But that didn't happen. If they had, there would not be a question - and it's just a question, not an indictment.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on April 27, 2009, 10:32:37 PM
While we're throwing Mr. Basralian's name around, I thought I would share this:

Mr. Basralian is active in many charities, serving as a Trustee of the Central Board of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the largest Armenian charity in the world, Trustee of the Bergen Community College Foundation, having served as its President for two years, a Trustee of the Winifred M. Pitkin Foundation, Inc., former Secretary and Trustee of the 9/11 Armenian Fund USA, and numerable other charitable organizations. 2005, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his charitable contributions to the community. Source: http://www.superlawyers.com/new-jersey/lawyer/Joseph-L-Basralian/ea21c2b8-d3b5-40e6-826b-2a1105fcb2c8.html

People with credentials like this don't engage in the type of behavior that you and SackResident insinuate. I don't see why the incumbents should have to refuse this token offer of support in an election as important as this one. And while I don't begrudge you your right to "question", I'm sure you'll agree that sometimes things are not always as they appear.  Of course, the challengers will want to exploit this to their full advantage.

Even if you disagree with the above, why on earth would someone give less money in a year when they would want to buy more influence?  It makes no sense.

(Replies to this thread were split and now appear here (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php?topic=1052.msg3421#msg3421))
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 28, 2009, 09:07:36 PM
Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting
Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm
City Hall 65 Central Avenue 3rd floor auditorium

It is imperative that all who oppose this project attend the Special Meeting. It is your job to question and challenge the testimony of the applicant's expert witnesses. Be informed.

Please email us if you would like more information or to be added to the Prospect Avenue Coalition mailing list: prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com (prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com).
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on May 03, 2009, 09:06:24 AM
This is good, but also alarming

The objectors better have a LAWYER to cross-examine the expert witnesses.  And better have their own expert witnesses.

By the way, if you do have a lawyer, Basralian will object to members of the organization cross-examining the expert witnesses. Be prepared for an answer on this. Be prepared to state that the citizens' lawyer represents ONE specific person.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 05, 2009, 08:17:29 AM
One objector is being represented by their own counsel and perhaps another. We (the peeps on Prospect/Summit/Overlook) should separately have counsel represent us as a whole. I am in favor of hiring counsel AND experts especially traffic to represent our crew. May 14 is fast approaching. Time's awastin'.

Here is an article on the front page of the County Seat from May 1st:

http://www.thecountyseat.biz/issues/May_2009.pdf (http://www.thecountyseat.biz/issues/May_2009.pdf)

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on May 06, 2009, 04:33:04 AM
People care a lot about traffic volume, but the courts generally don't.  Traffic becomes important only if the location of the ingress or egress driveway conflicts or is off-center with an existing intersection.  This isn't, it is mid-block.

If you have limited funds to expend on experts, hire a professional planner.  Someone who will testify that the integrity of the zone plan and zoning ordinance will be compromised by this application.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on May 06, 2009, 09:24:06 AM
We should probably keep any discussion of litigation strategy off the boards.  Feel free to use the board's personal message system if you don't want to use email.  See "my messages" in blue menu bar above.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 12, 2009, 08:10:20 AM
Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting
Thursday, May 14 at 7 pm
City Hall 65 Central Avenue 3rd floor auditorium
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 12, 2009, 08:43:04 AM
Here is an article in the County Seat:

http://www.thecountyseat.biz/issues/May%208,%202009%20(special%20-16pgs).indd.pdf (http://www.thecountyseat.biz/issues/May%208,%202009%20(special%20-16pgs).indd.pdf)
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 14, 2009, 08:32:52 AM
Tonight at 7 pm in the 3rd floor auditorium of City Hall at 65 Central Avenue the Hackensack Zoning Board will hold a Special Meeting to hear testimony from Richard Pineles and his expert witnesses regarding his 24-story, 5 level garage project on Prospect and Summit. There should be a period at the end of testimony where residents may question the applicant/experts or make a personal statement. At a minimum you should get up state your name/address for the record and say "I am against this project".
 
Please attend tonight. It would be great if you could be there at 7 pm although if you come later you will still be able to make a statement at the end and that is just as important. See you tonight.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 14, 2009, 11:05:06 PM
Save the date - Thursday June 25, 2009
Second Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting

Thank you everyone for coming out tonight to show your opposition to the Richard Pineles Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care facility. We packed the auditorium and we let him know what we thought about his application.
 
The Hackensack Zoning Board has scheduled the second Special Meeting for Thursday June 25th at 7 pm in the 3rd floor auditorium at 65 Central Avenue.
 
We have plenty more testimony to hear so we have to keep showing up in numbers. We have to be prepared to ask hard and relevant questions which will reveal that this project is not the right one for Prospect/Summit Avenues. If you can't be there at 7 pm come when you can. If you are not in town on that day get someone to go in your place. See you then.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on May 15, 2009, 12:44:03 PM
Here's today's Record article.  By the way, Adult Day Care centers are a prohibited use under the Zoning ordinance everywhere in Hackensack.  I think Eric Martindale and Joseph Mellone had something to do with it.

That's a new provision, just put into the ordinance in 2005. They require a variance anywhere and everywhere in Hackensack.  If anyone wonders why, just go down to Newark and take a tour of the Adult Day Care Center on Broadway just south of Grafton Ave.  It's run like a giant homeless shelter, and most of the "patients" have their care paid for by the taxpayers of New Jersey.


Hackensack residents turn out against proposed medical center
Thursday, May 14, 2009
BY MAYA KREMEN
NorthJersey.com
Staff Writer
 0 Comments    HACKENSACK — Nearly 200 residents packed a Zoning Board meeting tonight to protest a proposal for a 24-story medical center in a residential area near Prospect Avenue. Residents, many of whom were wearing buttons protesting the project, waited in a long line to confront the property’s owner, Richard Pineles. The proposed structure would be a 24-hour operation with an underground garage in what is currently a residential neighborhood.

“What you are trying to do, I believe, is destroy our neighborhood,” longtime resident Jack McKinney said to a round of applause.

The city has said Pineles needs more than a dozen variances, including ones for parking, use and lot size. The area is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.
Pineles’ traffic engineer claims that he does not need a variance for parking and that the 402 parking spaces provided in the underground parking structure are enough.

The facility, which would provide adult day care and dialysis among other services, would fill a need in the area, Pineles said. He also owns two nursing homes in the city.
“There are 840 slots for adult day care in Bergen County, but statistics bear out that there’s a greater need,” he said. “Currently there’s no adult day care center in Hackensack.”  The facility would be able to house 250 adults for the day care program, Pineles said.

But residents said that the area is already congested and is not suited for such a large building.  “Not only will it impact traffic, it’s going to deflate property values,” said Joanne Ehman of Prospect Avenue. “It doesn’t belong in the neighborhood.”

The meeting was the second Zoning Board meeting about the proposed facility, which is known as the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital.

E-mail: kremenm@northjersey.com

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: RonFrey on May 22, 2009, 10:10:59 AM
It's really terrific to see the number of fellow residents taking a strong position against this proposed project. I have lived in town now for 25 years and in many cases, watched the residents position being pushed to second place. This is great city/town and we shoulder a much larger portion of the service burden then most in Bergen County. Building a large facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood is not only wrong, but insulting. Hackensack has many places in the city that are in need of redevelopment where property is less expensive. So I wonder why this location? I can toss out a few guesses. The first one that comes to mind is that they want to attract upscale paying clients, so putting it in one of the best places in Hackensack can help accomplish their means. If it was in a "not so nice' area, maybe those folks would look elsewhere. Nice for them, bad for the residents. Another longer term objective comes to mind about setting precedent and opening the way to transform Summit Ave. to a high rise medical community. Lots of money to be made here. Again, good for some, bad for the residents. There is a reason for zoning, to balance the community and provide a great place to live, work and play. Hackensack has a great zoning board and I'm sure they will do the right thing. Lastly, we as residents are ultimately responsible for our community and must work together to keep it great. See you at the next meeting.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 31, 2009, 02:00:01 PM
In this Friday's (May 29th) issue of the Hackensack Chronicle there is an article on the front page about the May 14th Special Zoning Board Meeting to hear the testimony of Richard Pineles re: Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care project which he plans to build on Summit and Prospect Avenues.

Shout out to Maxine living in one of the buildings in the area who was quoted on page 5. I like the newsprint coverage.

Enjoyed the cross conducted by the attorney who lives in one of the buildings on Prospect Avenue. Nice and lengthy. Oh and very amusing at least to me.

If you live near Prospect/Summit Avenue or have to drive thru the area please do not forget to attend the Second Special Zoning Board Meeting on Thursday June 25th at 7 pm in the 3rd floor auditorium at City Hall located at 65 Central Avenue.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 03, 2009, 01:18:06 AM
Shout out to Tom living in one of the buildings in the area whose letter to the Editor appears on page 2 of The County Seat in the June 1st issue:

Don’t Eradicate Beautiful Old Hackensack

There have been two Hackensack Zoning Board meetings concerning the application for the construction of the Bergen-Passaic Long Term Acute Care facility on four lots along Prospect and Summit avenues. During the May 14 meeting, the line of protesting residents waiting to question the property owner, Richard Pineles, extended out the door. In many of his answers, Mr. Pineles seemed disingenuous. When asked why he wanted to build this facility in this neighborhood, he responded that he wanted to meet the needs of the senior citizens in the area. The questioner then turned to the audience and asked how many of these protesters were senior citizens and approximately two-thirds of the audience raised their hands. Apparently, these seniors were not buying his argument.
   
When he was questioned about inadequate parking at both the proposed facility and at Prospect Heights (a care facility also owned by Pineles), he said that there was sufficient parking at both buildings. The questioner wanted to know why his employees from Prospect Heights were illegally parking in the neighboring buildings’ parking lots and he said it was not his fault because people will park wherever they find a parking space.

The traffic on Prospect and Summit avenues is presently a nightmare at times. Can you imagine what it will be like if this proposed facility is allowed?

My greatest concern is that if this project is approved, a floodgate will be opened to future demolition of old homes on Summit Avenue and the prestigious beauty of Old Hackensack will further be erased.

Thomas Lydon
Hackensack

http://www.thecountyseat.biz/issues/June-1-2009.pdf (http://www.thecountyseat.biz/issues/June-1-2009.pdf)
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 07, 2009, 09:26:45 AM
Is anyone able to attend the Public Hearing for the opening of a new hospital in Westwood on Monday, June 8 at 4:30 to 8:30 pm at Westwood Regional Junior/Senior High School at 701 Ridgewood Rd. in Washington Township? Please email prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com if you can attend.

http://www.keepourhospitalshealthy.org/view-comments-from-petition/ (http://www.keepourhospitalshealthy.org/view-comments-from-petition/)

The Issue
The foundation of northern New Jersey’s healthcare system is at risk.

Hackensack University Medical Center, in a joint venture with a Texas private equity firm, Legacy Hospital Partners, is seeking approval to open a for-profit acute care facility on the former Pascack Valley Hospital (PVH) site. PVH went bankrupt and closed in November 2007, due in large part to what a recent Governor-appointed NJ Commission identified as “an oversupply of hospital beds that is…most pronounced in the Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paterson and the Newark/Jersey City market areas.”

The closure of PVH produced increased occupancy rates and financial stability at the remaining Bergen County hospitals.

This for-profit joint venture could significantly damage the financial strength of the other Bergen County hospitals, thereby destabilizing the region’s access to healthcare and reversing the benefits that have been provided to local residents.

When an oversupply of hospital beds floods a market, services and equipment are duplicated, driving up costs. Existing hospitals, their employees and the communities they serve pay a very serious price. The public bears the costs while profits go to a few.

There should be a satellite Emergency Department at the former Pascack Valley site so that residents have access in emergency situations. But to add a new inpatient, acute-care hospital in a region that has an oversupply of beds would be detrimental to the fragile healthcare system in Bergen County. As result, access and quality of care would be affected.

Healthy hospitals for all of Bergen County – that’s the issue. Let’s keep the whole community in mind.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 17, 2009, 07:21:55 AM
If you live near Prospect/Summit Avenue or have to drive thru the area please do not forget to attend:

Second Special Zoning Board Meeting
Thursday June 25th at 7 pm
3rd floor auditorium
City Hall 65 Central Avenue
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on June 22, 2009, 08:05:10 PM
I believe there is some confusion about the upcoming ZB meeting.

At the last meeting people put their name on a list to speak. Some people think that those are the only people who can speak this week. As I understand it from what was said at a meeting last week, the people on the list will be the first to get an opportunity to speak. Other residents will also be permitted to speak after that.

Someone correct me if I misunderstood.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 22, 2009, 08:28:28 PM
That was my understanding as well. The people who put their names on the list will get to question the applicant at the beginning of the meeting and then we will hear the testimony from the architect/engineer/traffic experts. We will then question each of them. I expect that there will be a lot of people lining up to ask each of them relevant questions.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 25, 2009, 08:22:47 AM
BE THERE TONIGHT:


Second Special Zoning Board Meeting
Thursday June 25th at 7 pm
3rd floor auditorium
City Hall 65 Central Avenue
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 26, 2009, 12:49:03 AM
Save the date - Wednesday July 22, 2009
Third Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting

Thank you everyone for coming out again to show your opposition to the Richard Pineles Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care facility. AGAIN we packed the auditorium.  Look to see who gets quoted in the next issue of the Hackensack Chronicle! For those of you who left during the break you really missed the action.
 
The Hackensack Zoning Board has scheduled the third Special Meeting for Wednesday, July 22nd at 7 pm in the 3rd floor auditorium at 65 Central Avenue.
 
Still to come are the engineer and traffic expert. We await with bated breath. We have to keep showing up in numbers. We have to be prepared to ask hard and relevant questions which will reveal that this project is not the right one for Prospect/Summit Avenues. If you can't be there at 7 pm come when you can. If you are not in town on that day get someone to go in your place. See you then.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 29, 2009, 11:49:02 PM
@Mark Bonamo, we tried to persuade Mr. Pineles to put this windowless monstrosity in his backyard but he NIMBY'ed us!

@Mayor Melfi, you can count on the ProspectAvenueCoalition (prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com) in conjunction with Summit and Overlook Avenues to not stop until we see an LTACH with a lovely wisteria filled park being built in Verona, New Jersey.

The Baridge House, The Camelot and The Blair House also had residents/neighbors meet with Mr. Zisa and other Council members. These meetings have been extremely well attended and are remarkably effective in rallying and informing the masses.

Hackensack Chronicle
Not in our backyard: City, residents to fight project
(by Mark J. Bonamo - June 29, 2009)

The close to 75 residents of the Whitehall high-rise building and other Prospect Avenue high-rises who met with City Attorney Joseph Zisa in the Whitehall’s basement on June 18 were looking for answers about a controversial construction project. And Zisa had an answer.

“This is all about the money,” Zisa said, referring to the proposed construction of a 24-story acute-care medical facility on Prospect Avenue. “The property is pretty much across the street from this one and there are some serious problems with the project.”

Zisa was joined by Mayor Michael Melfi as both city officials and residents expressed their concerns about a project that could significantly impact the quality of life of those residents living on or around Prospect Avenue.

Project owner also runs other facilities Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC is seeking to obtain site-plan approval for the project, which would be built at 329 Prospect Ave. According to deed records, the company purchased the property, presently occupied by a residential home, in 2007 for $1.33 million.

If built, the facility, which city officials have indicated will have a ground floor of 7,250 square feet, would primarily provide adult day care and dialysis, as well as other medical services, and would include several driveways and an underground parking garage. City officials have also stated that the company will need more than a dozen variances in order to complete the project, including variances for use, parking and lot size. The site is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.

Richard Pineles, the president of Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC, also owns Prospect Heights Care Center, a 180-bed nursing home facility located close to the site, as well as Regent Care Center, a nursing home on Polifly Road. Pineles responded to a previous phone call seeking comment about the project by stating that it was company policy not to comment on a project that is pending and that is being proposed to the public.

Residents, officials display ire about project Zisa was blunt with his assessment of the project.

“This project is scary to me,” he said. “They have a very small piece of property on Prospect Ave., and three pieces of property on Summit Ave. they want to put five stories of underground parking under the Summit Ave. properties.”

“Summit Ave. has always been a one-family [residential] zone,” continued Zisa. “By allowing them to build under Summit Ave., you’re now allowing a commercial developer to encroach on that one-family zone. To me, that is a very dangerous precedent to set.”

“We really believe that this is a project that is terrible for Hackensack . It is not only bad for the character of Prospect Avenue and Summit Ave., it’s terrible for everyone who needs to get through town,” added Melfi, noting that the project would exacerbate traffic flow problems between Route 4 and Route 80.

After several people present at the meeting also voiced concerns about the neighborhood’s atmosphere and traffic in the wake of the potential project, longtime resident Jack McKinney dramatically pointed to another concern raised by the project: property values.

“If we don’t stop these people, we are going to virtually destroy our property,” McKinney said. “If you want to sell your place, sell it now. Because if these people come in, you couldn’t give it away. You’ve got to find some way to stop these people.”

Zoning Board meetings critical

Some residents have expressed concern about the considerable legal fees that could be incurred fighting this project, including the $125-per-hour standard municipal rate that the city is paying Zisa to speak at several high-rise resident meetings. However, Melfi defended the expenditure as money well spent.

“This is too important of an issue to not keep the momentum going. That’s why the council has decided to allow this to happen,” he said. “This is a slippery slope issue. If a high-rise building encroaches on Summit Avenue, all Summit Avenue could fall. The residents need to be informed about this issue, and have the knowledge that they need to come to the zoning board meetings, step up, and fight this.”

While residents and the administration have disagreed on controversial issues in the recent past, the majority of those present at the Whitehall meeting seemed to be strongly against the 24-story medical facility project.

“I’ve lived in Hackensack all my life, and I can remember when the whole area was beautiful,” said Sal Presti, 80. “This project will make it much worse. Unfortunately, money is the whole thing.”

“Traffic is atrocious now on Prospect Ave.,” added Presti’s sister, Carmela Rivers, 81. “We do not need this. We are vehemently against it.”

In expressing her opposition to the project, a Bristol House resident who was present at the Whitehall meeting pointed to existing difficulties encountered during nighttime walks on Prospect Ave.

“We have a lot of cars going down the street at 9:15 p.m.,” she said. “It’s a nice neighborhood to walk up and down in, but it’s hard to cross the street most of the time. I hope that this project can be defeated.”

City officials emphasized that a very important way to defeat the proposed project is to attend the city zoning board meetings at which the proposal is discussed. The next meeting was scheduled for June 25, after press deadline. They emphasized that while the council appoints the board members, the zoning board acts as an independent entity from the council.

“If nobody shows up, why should the zoning board think it’s a bad project?” asked Zisa. “If you don’t want to show up to these meetings, don’t complain after this is over. If you want to defeat the project… you have to go to the meetings.”

“You must stay engaged,” added Melfi. “You cannot stop. If we stop, we will fail.”

E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 07, 2009, 12:04:11 AM
#4043, we'd like to give a shout out to area residents: Nita, Charles, Will, Barbara and Dr. Len. We asked The Record to attend the next zoning board meeting on July 22nd. We told them that they were missing all the action!

Go up to the reporters (the Chronicle guy is young, wears dark frame glasses and has dark hair) during the zoning board meeting and get our message out via the news media! We will be calling the New York Times next.


Medical building project developer, residents debate
(by Mark J. Bonamo - July 06, 2009)


More than 200 city residents jammed City Hall for a June 25 zoning board meeting where the featured topic was the proposed 24-story acute-care medical facility to be built on Prospect Avenue. But in many ways, the residents’ concerns were expressed by one solitary citizen.

“You have indicated that this was an ideal site,” said Nita Kundanmal as she addressed Richard Pineles, the president of Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC, the company that is seeking site-plan approval for the project. “Can you tell me why it is so ideal?”

As the evening went on, residents, who live close to the proposed building site, voiced their distress about a project that many see as far from ideal.

Proposed medical facility controversial

If approved, the facility 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 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. Hackensack officials have indicated that the facility will have a ground floor of 7,250 square feet, and would primarily provide adult day care and dialysis, as well as other medical services. The facility would also include several driveways and an underground parking garage.

City officials have stated that the company will need more than a dozen variances in order to go forward with the project, including variances for use, parking and lot size. The site is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.

Residents living in the high-rise buildings on Prospect Avenue and neighboring Summit Avenue have expressed serious qualms about the effects of the potential project, with the main complaints centering on quality of life, property values, traffic and environmental issues. Nearly 200 residents previously protested the proposed project at the May 14 zoning board meeting.

Company president, resident, go back and forth

Pineles proceeded to answer Kundanmal’s question about the suitability of the project site.

“The demographics of the area and Bergen County in particular are compelling,” he said, noting that the county has the highest population in the state and that a large population of residents aged 65 and older lives within close proximity to the site.

“We believe that we will provide over 500 permanent health care positions at this facility,” Pineles added.

“Do you realize that the character of the area is going to change with all of the construction needed for the project?” followed Kundanmal.

“I don’t think that the construction changes the character of the neighborhood,” said Pineles. “And I don’t believe that our facility as it is proposed will change the character of this neighborhood.”

Kundanmal proceeded to ask Pineles about the impact of increased traffic on the neighborhood if the project were to be completed.

“I would agree that there will be some more traffic. Considerably more, no,” Pineles said.

Kundanmal then challenged Pineles regarding the question of local property values being affected by the project.

“My general belief is that property values will improve and increase,” he said.

“If this kind of facility goes up… Hackensack will not be anything like it is now,” countered Kundanmal. “I won’t be living here that much longer [if it goes up] I imagine.”

Other residents speak out against project

During a break in the zoning board meeting, the majority of residents present seemed to be against the proposed facility.

“We don’t want this project,” said Prospect Avenue resident Charles Warren, 75. “It will disrupt the neighborhood, and traffic is going to be horrendous. There is no way that they can accommodate all of that traffic.”

“I’ve got some questions with regards to how this is going to impact all of the infrastructure, and what is the long-term impact on the taxpayers of Hackensack,” added Prospect Avenue resident Will Robinson, 65. “The infrastructure is already strained.”

Barbara Rubin, who lives directly across the street from the proposed project site, made a point about the planned facility to project architect Michael Szerbaty during the public comments segment of the meeting.

“What you have proposed is a very wonderful hospital. But aren’t you aware that it is being requested to be put into a residentially zoned area?” asked Rubin. “This is a residential neighborhood. We live there. And we don’t want you there.” “I live close by, and this [project] will change the character of this area,” said Dr. Leonard Burnett, 83. “We wonder if one large building of this kind is built, what will prevent another one from being built? At what point do you stop?”

When the Prospect Avenue resident was later asked if anything that he had heard at the zoning board meeting had changed his mind, Burnett got right to the point.

“It didn’t change it. It just reinforced it,” he said.

The next zoning board meeting is scheduled for July 22 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.
 
E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Hack72 on July 07, 2009, 08:59:59 AM
I'm really glad to hear so many people are opposing this.  How can it possibly go through?  It needs a variance, and no one wants it.  It benefits no one but the company building it. 

I wish some of those vocal people were around 25 years ago when the beautiful homes on Prospect were being gobbled up to build the high rises they now live in.  Now THAT changed the character of the neighborhood.

Ironic, I think...

Yet I still support the opposers of this facility.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on July 07, 2009, 02:07:53 PM
I am also opposing this proposed LTACH building....are you aware that Mr Pineles is requesting 14 variances from the adjustment board? This building should be built in the HCS (health care services) district, not on residential Prospect & Summit Avenues! Do you know that this building includes a 128 square foot trash compactor and an OXYGEN STORAGE TANK   on the north side of the building????!!!!
Oxygen is flammable- this is a danger to the neighborhood- and his building will not leave adequate space between buildings for firefighters! This building (it's really a hospital) will house 144 semi ambulatory patients on floors 6-17 and the dialysis areas are on levels 20-24----how do you evacuate these patients? Does the fire dept have ladders that reach above 6-8 stories?
The security & traffic  issues are real and should not be overlooked. This building requires 768 spaces
and only 402 will be provided in Mr.Pineles' building..so approx. 400 extra vehicles will be on our streets, with nowhere to park, so guess where they will all park?
So far, no geological studies have been done, and he wants to blast 5 stories underground for his parking garage!! Blasting---surely this could undermine the structures of nearby buildings!!

If this monstrosity is allowed to be built, the construction will cause untold air/dust pollution, in addition to clogging our streets with traffic. Two-three years of construction will cause irrreparable damage to the neighborhood. I chose to live here because I love living in a city like Hackensack and I do not wish to see my neighborhood destroyed. If you live on Prospect or Summit, your property values will go down and that will be the least of our problems!!

The statistics I write about are real and are in the Planning & Engineering Review submitted to the zoning board. Come to the next meeting on July 22 to protest this building.....it is outrageous that anyone can even consider building it on Prospect & Summit when there are places to build it  in the HCS district. This is not about the "need" for this facility, as Mr Pineles would have you believe, it's about the MONEY!!! He  owns Prospect Heights Care Center across the street as well as Regents on Polifly Road. What hubris to ask the zoning board for 14 variances!!!

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 11, 2009, 10:36:44 AM
#4196: @Hack72, we appreciate your support of our opposition to Richard Pineles' plans to build a hospital at 329 Prospect Avenue which is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings. Perhaps your wish should have been for people to come and buy those houses which were torn down 25 years ago. According to the attached NYTimes article written in 1983 the conversion of Prospect Avenue began more than 45 years ago in an effort to forestall a deterioration of the area. Deputy city manager, Wilbur H. Lind II, feared that the area would experience a decline similar to Union/Park Streets with its transition to rooming houses and boarding homes. I have confirmed all of this with a family member of the builder who erected many of the high rise residential buildings on Prospect and Overlook Avenues and who happened to be on-site during the 1970s. Do you think that Mr. Pineles would have been lured to the neighborhood if it had deteriorated as anticipated?

At this moment Prospect/Summit/Overlook continues to be a vibrant residential neighborhood where people live. If I wanted to live next door to a hospital or over the railroad tracks or better yet -- on a block jammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic I could now more easily afford a move to Manhattan which I will now reconsider as I fear more a decline in my property value if the 14 or more variances are approved.

Join us on Wednesday, July 22 at 7 pm at City Hall, 65 Central Avenue and be vocal.

THE NEW YORK TIMES
ON THE RIDGE, HACKENSACK'S LUXURY ROW
By ANTHONY DEPALMA
Published: June 19, 1983
Illustrations: map of Hackensack, N.J. photo of James D'Agostino photo of high-rise apartments

HACKENSACK does not come readily to mind when discussing luxury housing in Bergen County. But along one six-block strip of Prospect A venue in that city are more than a dozen condominium, cooperative a nd rental apartment high-rises usually associated with the long s tring of luxury towers atop the Palisades in Fort Lee.

Prospect Avenue actually sits atop its own ridge. Although modest in comparison to the majestic Palisades, the ridge (sometimes referred to as ''the hill'' or Hackensack Heights) provides the same principal advantage - fine views of the Manhattan skyline - that have become almost an essential part of luxury housing in the area.

To the north and west, the towers offer vistas of the Ramapo Mountains. And even on hazy days, it is possible to see as far north as Rockland County, N.Y.

As spectacular as the views are, they in themselves would not have been enough to transform an avenue lined with a long row of stately old city mansions into a contemporary wall of residential towers. Above all, it was the location - just eight miles from Manhattan, making for easy commuting, yet far enough away to be considered the suburbs - that attracted the developers.

The conversion of Prospect Avenue began more than 20 years ago. Wilbur H. Lind, a deputy city manager and longtime resident of Hackensack, said that in the late 1950's old residents began moving out of the Prospect Avenue houses to the developing suburbs of northern Bergen County, such as Upper Saddle River, Tenafly and Westwood.

''The planning board back then saw what was going on and didn't want to repeat what happened on Union and Park Streets,'' he said. He was referring to an older section of Hackensack, once the site of the city's finest houses, that shortly after World War II quickly deteriorated into an area of rooming houses and boarding homes.

Hackensack rezoned the six blocks of Prospect Avenue from Essex Street to Passaic Street for high-density, multifamily housing in 1962, Mr. Lind said. Within just a few years, the first high-rises were constructed and both sides of the avenue are now almost walled in by buildings as tall as 21 stories with a total of more than 3,000 apartments.

The latest is also one of the most luxurious. The Camelot, at 245 Prospect Avenue, is a 21-story condominium with 78 units ranging in price from $175,000 to the double-sized penthouses for $480,000.

The Camelot, opened last October, was built on a 200-foot-square lot previously occupied by just two single-family houses. The condominium tower is an indication of just how far Prospect Avenue has come. The building offers many of the latest technological features - including solar-assisted heat pumps, an elaborate security system and even a computer-operated talking elevator. But the basic idea behind both the old and the new Prospect Avenues remains the same: Luxury for those who can afford it.

''We could probably knock off $30,000 in extras from the selling price and still have nice units,'' said James D'Agostino, chairman of J.D. Construction Corporation of Hackensack, developer of the Camelot. ''But this is designed for people who want the best.''

Mr. D'Agostino, who has built more than 3,000 single-family homes around the state, said he thought people were willing to spend up to almost a half million dollars to live in Hackensack, the Bergen County seat. ''The city has overcome most of its ills at this point,'' he said, ''and everything here is so convenient - Interstate 80 is just five minutes away, the malls are close by, even Teterboro Airport is just a few miles away.''

Mr. D'Agostino himself has decided to live in Hackensack. He has purchased one of the two 4,000-square-foot penthouses. He said he would move into it as soon as he sells his home in Tenafly. His own circumstances, he said, are typical of many of the dozen or so people who have already either purchased units at the Camelot or are planning to.

''A lot of my old clients, people for whom I built big houses around Bergen County 25 years ago, are in the same boat,'' he said. ''Their children are grown and gone, they do a lot of traveling, maybe they've got another place down in Florida. They don't want to take care of a big house anymore.''

Beverly E. Amadei, the Weichert Real Estate Company agent handling sales at Camelot, said many of the buyers were empty-nester couples who were selling big, single-family houses. BUT, she added, a number of younger professional couples, either w orking in Manhattan or right in Hackensack, were also interested in l iving in the Camelot because of the conveniences and the special f eatures, including a full gym, a pool and an all-weather outdoor t ennis court.

A number of the older high-rises that were originally rentals are now being converted to condominiums and cooperatives. Next door to the Camelot is the Bristol House, a 143-unit tower converted to condominium ownership 3 years ago. Kathleen M. Smith, the sales agent, said many recent purchasers were older couples and professionals transferred from other parts of the country.

Scattered empty lots remain on Prospect Avenue, and tucked in between the high-rises are a few surviving mansions. But their days are numbered. Eugene J. Duffy, Hackensack's chief planner, predicted that in 10 years, all the principal sites remaining on Prospect Avenue will be built on.

The city does not mind that, Mr. Duffy said, because the conversion of Prospect Avenue from single-family homes to multifamily high rises has brought Hackensack nothing but good.

''In terms of city services, the new buildings are built up to the latest codes and so they're safer,'' he said. ''Schools? Many of the new residents are young, unmarried or older, and most don't have kids with them. And from the tax point of view, these buildings pay many times more than the single-family houses were giving.''

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on July 11, 2009, 11:47:54 AM
Thanks for history info-I've only lived here 3 years and love living in a city such as Hackensack. You know I'm opposed to this proposed hospital that Mr. Pineles wants to  build on our streets. If the zoning board allows this to happen ( 14 variances!) then what is the purpose of having a zoning board? This hospital should be built in the HCS area which is zoned for this, not in a residential area!
Come to the next meeting on July 22nd and you will see the scope of this monstrosity building. You may also get to hear the disingenuous and condescending attitude of Mr.Pineles when he answers our questions. This traffic (400 extra cars daily) will affect not just Summit & Prospect, but have far reaching affects on Passaic, Overlook, Spring Valley, Clinton streets, etc as well. Plus, there are serious security and safety issues.....oxygen storage tank, tractor trailors delivering supplies and stopping traffic so they can  maneuver into his narrow driveways. He plans a 5 story underground parking garage and has not done geological studies yet!! This project will permanently alter and compromise our neighborhood.
   Come to the meeting on 7/22 at 7:30- We can make a difference if we are not indifferent to this
issue......
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 12, 2009, 01:02:15 AM
#4228 - @Elizabeth, the Third Hackensack Special Zoning Board Meeting is at 7:00 pm on Wednesday July 22nd.

I did a little bit of looking around but could only find the initial certification date of January 5, 2000 for Prospect Heights. Does anyone remember when the application went to the Zoning Board? if the Zoning Board initially said NO and if it went to appeal then what happened. My only recollection is of the house that used to stand on that lot up until at least 1996. How did that Prospect Heights get built in this residential neighborhood? I am certain that there were variances that needed approval just like the 14 or more which Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital seeks approval for. Weren't there any vocal people living in the World Plaza and the Ritz Plaza? Hmmm, guess not. Can you imagine looking out your window onto that hideous looking eyesore. I definitely would have had to move. Do you keep the curtains drawn when potential buyers come to look at your unit?

Hey you young people (especially the ones living very near to 329 Prospect Avenue) -- you'd better wake up and get on down to the Zoning Board Meeting or before you know it your property values are going to get a kick in the pants harder than the real estate recession which hasn't hit this block that hard. The units in my building are still going for top dollar (just price checked unit which closed in June) but I don't live that close to proposed site. Oh and good luck getting out of your driveway in the a.m. Also, be careful when you dash across the street to catch the 162 bus. I'd be sure to increase my health insurance.

I hope to see some financially savy younger faces on the 22nd and not just the same more seasoned ones of late. Nothing is required of you. There are 2 parking lots, you don't have to pay anything to get in, there is no test at the end and you just sit there for approximately 2 maybe 2-1/2 hours. All we need are 200 people to show up. thx in advance for your support.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on July 15, 2009, 04:39:34 AM
I'm afraid to answer this question, but since I was there, I will.  Most readers here know that Prospect Heights is a nursing home on the other side of Prospect Avenue from this site.

There was a small but determined contingent of people who were opposed, all were residents of Prospect Ave. They came without lawyers or expert witnessses.  Nobody testified from the Carver Park neighborhood to the east.  Most of the opposition was focussed on a magnificient European Beech that was centered on the property's front lawn. Residents in buildings on either side wanted the tree to remain, or for the building to be set further back so the tree would remain.  Other people spoke against the shape of the building being less than square, and it just being too bulky for the property.  And one person asked the board to simply to require brick exterior instead of tile; that it not be a "TILE BUILDING" because the tile is too institutional-looking.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment DENIED Prospect Heights.  Actually the vote was split, but if I recall correctly, they were one vote short of what is needed for a Type D Use variance. 

The developers appealed to Judge Jonathan Harris, and Harris voted to approve the project based on it being a special needs land use.  It may have even been remanded back to the board, with orders to approve it.

This is why Pineles is so arrogant that they can win.  They think history is going to repeat.

I've been saying all along that it is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL not just to question the expert witnesses, but to have your own expert witnesses.  There has to be a stellar case against them. This is not a battle to convince the Zoning Board to vote NO, there is little doubt of that.  It's all about preparing for the next level, the appeal.

Tth

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on July 15, 2009, 03:37:37 PM
Thank you Just Watching- I've only lived here few years and wondered how Prospect Heights was allowed to be built....I live near that building and so far no one could tell me how it happened! Now I understand why Mr.Pineles is so arrogant and condescending at the meetings....he thinks this is a done deal!! I also heard thru the grapevine that the judge you mentioned has stepped down from the bench.  We know what a small determined group can do, but, this resident group is not talking about a tree or tile--this will not be a case of "special needs trumps tree"  That board did their job, but they had to do what was mandated. We won't make the same mistakes, we are focused on bigger, important issues, like safety in our streets. This LTACH will add approx 400 vehicles to our streets daily. Crossing the street safely will be nearly impossible. So let's see, if I'm hit by a car while crossing my street.......I may need his services and won't have far to go to have my private room in his monstrosity building!! The safety and security issues are real for everyone, adults, children, joggers, cyclists, etc..  DOESN'T AN OXYGEN STORAGE TANK SCARE ANYONE?? It's kind of like having the space shuttle attached to the building!
We have been preparing for the next level for some time now....as I've said before, this affects not just our neighborhood, but reaches far down the road.
COME TO THE ZONING MEETING 7P.M. ON JULY 22!
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on July 16, 2009, 07:37:24 AM
Sorry to be the Bearer of bad news.  But this news is potentially catastrophic. 

Harris didn't step down, he was promoted to the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division handles appeals from Superior Court.  So when Pineles loses in Hackensack AND loses in Superior Court, they can appeal again to the Appellate Division.  I don't know if Jonathan Harris will be handling zoning matters, or what geographic area in New Jersey he'll be assigned.  If it's to hear Zoning Appeals in Bergen County, this is a bigger problem. 

This was sent to me by Mark Distler of the Save Paramus Wetlands Group. www.saveparamuswetlands.com.  The details of their case are too long to state here, suffice to say that 35 acres land was covered under a deed restriction completely preventing development, so when it sold the sale price was only $90,000 for 35 acres.  Now developers called "Enchantment" are trying to force through a large development on this property, in defiance of the deed restrictions. Paramus denied the project. Judge Harris overturned the denial by the Paramus Zoning Board, and the Appellate Divison overturned Harris.  Harris also overturned East Rutherford's denial of a high-rise along the Hackensack River, in a commercial / industrial zone 2 or 3 miles from any other residential structure.  He just wants to approve ANY development.

Superior Court Judge Jonathan N. Harris of Bergen County Elevated to Appellate Division

"Chief Justice Stuart Rabner today signed an order appointing Judge Jonathan N. Harris of Bergen County to the Appellate Division effective Aug. 1.

The Appellate Division of the Superior Court is New Jersey's intermediate Appellate Court. Appellate Division judges hear appeals from decisions of the trial courts, the Tax Court and state administrative agencies. The Appellate Division decides approximately 7,000 appeals and 7,500 motions each year.

Judge Harris was nominated by then-Gov. Thomas H. Kean in 1989 and has sat in the civil, criminal and family divisions in Bergen Vicinage. Judge Harris was reappointed in 1996 by then-Gov. Christie Whitman. In 2005, he was designated one of four judges in the state to hear mass tort cases.

Judge Harris is a graduate of Brown University and New York University School of Law. Prior to his judicial career, Judge Harris focused his private practice in the areas of land use development, tax appeals and chancery litigation. He also served as general and special counsel to several banking and municipal corporations and public utilities.

Judge Harris lives in Upper Saddle River with his wife Karen. The couple has two children, Joshua and Rachel. In his spare time, Judge Harris enjoys gardening, visiting botanical gardens and museums and reading, cooking and traveling".


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on July 16, 2009, 08:24:59 AM
OMG!! this is not good news! How can one find out where Judge Harris is assigned-how does the "assignment" process work? Does anyone out there know?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on July 16, 2009, 10:05:02 PM
This may be useful reading for some ...  

A Zoning Variance is an authorization given by the Board of Adjustment to allow an exception to certain development standards prescribed in the Zoning Code. These standards regulate setbacks, lot dimensions, lot coverage, minimum/maximum sizes and heights of structures; where buildings, yards, parking lots, driveways, signs, and lighting may be placed on properties; and other zoning code requirements.

Zoning code regulations are written in a general manner, and, in most instances, apply to all properties equally. The Code, however, provides relief from the standards in unusual circumstances.

The process used to grant relief from strict requirements of the Zoning Code is called the variance process, which includes a public hearing. In order to receive a variance, property owners must submit an application at least 3 weeks before the hearing.

Submission of an application, however, does not guarantee approval. The land owner requesting the variance must show undue hardship or practical difficulty that is not self-imposed, and must demonstrate that the variance would not harm the public welfare, not have a negative impact on the prevailing character of the immediate areas, or would not adversely impact surrounding property values. The requirement that any hardship not be self-imposed is of particular significance. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent petitions to accommodate particular habits and hobbies of the property owner.

The requirement also prevents an owner from building a non-conforming structure and then seeking a variance for that structure on the grounds that it would be a hardship to tear it down. Depending on particular circumstances, you may be ordered to move or remove that non-conforming structure.

But an "inherently beneficial use" is a land use which inherently serves the public good and promotes the general welfare, examples of those uses which have been held to be "inherently beneficial," such as schools and hospitals.

If a use is held to be inherently beneficial, it presumptively satisfies the positive criteria for the grant of a use variance under the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), which is required when the proposed use is inconsistent with the zoning plan. 
To read the MLUL (assuming you can understand it) go to:
http://www.goleader.com/wf-masterplan/land_use_law.pdf (page 65) (40:55D-70 Powers); (page 66)(57(c) and (d)).
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on July 16, 2009, 11:28:31 PM
Plea to all Hackensack area property owners, renters, and commuters:
The public turnout at prior hearings was high and filled the hall. Given that many residents are away this time of year, those of you still in town please make a concerted effort to attend the July 22nd meeting with as many people as you can gather. Let's try to avoid an empty hall that evening.

Commenting on the above posts about how Prospect Heights was approved, let's worry about the next legal level when we get there. If we relax at this level, we may not get to the next. Let's not take anything for granted. Your presence is vital at upcoming meeting.  Please attend.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on July 17, 2009, 05:45:13 PM
Hi bergen, thanks for info! Yes, we have to stay focused......we need to fill the meeting room next week, bring your friends, relatives...whomever, we need to fill the seats.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 18, 2009, 09:20:40 AM
#4553 - @bergen07601, agreed that we have to stay focused but have been hearing from residents some misinformation that this application is a done deal meaning that the Zoning Board has already approved it and the Mayor and Council knowing this had publicly announced their opposition to garner election votes from Prospect/Summit/Overlook Avenues residents. Although we have PC Air Rights as an example and the support of Bill Noonan we are novices to the workings of local government.

The information that Just Watching has provided on Prospect Heights has been invaluable to us and will aid us in rallying Hackensack residents. Information re: Judge Jonathan Harris also helpful and we will investigate further to determine if we will encounter him on the appeal circuit.

Mr. Pineles said that he believed that property values in the neighborhood would increase after his hospital was built although he would not give me a guarantee. If you plan to sell your unit or home in the next couple of years email prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com and they will send you a picture of the windowless 24 story tower then you can determine if a potential buyer would like to live near to that.

If you live in the area and you would like to be able to cross the street or to drive down the block then come on down to the 3rd floor auditorium at  City Hall 65 Central Avenue on Wednesday July 22nd at 7 pm.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on July 18, 2009, 09:33:20 PM
I concur with the game plan.  PACK THE MEETING HALL and worry about the next step later.  But by all means do not think you've won when the Zoning Board votes "no".   

By the way, each level of appeal takes upwards of one year.  Meaning when they appeal to the Superior Court, that could easily take a year, and the appeal to Appellate Court could take another year.  I don't know if the legal issues of this case warrants an appeal to the State or US Supreme Court, but one never knows.

You see how long PC Air Rights has been going on, that's what you are in store for.

I suggest you adopt By-Laws and elect officers, and register as a 501(c)4 organization.  You are in it for the long hall.  You have the energy and momentum to do this now, don't be struggling to recontact your supporters 6 months after the conclusion of the Zoning Board case.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 20, 2009, 08:01:30 AM
Third Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting
Wednesday July 22, 2009 at 7 pm
3rd fl auditorium at City Hall 65 Central Avenue
Bring a sweater or a jacket



#4629
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 22, 2009, 01:36:31 AM
#4692

Go tonight!

When the Zoning Board opens the floor to the public please please please go up to the mic and at a minimum say "I am against this project". If Zoning Board asks you to sign up your name so that you can ask a question of the engineer or traffic expert at the Fourth Special Zoning Board Meeting, if one is called, walk up to the mic and state your name and address.

See you at 7 pm.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 22, 2009, 11:09:37 PM
Save the date - Wednesday September 23, 2009
Fourth Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting

 
#4744 Thank you everyone for coming out again to show your opposition to the Richard Pineles Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care facility. ONCE AGAIN we packed the auditorium.  For those of you on vacation you missed some really good grilling given by Hackensack residents and then Mr. Ditkas who is representing our neighbor on Prospect Avenue totally shredded the architect. Good news for all you vacationers Mr. Ditkas is not done yet with his questioning of this now nervous expert as the expert was instructed to go home and bone up on Hackensack's zoning ordinances in preparation for a bright light interrogation session. Stay tuned because first up to bat against the architect on September 23rd - - Mr. Ditkas.
 
Still to come are the engineer and traffic expert. Although we need the month off we can not wait for September 23rd. Come and see what the area residents say next. We have to keep showing up in numbers. We have to be prepared to ask hard and relevant questions which will reveal that this project is not the right one for Prospect/Summit Avenues. If you can't be there at 7 pm come when you can. If you are not in town on that day get someone to go in your place.

The Hackensack Zoning Board has scheduled the fourth Special Meeting for Wednesday, September 23rd at 7 pm in the 3rd floor auditorium at 65 Central Avenue. See you then.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 01, 2009, 08:27:44 PM
#4984 Article in the Hackensack Chronicle on Friday July 31 should be titled "Architect raked over the coals.... stay tuned for next month's meeting on September 23rd to see if he can survive the grilling from objector's counsel". Shout out to Charles, Tama and Murray who live on Prospect Avenue and want HACKENSACK TO JUST SAY NO. Special shout out to newly elected council member John Labrosse who also came out to voice his opposition to the Pineles project planned for Prospect/Summit Avenues.

Residents irate at zoning board meeting
Friday, July 31, 2009
BY MARK J. BONAMO
Hackensack Chronicle

Architect Michael Szerbaty was just doing his job.

He came to the July 22 zoning board meeting in Hackensack on behalf of the potential project's owner Richard Pineles to explain the ins and outs of the proposed 24-story acute-care medical facility to be built on Prospect Avenue. Pineles did not speak at the meeting. But many members of the over 200-member crowd that packed the council chambers late into the evening spoke out, making it a long night for Szerbaty.

"If this building is constructed, which I hope it isn't, it's going to tie up traffic tremendously," said Prospect Avenue resident Charles Warren, reflecting a common concern of many in the audience. "I am profusely opposed to this structure. It's going to cause all kinds of problems environmentally, as well as with traffic. I don't think that this building belongs in a residential area."

Warren's words were a sample of the sentiments of most in the crowd, who have continued to clog zoning board meetings in the hope of stopping the project.

Controversy over project continues

Pineles is president of Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC, the company that is seeking to obtain site-plan approval for the project, which would be built at 329 Prospect Avenue. According to deed records, the company purchased the property, presently occupied by a residential home, in 2007 for $1.33 million.

If constructed, the facility, which city officials have indicated will have a ground floor of 7,250 square feet, would primarily provide adult day care and dialysis, as well as other medical services, and would include several driveways and an underground parking garage. City officials have also stated that the company will need more than a dozen variances in order to complete the project, including variances for use, parking and lot size. The site is currently zoned for residential and multi-family buildings.

Pineles also owns Prospect Heights Care Center, a 180-bed nursing home facility located close to the site, as well as Regent Care Center, a nursing home on Polifly Road. He declined further comment at the July 22 zoning board meeting about the project, stating that it was company policy not to comment about a project that is pending and that is being proposed to the public.

New councilman, residents united in opposition

Newly elected council member John Labrosse attended the meeting, and during a break continued to voice his opposition to the project.

"There are too many other locations in Hackensack that fit this building without affecting the quality of life for residents," he said. "It's really not fair for this building to go up… professional witnesses, as well as local residents, have to come forward in order to make their case against the project."

Prospect Avenue resident Tama Cuperman also came to the meeting and came away with a distinct feeling about the proposed project.

"I'm getting [very aggravated], said Cuperman, 68. "There are lots of people who dislike this building. It doesn't belong where we live."

Other resident complaints centered upon quality of life, property values, traffic and environmental issues, reiterating concerns they have voiced at two previous zoning board meetings held since mid-May.

After the meeting, Prospect Avenue resident Murray Runin also expressed his dismay about the facility potentially being built in his neighborhood.

"I'm more convinced than ever that this doesn't belong there," he said. "It's not the type of business it is that I object to. But it's going to create havoc on Prospect Avenue. The more I hear about it, the worse it gets."

The next zoning board is scheduled for Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.

E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: hackaplan on August 06, 2009, 06:20:59 PM
Today is the first time I read some of the info on the 24-story tower for Summit Ave on the Hackensack Community Message Boards.  It was quite by accident that I ended up reading the posts on this issue.  I instantly wanted to get involved, we must stick together and fight this as long and as hard as we can and not allow this construction to go through.  It will definitely be the end of Summit Ave as we know it.  All you have to do is look at Prospect Ave and know that where there were once beautiful and probably some historic houses is now all high rise and professional buildings.  I am marking my calendar for the next meeting and will show support for this cause as I am tired of feeling squeezed out by PROGRESS??? 

Those of us who have bought homes in this area over 30 or more years ago could certainly describe a different Hackensack.  I wish I had been aware of this message board before the newest medical building on Essex Street was built.  This building got permission to build a medical office building with allowance for extra height.  So few of us were going to be affected by this monstrosity that it went through and now I get to look out my back window and no longer see the sun rising but this huge grey square medical monstrosity. 

I live on the Dead End street parallel to Essex and have been here for many changes that have occurred in Hackensack.  I fought to have the Limelight night club closed down some 25 or more years ago.   For those of you that are not familar with the Limelight, it was located where the Lakeshore Learning Store is located on Essex St.  It was horrible when it was open and the activity that occurred was difficult to get through, (since there was not sufficient parking for the Limelight many of the people that would go there would park on our block, party with drinking beer before even going to the club, urinating on our lawns and disposing of not only empty bottles but used condoms).

I attended the Lodi City council meetings when the Home Depot was being built in Lodi just outside of our little Dead End street.  We were told we would get a barrier wall on each of the Dead End streets but on Kaplan they only went half way acrross so there is still access through the end of our block. 

I have had enough of the so-called progress in Hackensack being forced on the residents who are ignored and bullied by corporations just waiting for us to give in again.  What crap could they possibly sell to convince us we need a 24-story acute-care medical facility!       
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 06, 2009, 11:11:49 PM
Well put.

But I do disagree with you on the Sanzari Medical Arts building.  Is that what you refer to as the newest building on Essex STreet ? 

 It's a beautiful architectural landmark, and definately an asset to the community.  It replaced completely outdated storefronts on Essex Street, dilapidated garages, billboards, old fire escapes, vacant lots on THompson Street, and a few 2-family houses that were absentee landlords.  In it's place are vibrant thriving stores probably doing at least 10 times the dollar volume in retail sales.

I know that was a controversial issue, and many people fought it. Redevelopment is good if it is replacing what needs to be replaced. 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 07, 2009, 08:04:07 AM
#5131 @Hackaplan, I do remember quite well the Limelight. Eventhough I spent a good amount of time there we never parked on the residential streets nor did we leave litter... bottles or otherwise. I heard that the residents living near the back of the South City Grill had similar complaints when it stayed open late on Thursday nights for dancing and music. The high rise buildings surrounding The Restaurant had many problems with patrons who parked illegally in their lots and then got into fist fights with the doormen when they went to retrieve their cars.

With regard to the Sanzari medical building I knew the owner of the old building. He told me that he tried to take down the old buildings and put up something on a much smaller scale with parking in the back but the city told him NO several times so he finally sold and left town. While I love going to Physical Therapy there I totally avoid that intersection when possible even after the road was modified with left turning signals and lanes in addition to relocating the 162 bus stop. My friend goes to the Starbucks after work (3:30 pm) but after sitting in traffic on Prospect Avenue right before Beech Street for over 15 minutes and then having to deal with that parking lot with its inadequate parking space back out I decided to walk to the Starbucks instead if I am in the area during the week day.

Please email prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on August 09, 2009, 03:43:13 PM
SAVE THE DATE- AUGUST 13TH - Rep. Steve Rothman will be at city hall on a listening tour. He will be there from 7-9 p.m.  We need to inform him about this medical building proposal; give him the facts and see what he says...I think this is one way to attract attention to it and no doubt, there might be residents at the meeting who will be hearing about this monstrosity for the first time! We have nothing to lose...if you're opposed to the Pineles building, tell your friends to attend the meeting with Mr.Rothman.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 10, 2009, 08:21:07 PM
That would be quite a coup to get Rothman's support, but it's definately worth a shot.  His family is long established in real estate and construction.  So if he came out against it, that would speak volumes to the whole real estate/construction community.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 11, 2009, 08:08:30 AM
#5300 - I saw this article on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/10/health.care.questions/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/10/health.care.questions/index.html)

Perhaps residents should try to approach Rothman with a prepared remark at the end of the session should things get out of hand.

SAVE THE DATE - FOURTH HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING ON WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 23RD AT 7 PM IN 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT CITY HALL 65 CENTRAL AVENUE.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 24, 2009, 08:04:55 AM
Save the date - Wednesday September 23, 2009
Fourth Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting

#5616

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 04, 2009, 01:04:46 AM
#5789 Since we began attending these Hackensack Zoning Board meetings to protest the Richard Pineles Hospital many Hackensack residents have approached me to voice their concerns regarding the NJTransit bus #162 and #163. A number of people wanted ProspectAvenueCoalition to contact NJTransit for fear that the 162 bus would be detoured away from the Prospect Avenue beginning at Passaic Street especially at the first sign of construction.

I envision delays and periodic detours if any construction begins prior to 8:30 am. I can't remember at what time they began work on Prospect Heights although I don't recall experiencing delays when I lived across the street from the 1st stop on Prospect Avenue when I jumped on the 162 bus at 7:20 am.

Anyone riding the 163 bus should be concerned not about detours but certainly about delays. Can someone tell me what hotel opened along that route? Any 163 arriving at Central Avenue after 8:30 am is jam packed with tons of tourists and the bus is often late. In the past the bus was always late but hardly ever standing room only. If only 5% of the prospective Pineles Hospital employees will be living in 07601 can we anticipate that of the other 95% some will come by bus once they learn of the parking shortage.

Now we commuters need to start thinking about all of these employees of the Pineles Hospital getting off work at 7 am and jumping on the 162 bus. I no longer live across from the 1st stop on Prospect so Grrrrr! Also, not loving getting to the Port Authority after work and having to stand on a line made longer by visitors coming to visit the long term care patients and then having to stand in the bus aisle all the way home - wahhhh!

Commuters you can't avoid it so make sure that you come to the next meeting on Wednesday September 23 at 7 pm. You know who I'm talking about you people who get on the 162 bus at Beech Street. Remember how many 162s did not stop for you because there was standing room only and how long it took NJTransit to add more 162s so that you could finally stand like a sardine all the way to New York.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on September 11, 2009, 11:27:02 PM
RENTERS, those of you who are NJT #162 bus riders -- here's good reason to attend the upcoming meetings and voice your objection to this proposed glass tower.
BEWARE --- For more than at least 10 years, NJ Transit's primary bus route from Hackensack to NY City has been the #163 bus. Many riders feel the 162 is merely the step child since, among other things, repeated requests for additional 162 buses have fallen on deaf ears.
Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if, one day soon, the 162 bus line is actually terminated. So, for those of you resident-commuters who rent, specially those of you who live between Passaic and Golf on Prospect, those of you who usually don't have to worry about standing, don't say you didn't know it would happen, because it will. It's not like the 162 will run along Passaic and Central on Summit either. You will be forced to walk a long distance to get to Summit and Central.
I see this happening:- Once construction begins, besides the construction itself that will seriously hinder buses from running smoothly on Prospect,  those renters, who have the option, are likely to move away resulting in a drop in commuter ridership, resulting in cutbacks in the number of 162 buses and being re-routed for lack of ridership. Of course, when the Bergen-Passaic LTACH is finally operational: expect even lesser ridership (possibly because LTACH employees will find it quite convenient to live in these rental buildings); expect the area to change causing less interest from potential new comers to the area; expect increased traffic which will likely lead to the 162 bus route to be terminated eventually.
So RENTERS, treat this seriously, please attend the Zoning Board hearing on September 23rd for yourself and the Prospect Avenue community, and voice your vehement objections.  

Also these overcrowded 163 buses pick up large tourist groups from the Ramada in Rochelle Park. That is the reason commuters getting on at the 1st stop on Summit and Central have to stand. For those of you who do not know what its like getting on at that stop, let me tell you -- there is no line or any method to the madness there.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on September 17, 2009, 07:05:13 AM
This might be somewhat of a stretch to get renters to attend the meeting. 

May I suggest some other issues that more directly affect them

(1) Complete loss of street parking on Prospect, Summit, and even on portions of Maple Hill Drive, because the street parking will be taken by all the visitors to the patients at this facility.  Just as HUMC casts a huge shadow on the neighborhood in terms of parking, so shall this facility.  There will be no where to park anywhere near it for your visitors, or for you if you don't currently have an onsite parking spot.

(2) Traffic congestion, especially at Summit & Passaic, and again at Summit & Central.  In fact, generally up and down Summit Ave.

(3) Loss of view

(4) Quality of life disruptions during construction such as street closings, muddy run-off, noise starting in the early AM hours.

Also, the County has been looking for excuses since at least the 1980's to widen Summit Avenue.  This facility will push the street over the limit, and it will have to be widened.  This could come at the expense of street parking, or strips of front lawns will be taken.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on September 18, 2009, 08:02:14 AM
How about another nightmare if this monstrosity is allowed to be built--- flooding in the underground garages of certain buildings(which already have flood issues) There is a stream underground between Central Ave and Berry St....if Pineles starts underground blasting and demolition for his 5 level underground garage, think what this disruption could do to the existing garages! I, for one, do not want to see my car damaged from water which will seep into these garages even more than what is happening now.
Spread the word- ATTEND THE ZONING BOARD MEETING ON THE 23rd........this LTACH affects everyone- renters and owners....we must stay diligent in opposing this building.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on September 19, 2009, 08:23:38 AM
I've been an activist for over 20 years.  Renters have a different set of concerns.  Once in a while you'll find one who is really community-minded, but for the most part their concerns are only what directly affects THEM and their quality of life. THey absolutely could care less about property values, or the long-term effect of zoning being compromised, such as what will happen to Summit Ave in 5, 10, or 20 years.

Because their attitude is that they are "from" Hackensack, that they are just living here for this time period of their life.

I was outside of Hackensack and got to talking with a couple who rented in The Excelsior on Prospect Ave.  They went to great pains to explain, that they don't "live" in Hackensack, but they are "staying" in Hackensack at The Excelsior.  After refrasing the question several times, yes, they had a one-year lease and that was their only place of residence. And they had been there for 4 years.  And then they explained in detail that they aren't born and raised in Hackensack and that "we are not really in Hackensack, its' just that the street where we are staying is technically within the borders of Hackensack, but it is much better than the rest of Hackensack." Then I told them I was born and raised in Hackensack and love the city, and all the uniquely different parts of Hackensack.  They were shocked.

It's hard to get these types to be concerned with the community or zoning matters.  Hit them with parking garage flooding, noise, parking, loss of their view, etc., those types of issues.  Basically with selfish things.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 21, 2009, 06:42:09 AM
Wednesday September 23, 2009 at 7 pm
Fourth Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting
City Hall 3rd floor auditorium at 65 Central Avenue

#6236
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on September 22, 2009, 07:40:27 PM
Do you think this is the FINAL hearing, or will it likely continue to next month
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 22, 2009, 10:41:56 PM
#6282 I find it unlikely that this would be the last Special Zoning Board Meeting. During the July 2009 Third Special Zoning Board Meeting it was recommended that the architect go home do some homework and report back on Wednesday September 23rd to be questioned by Ditkas and Associates. I imagine this line of questioning to go on for at least an hour if not more.

Next up to bat will be either the engineer or the traffic expert. Should either one of them get a turn at the mic the residents and/or Ditkas and Associates will line up as they have been doing first with Pineles and then with the architect to question each expert. We need people to stay to the end of the night just in case the Zoning Board asks residents to come forward and leave their name/address so that they can ask questions of either the engineer or traffic expert at the beginning of the next Special Zoning Board meeting, if one is called.

Everyone please go up and leave your name. If you get stage fright you can always bail out or we can provide you with one or two questions to ask that will make you look like you just came off an episode of The Practice. Email PROSPECTAVENUECOALITION@YAHOO.COM

Residents you have been doing a great job! do not let us down tomorrow night!

I am looking into this underground stream issue which I have heard about as well and can only say that if there is any possibility that the removal of 5 stories worth of dirt from the prosposed site could turn this stream into a raging underground river and my car could suffer flood damage I will pack my bags and get the heck out of here before he breaks ground. During Hurricane Floyd we were taking on water even here high on the hill. I was running downstairs every 15 minutes asking "Should I move my car to higher ground now??!!"

Now that is an equal opportunity hurt that will devastate renter and land owner alike.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on September 23, 2009, 12:10:42 AM
What we need is consistent support in large numbers to be both seen and heard at the Zoning Board (ZB) meetings. Of course, it would be helpful if renters take an interest in this cause, but if only EVERY homeowner conscientiously showed up at EVERY hearing - tomorrow's and future ones, we could continue to make a strong statement of objection to this project.

Remember, the idea here is that even if we were to succeed at this stage - i.e. the ZB denies the application,  (keep your fingers crossed), then Pineles will take this up at the next stage in Superior Court. Let's say, (keep your fingers crossed) he loses at this level, he then appeals to the higher court. The only thing that will be considered at that stage is the transcript from the ZB hearings.

So if it is not clear to residents yet, this is where it counts to be heard -- every recorded word in the transcript matters. So every home owner, show up at the hearing, count for something, let's not count on transitory residents - here today and gone tomorrow, and don't rely on your neighbor showing up either -- this is not the time to get complacent about this issue. If we do nothing else, putting up a fight will help extend this process a longer time and cost Pineles $$$. If nothing else, let's not let him walk all over us -- help make this process be a long drawn out one. We can buy at least 2 years more.
 
Here are some thoughts to get us through this fight:

“Winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything” ;

“Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other, everything to gain”            

SEE YOU THERE.  
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 23, 2009, 10:44:38 PM
#6374 This is it folks! The last Hackensack Special Zoning Board meeting to hear the Richard Pineles application to build a hospital on Prospect/Summit Avenues. Traffic expert is next up to bat. Let's pack the room.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY OCTOBER 15TH AT 7 PM
3RD FL AUDITORIUM CITY HALL AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on September 25, 2009, 02:45:53 PM
Great, please approach the Mayor & Council and get them to start the process to declare Summit Ave a historic district.  It might take a while for State recognition, and might not get national recognition, but you don't know what DEFENSE is going to win this in the end.  Make it like an onion with layers.  The developer might pierce through one layer, but then there is another, and another, and another.  A historic district is an important onion layer.  The appeals and litigation is going to go on for at least FIVE YEARS.  You can get the historic district in 3 months or less, if the local mayor & Council is receptive.  And it seems that they are on your side.

Some suggestions for the final push to get people to attend, besides updating your website.

(1) make sure you INUNDATE the neighborhood with flyers saying "THIS IS IT", with a photo of the project that's on your website.  Do TRIPLE the amount you've previously done, hitting more streets and further away.  Make sure to hit every single family home between The Esplanade and Prospect Ave, all the little side streets and of course Summit Ave.  Also hit Summit Ave from Passaic Street right up to Spring Valley Ave.  One person can walk that, both sides, in 2 hours or less. How about the side streets from Prospect to Summit north of Passaic Street, certainly Hamilton and ANderson, and preferrably up to Clinton Place.

(2) Go door-to-door on Summit Ave within a few blocks of the site.

(3) Take a full-page ad in The County Seat.  Shoot for 10/15 edition, which means the ad has to be submitted within a week or so of today

(4) Make sure the entire Mayor & Council is there

(5) If you haven't networked with Temple Beth-El and United Methodist, do it now

(6) Make sure there is newspaper coverage from all regional newspapers, including NY Times and Star Ledger.  Try and get TV coverage, at least News 12 New Jersey.


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 06, 2009, 09:23:27 PM
#6725 During the September 2009 Zoning Board Meeting it was announced that the traffic expert was next up to bat and that a revised Traffic Study would be available to the public 2 weeks before the next Special Zoning Board Meeting. I contacted the Zoning Board today to try to get a copy but did not receive a call back or a copy. If anyone has a copy of the revised traffic study would they be so kind as to email it to: prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com. thx.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey on October 07, 2009, 09:40:52 AM
I think it is too late to review the traffic report before the October 15 meeting, even if it becomes available.  As the Board Chairman stated, this is a very important issue.  Since the applicant did not meet his commitment to a 2 week window, I would hope the Board will not accept testimony from the traffic expert at the next meeting.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 08, 2009, 02:02:20 AM
#6779 NOTICE OF POSTPONEMENT

HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 15TH HAS BEEN POSTPONED

Joe Basralian has notified the Zoning Board that neither the Traffic Expert or the Planner is available to testify on October 15th and has asked that the Last Hackensack Special Zoning Board Meeting be postponed. Check back here for the rescheduled date or email: prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com (http://ProspectAvenueCoalition@yahoo.com).
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on October 09, 2009, 08:51:18 AM
This could be a deliberate tactic to wear out the opposition. 

After you've peppered the area with flyers, people will come down and see NO HEARING.  And then you won't get them back when it really comes.

On your Next flyer:  Put on the flyer specifically to check your website or this string, to see if the hearing is on or postponed.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 10, 2009, 04:21:19 PM
#6858 Thanks. We have done that already as we have observed the number of people who view this link. Although we are connected does anyone else know the date the meeting has been rescheduled to? And if anyone gets a copy of the revised Traffic Study would they send a copy to: prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com.

As soon as we hear we will announce the rescheduled date on this website and via our regular distribution channel. I like that it is postponed. Gives us more time to rally the troops. Also brings us closer to November and I don't remember in the past (PC Air Rights) that the Zoning Board would schedule Special Meetings during November and December. I like it.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 13, 2009, 08:11:48 AM
#6922 Still no word on when the October 15 Special Meeting will be reschedule to. Stay tuned here on this message board and once we hear we will let you know. We will really have to rally the troops and get this rescheduled date out there to the public. We can't let their tactics or scheduling conflicts derail our opposition efforts. Thanks everyone for your support.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 15, 2009, 11:44:55 PM
#7000

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY DECEMBER 10TH AT 7PM
3RD FL AUDITORIUM CITY HALL AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE


THE OCT 15TH HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED DUE TO SCHEDULING CONFLICTS WITH PINELES' EXPERT WITNESSES (TRAFFIC AND PLANNER) .

WE HAVE THE REVISED TRAFFIC STUDY PREPARED BY OMLAND ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES INC. IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COPY PLEASE EMAIL: PROSPECTAVENUECOALITION@YAHOO.COM
.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 25, 2009, 11:58:20 PM
#7258 "In Saturday's Bergen Record there was a Public Notice for an application for variances made to the Zoning Board by the Premier Health Center for a site at 125 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack."

Does anyone have any information on this application? or on Premier Health Center? will they have LTAC beds? if yes, how many?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on October 27, 2009, 11:58:24 AM
Premier Health Center is listed as a chiropractor at 385 Prospect
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 03, 2009, 07:39:14 AM
#8039 REMINDER

HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
THURSDAY DECEMBER 10TH AT 7PM
3RD FL AUDITORIUM CITY HALL AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

THE OCT 15TH HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED DUE TO SCHEDULING CONFLICTS WITH PINELES' EXPERT WITNESSES (TRAFFIC AND PLANNER) .

PLEASE EMAIL US  ProspectAvenueCoalition@yahoo.com IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COPY OF THE REVISED TRAFFIC STUDY PREPARED BY OMLAND ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES INC.
 

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 06, 2009, 04:31:15 PM
#8137 IMPORTANT UPDATE

BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL PROPOSAL REVISED

Richard Pineles is downsizing his plans for the hospital which he hopes to build on Prospect/Summit Avenues. The revised drawings and traffic/parking study were submitted on or prior to November 24th.

For more information contact prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com or come to the Zoning Board Meeting on Thursday December 10th at 7pm (3rd floor auditorium at 65 Central Avenue)
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 08, 2009, 11:17:49 PM
#8193 BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL PROPOSAL REVISIONS:

- Capacity has been reduced fr 144 beds to 120 beds w/only 10 stories devoted to LTACH beds.
 
- The 84 station dialysis center has been reduced to 63 stations.
 
- The 250 capacity Adult Day Care Center was reduced to 180 person capacity.
 
- The building has been reduced in height and is now 227 feet to the roof.
 
- Garage parking remains at 407 spaces plus 10 spaces for vans and loading/deliveries.   
  Maximum use to reach only 82 % capacity even when considering shift overlap.

If these are not the revisions which you were hoping for please come to City Hall on Thursday December 10th at 7pm.


 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 09, 2009, 09:21:13 PM
#8229 We have obtained a copy of the City of Hackensack's traffic expert's, Birdsall Services Group, comments on Richard Pineles' Revised Traffic Study from Omland Engineering Associates. Birdsall comments attached here. Pineles revised traffic study from Omland to be attached in our next post.


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on December 09, 2009, 09:29:07 PM
Feel free to upload the comments here if you would like.

To upload, reply to this thread and hit "Additional Options" below and then go to the "Attach" field.  Browse for the file on your system and hit the Post button. 

The file will appear below your post. Word or .pdf will work fine.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 09, 2009, 10:53:24 PM

Thursday (Dec 10) night we will pass around a box filled with NO BERGEN PASSAIC LTACH buttons for attendees to wear at the meetings. Feel free to take one.

Pineles revised traffic study conducted by Omland attached here.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 10, 2009, 10:24:35 PM
SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY JANUARY 7TH AT 7PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 65 CENTRAL AVENUE 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM

#8295 ATTACHED IS A FLYER
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 14, 2009, 12:59:34 AM
#8373 Some things to note from the December 10th Hackensack Special Zoning Board Meeting:

Richard Pineles’ traffic expert testified that a tractor trailer truck would deliver food to the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital twice a week and oxygen once a month to the hospital entrance on the Prospect Avenue side. Such deliveries would have to be made by stopping traffic so that the 44 foot tractor trailer truck could back into the driveway. Even though the tractor trailer is 44 feet long and the street only 40 feet wide the traffic expert was confident that the inconvenience to other drivers would be approximately 5 minutes for each delivery because Pineles plans to take away 4 street parking spaces in front of the hospital. Now where I live we have more than enough underground parking for unit owners and lots visitor parking spaces although I know that may not be the case for other apartment buildings in the immediate vicinity of the proposed hospital site. You and/or your guests will know who to thank after they have circled the block 4 or 5 times.

One zoning board member brought to light that Prospect Avenue is an urban collector road (sadly I wikied it) and he did not imagine that Hackensack could have tractor trailer trucks stopping traffic to back into a driveway. I could not believe this traffic guy responded that this tractor trailer backing up thing is commonly done in these here parts and the same as would be done at any one of the buildings on Prospect Avenue. Obviously the traffic guy does not live in the area and has not come to visit or else he would know that the only backing up done on Prospect Avenue is by the urban garbage collector and he would not think it such a great idea to take away those 4 street parking spaces. I was also thinking that if you are on the verge of dying and need to get via ambulance to the real hospital on Essex Street and Prospect Avenue you should move closer to Central Avenue.

And now the deal sweetener - the traffic mitigator. Pineles has kindly offered to pay out of his own pocket to make a left turning lane on Central Avenue on both sides of the light and to add green arrow left turning signals. I have long wished for this exact thing as I sat waiting for the light to turn green on Central Avenue. Now if he could do something about the drivers who blow thru the red light on Summit Avenue.

For anyone who takes the 163 bus at Central/Summit Avenues this will be one more obstacle between you and the express bus. I hope that the traffic mitigator is nothing like the Essex Street and Summit Avenue light. I stood on the corner for a long time waiting as each side got the green arrow then green light but the blinking walking man never came on. You have to press the button on the light post in order to cross the street.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/120909_Pedestrian_killed_by_bus_in_Hackensack.html

Maybe those taking the bus at Summit/Central Avenues can make a deal with the school crossing guard who will start pressing the pedestrian crossing button if they see us running up Central Avenue as the bus is turning onto Summit Avenue. If the traffic light gets an upgrade and the lanes as well why not kick in street lighting. The residents on Summit Avenue might not like the addition of high voltage street lamps but Summit/Central Avenues is a pretty dangerous intersection for pedestrians especially with Central Avenue being on a hill.

We will let you know when we get the minutes from the December 10th Zoning Board Meeting so you can read all about it. If you don’t like what you are reading please attend the January 7th Special Hackensack Zoning Board meeting at 7 pm where you will have the opportunity to question Pineles’ traffic expert.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 04, 2010, 05:32:21 PM
#8923 REMINDER

HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
THURSDAY JANUARY 7TH AT 7PM
CITY HALL 65 CENTRAL AVENUE 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 08, 2010, 01:00:11 PM
#9087 Here is a letter written by Prospect Avenue resident Tom Lydon which was printed in the January 1st issue of The County Seat. If you missed your chance on January 7th to tell the Pineles traffic expert your thoughts on the local area traffic you can still share them by sending a letter to The County Seat.

THE COUNTY SEAT
77 Hudson Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601
www.cntyseat.com • info@cntyseat.com
Tel: 201-488-5795 • Fax: 201-343-8720

Friday January 1, 2010

‘Traffic Expert’ Angers Neighbors

On Dec. 10, 2009, there was another Hackensack Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting concerning the application for the construction of the Bergen-Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) on four lots: one facing Prospect Avenue and three facing Summit Avenue to form a T-shaped property.

Joseph Basralian, the builder’s attorney, began by stating that the size of the originally proposed structure had been reduced from 24 stories to 19 stories with reductions in the number of beds, dialysis stations and number of day care patients. Many feel that this adjustment was in part due to a report by the traffic expert.

According to the builder’s traffic expert, for two hours in the morning there are approximately 1,000 cars passing the site on both Prospect and Summit avenues, and from 2 to 6 p.m., there are approximately 1,000 cars passing on Prospect and Summit avenues. He said he did not feel that additional traffic from the proposed building would radically affect the present traffic congestion. He said that an adjustment to the traffic signal on Summit and Central avenues would alleviate problems.

However, members of the audience who were wearing pins expressing their opposition to this proposed structure were not convinced. Their disbelief was increased when the traffic expert stated that there would be deliveries twice a week by a 44-foot tractor- trailer, which would have to back in the driveway on Prospect Avenue. He also felt that this would not disrupt the flow of traffic on Prospect Avenue. There will also be deliveries by 35-foot tractor-trailers, which also must back into this driveway. Prospect Avenue is the route used by ambulances going to and coming from the hospital and the route of NJ Transit Bus No.162 in the mornings and afternoons.

Are we to believe that the maneuvering of these tractor-trailers will not block traffic? The expert said there would be a shift change of 123 staff members at approximately 2:30 p.m., which is during one of the periods of peak usage. He also felt that this would not cause any problems. The next zoning meeting will take place on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. where the traffic expert will be questioned by lawyers. There will also be an opportunity for the audience to question him.

Thomas Lydon
Hackensack
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 09, 2010, 10:19:10 AM
#9135

SAVE THE DATE - TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2010
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING AT 7 PM
3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey on January 11, 2010, 11:21:04 AM
The Board of Adjustment hearing on the LTACH was devoted to questions about the impact of traffic and parking.  The public questioned the applicant’s traffic expert and there were several issues of concern that were raised.

The traffic engineer testified that he was not able to find a comparable facility, LTACH, dialysis and adult day care all in one building, and that required information dealing with number of employees for each activity and their shifts, hours of operation for each facility as well as number of deliveries, vans, ambulances, etc was all provided by the applicant.  This raised concerns because the applicant’s facility, Prospect Heights, has significantly less parking than necessary and delivery vans have limited access to the building on Prospect Avenue.  There was also concern that Prospect Heights’ employees that now park off site will utilize the LTACH garage reducing the available parking.  The traffic engineer had not considered this anticipate problem.

The other major issue was the impact of the additional traffic on the existing situation on Summit and Prospect Avenues.  The engineer had never visited the site during the morning hours and was apparently unaware of the long lines of traffic at the traffic lights at the four controlled intersections studied.  The engineer was clearly of the opinion that there was so much traffic already on Summit and Prospect Avenues that the additional traffic projected from the new facility would have little impact.  Questions raised by Summit Avenue residents who testified there were times they could not exit their driveway because of the continuous line of cars in the street were not addressed.  The ability of delivery vans to access the LTACH were of concern to the residents on Prospect Avenue because it would require traffic to be stopped to allow the vans to enter the driveway.  Stopping traffic on Prospect Avenue, which is used by many emergency vehicles, was of no concern to the engineer.

The Board of Adjustments expects to have an additional traffic report by their traffic expert available for the next meeting in February.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on January 12, 2010, 09:22:43 AM

For those who aren't keeping track, for each and every major addition to Hackensack University Medical Center, there was a traffic "expert" there to testify that the impact will be negligible.  My gut feeling is that if you researched the transcripts from the approvals of every high-rise on Prospect Ave, you'd find the same.  Add it all up, and you've got the chaos we have now.

I can remember in the 1970's when there were no traffic lights on Prospect Ave except the one at Essex Street, and no traffic light at Summit & Beech either. 

Why doesn't the city hire a traffic expert to study Beech and Prospect, I bet he'll conclude that a light is needed there as well.  Maybe even at Atlantic & Prospect.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment has within it's legal rights the ability to hire their own experts to give independent testimony on an application. They may even have the right to charge the costs against the applicant.  Want to make this case real interesting for the State Appellate Court, let's go in that direction.  I bet this new city council and current members of the Zoning Board don't even know about this option.  This is something to be discussed among the attorneys.  good luck.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 25, 2010, 12:26:47 PM
#9543 REMINDER – NEXT ZONING BOARD MEETING ON TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23RD AT 7 PM

The City of Hackensack has hired Birdsall Services Group as its traffic expert and Neglia Engineering Associates as its planner/engineer. Birdsall comments to Pineles’ revised traffic study were attached previously on my post dated December 9, 2009. Also attached on December 9th (two posts after the post containing the Birdsall comments) was Pineles’ revised traffic study from Omland Engineering Associates.

Thus far the only traffic mitigator that Pineles has offered to pay for out of his own pocket is for the addition of left turning lanes on Central Avenue on both sides of the light and to add green arrow left turning signals. During the Excelsior III application, there was some discussion about adding a light to Prospect Avenue (collector road) and Beech Street which in the end was discarded as a traffic mitigator for Excelsior III due to the insufficient distance between the existing traffic light on Summit Avenue/Beech Street and the proposed traffic light on Prospect Avenue/Beech Street (Iowa State University Institute for Transportation: when the spacing between signals falls below the minimum spacing of one-quarter mile (1,320 feet or two-three blocks), the traffic flow along the route may be disrupted and the ability of the route to carry through traffic will decrease, travel speeds may decrease, and delays and queues may develop at intersections).

As Whitey mentions Pineles’ engineer had never visited the site during the morning hours and was apparently unaware of the long lines of traffic at the traffic lights at the four controlled intersections studied and that the engineer was clearly of the opinion that there was so much traffic already on Summit and Prospect Avenues that the additional traffic projected from the new facility (14 extra cars during rush hour) would have little impact. Even after numerous residents went on the record to say that right now the area traffic is to the point of utter chaos, Pineles’ traffic expert would only testify that adding 14 cars to an existing hazardous traffic situation would have little impact. Pineles and his traffic expert do not live in Hackensack so their struggle to exit driveways along Prospect/Summit Avenues may not be as frustrating or frightening as it is for residents.

Residents should write to Hackensack Chronicle (E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com) and/or The County Seat (77 Hudson Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601 www.cntyseat.com Email: info@cntyseat.com Tel: 201-488-5795 • Fax: 201-343-8720) to let everyone what you think about these changes to your way of residential living.

Let’s not forget the 4 street parking spaces in front of the LTACH which Pineles plans to remove. This will be a blessing for Prospect Heights as they often park their ambulances and unload their delivery trucks on Prospect Avenue (see attached picture). Have you noticed yet the removal of all street parking (both sides of the road) down by the real hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center (see attached article). Where will residents and their guests park?


NORTHJERSEY.COM
New parking ban sparks controversy
Friday, November 27, 2009
BY MARK J. BONAMO
Hackensack Chronicle
MANAGING EDITOR

The Hackensack City Council voted to ban parking on Prospect Avenue between Essex and Atlantic streets earlier this month, sparking protest from some residents.
According to city officials, the new restrictions, which are not yet fully in place pending the establishment of parking signs, will improve traffic flow in the busy area in the immediate vicinity of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC).

However, some residents believe that the ban on parking in the affected area will leave local residents without both free parking and handicapped parking.

Furthermore, the move to eliminate parking in the neighborhood is part of the February 2008 developer’s agreement between the City of Hackensack and the hospital, an accord that has caused much discord in city politics since its inception.

City manager explains move

At its Nov. 10 meeting, the council voted 4-1 to approve the final adoption of the ordinance establishing the Prospect Avenue parking ban, with neophyte Councilman John Labrosse providing the only protest vote.

City Manager Stephen LoIacono believes that the new law will allow traffic to flow more smoothly around the medical center, the city’s and Bergen County’s largest employer.

"Once we do this, we’ll be able to relieve the congestion that is always around the medical center, especially when there are changes of shifts," LoIacono said. "We’ve recently picked up 120 spaces at the new hospital parking garage, so we will more than account for any loss of spaces on the street."

"Every time I go to the medical center, I always try to park on Prospect because parking in the garage is more time consuming," added LoIacono. "In the last five years, maybe twice I was able to find a parking spot. It’s disingenuous to think that someone who lives in the area is routinely parking their cars on Prospect because there isn’t any parking available. Visitors to the medical center are using all of those spots currently, including the handicapping spots in the area from what we’ve observed. We will find a way to accommodate people who need handicapped parking. But you’ll never convince me that you’re taking parking away from residents here."

Neighborhood resident opposes decision

But city resident Regina DiPasqua, who lives close to the medical center and who spoke out against the new Prospect Avenue parking ban at the council meeting, disagrees with LoIacono’s assertions that the parking situation in her neighborhood will not be adversely affected.

"I live two blocks from the affected parking area, and they are expecting people to pay to park in the garage. That’s not going to happen," DiPasqua said. "Right now, they get two hours free in my neighborhood. Then, they haven’t made enough provisions for handicapped people. How could they do that?"

DiPasqua believes that the local parking situation will deteriorate further when the parking signs reflecting the new law go up within four to eight weeks.

"People will not be able to park, they’re not going to have any recourse, and they’re not going to be happy," she said. "People who can get handicapped spaces might possibly have some recourse if they can get such a space, but I don’t know where they are going to put them. For example, there is no place to park on Atlantic Street, right around the corner, because it’s not wide enough. What is the plan here?"

Developer’s agreement with HUMC surfaces again

Apparently, the plan to eliminate parking on Prospect Avenue between Atlantic and Essex streets was put into motion more than a year ago because of an agreement made between the Hackensack city government and HUMC.

A developer’s agreement signed between the City of Hackensack and the medical center in February 2008 specifically stipulates that "parking on Prospect Avenue shall be banned on the west side" of the street from its intersection with Essex Street to a point nearly "100 feet north of the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Atlantic Street."

The aforementioned 120 spaces in the hospital’s parking garage were provided to the city as designated public parking in the same agreement.

The February 2008 developer’s agreement between the city and the medical center proved to be a sore point in city politics most of last year.

The agreement allowed for a one-time, $1 million payment to be made by HUMC to the City of Hackensack in exchange for permission to build a new cancer center.

However, the agreement also mandated the transfer of the city’s daytime ambulance service from Hackensack Fire Department (HFD) command to a private service hired by the hospital, resulting in the firing of eight city emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who served under HFD command. Despite strong protests from the EMTs and their supporters, the EMTs were replaced by the beginning of this year.

DiPasqua admitted that this detail disturbed her.

"Did the government know that [the new parking ban] was part of the agreement, and they wouldn’t tell us? Or did they not know? Why didn’t they mention this?" said DiPasqua. "The developer’s agreement has affected many lives. The city has given away jobs. They’ve given away parking. How many other developer’s agreements are there that we don’t know about?"
"Who is running Hackensack?" asked DiPasqua. "Is it the hospital? Or is it the city government? It just makes you wonder."

But regardless of the contents of the developer’s agreement, City Manager LoIacono firmly believes that the new Prospect Ave. parking ban is a move worth making.

"This is a decision that is entirely based on safety and traffic," LoIacono said. "That’s all we’re talking about here. This move makes a lot of sense."

E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 27, 2010, 09:11:45 AM
#9619 ATTACHED IS A COPY OF THE TRANSCRIPT FROM DECEMBER 10 HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING.

Next Zoning Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 23rd at 7 pm


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on February 05, 2010, 12:00:34 AM
At the January 7, 2010 hearing, Birdsall's Frank Miskovich, City of Hackensack's expert, intended to question Pineles' expert, Keller, but was unable to due to time constraints.  Basralian requested Keller have the opportunity to respond to Miskovich's questions in writing. These are Miskovich's questions:
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 12, 2010, 03:33:15 PM
#10380 ATTACHED IS A COPY OF THE TRANSCRIPT FROM THE JANUARY 7TH HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD MEETING.

PLEASE ATTEND THE TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23RD SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING AT 7PM IN THE 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM OF CITY HALL 65 CENTRAL AVENUE.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on February 14, 2010, 06:00:57 PM
As the next Zoning Board Hearing meeting nears on Tuesday, February 23rd, we need to ensure increased attendance at the meeting.  Attendance at the last few meetings dwindled, which suggests that we, the community, have slackened in our opposition, are resigned and accepting of the inevitable. NOW is not the time to show defeat -- all our efforts to date for nothing. NOW is the time to show increased resistance and pressure, every word at the podium counts.  Please attend this meeting and encourage others to attend. We really need everyone's support. Please come and say NO to the LTACH.             
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: itsme on February 17, 2010, 11:13:37 PM
I think that it is ridiculous that this town schedules Board of Ed meetings, and Zoning Board meetings on the same day.  There are also times when the City Council meeting and the Board of Ed fall on the same date.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 21, 2010, 01:55:46 PM
REMINDER - TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23RD AT 7PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 65 CENTRAL AVENUE 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM

#10588 Please attend even if you can not arrive until later. We will most likely be there at least until 9 pm.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 23, 2010, 10:36:02 PM
#10661 Thanks to all of you who attended the Zoning Board Meeting tonight. The roads were pretty slushy slippery so I hope everyone got home safely.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY APRIL 29TH AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on March 15, 2010, 07:04:22 PM
City of Hackensack Planner Review of Pineles LTACH project
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on March 16, 2010, 06:57:49 AM

Scroll all the way to the end of this long piece about Borg's Woods to see what the author has to say about the Bergen Passaic LTACH and it's potential impact on all of Summit Avenue and Borg's Woods.  It's the last paragraph.

http://njurbanforest.com/2010/02/25/borgs-woods-a-living-museum/ (http://njurbanforest.com/2010/02/25/borgs-woods-a-living-museum/)

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 02, 2010, 02:12:16 PM
#11394 REMINDER

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY APRIL 29TH AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 27, 2010, 06:17:59 AM
#11645
Please attend the next Hackensack Special Zoning Board Meeting in the 3rd floor auditorium of City Hall at 65 Central Avenue on Thursday April 29th at 7 pm.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 29, 2010, 11:55:41 PM
#11713
SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY MAY 27TH AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey on May 11, 2010, 09:04:52 AM
April 29 LTACH Highlights:

The meeting concentrated on traffic issues.  An attorney for objectors cross examined the applicant’s traffic expert.  One specific issue was the basis or foundation for the information used in the applicants study.  The expert testified that the basic information (number of employees, deliveries, etc.) was provided by the applicant who “had experience in the business”.  The attorney questioned this claim and the expert was forced to admit the applicant did not have experience with such a facility and he could not identify a stand alone LTACH from which to obtain operating information.  In addition, the attorney pointed out that the applicant also provided the basis information for the Prospect Heights facility and that wound up with little or no on site parking for employees.

The cross examination was put on hold so the Board’s traffic expert could testify.  His findings were that the applicant had underestimated the traffic and the parking requirements.  The highlight of the testimony was a computer generated traffic simulation which showed the traffic flow in the area (the four primary intersections) as the traffic lights changed to permit cars to move.  The simulation showed that under the present conditions, traffic on Summit Ave, for example, would back up from the light at Passaic Street past Berry almost to Golf.  Those who frequent the area know that this is now the case.

The hearing will continue on Thursday May 27 at 7:00 PM.  Traffic discussions will continue.  It appears that the hearings will continue until after the summer.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 21, 2010, 07:27:27 AM
REMINDER - THURSDAY MAY 27TH AT 7 PM IN 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM OF CITY HALL AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

#12066 This new traffic testimony opens the door for more questioning. The Zoning Board invites Hackensack residents to once again come to the podium to ask their questions on traffic matters. The computer generated traffic simulation showed the traffic back up from the light at Passaic Street past Berry almost to Golf evidencing that the LTACH applicant had underestimated the traffic. Eventhough countless residents have previously gone on the record to testify that traffic on Prospect/Summit is at the present time unbearable and dangerous, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Come to the Thursday May 27th Zoning Board Meeting to comment or ask questions on the traffic condition on the streets that you drive! If you ask nicely they may show the computer generated traffic simulation again. It really is something to see.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 25, 2010, 12:56:22 AM
#12163 See attached minutes from The Hackensack Special Zoning Board Meeting in April re: Pineles LTACH application.

REMINDER - THURSDAY MAY 27TH AT 7 PM IN 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM OF CITY HALL AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 27, 2010, 10:13:13 PM
#12225
SAVE THE DATE - WEDNESDAY JUNE 23RD AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 11, 2010, 10:31:56 PM
#12493 REMINDER

WEDNESDAY JUNE 23RD AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

The Hackensack Zoning Board invites the public to come up to the podium to question the expert witness which the City of Hackensack hired to analyze the traffic congestion. While the very revealing computer generated traffic simulation shows traffic rated F (scale: A being the best thru F) at many local area intersections and at various peak times in the year 2013 provided that the long term cute care hospital is not built on Prospect/Summit Avenues, the applicant's attorney tries to make the point that the addition of 139 LTACH cars will not greatly increase traffic in the area. The expert explained that the traffic is rated F which is the lowest rating and that no lower rating exists as anything lower is a hazardous traffic condition which an expert would attempt to alleviate. He likened it to a filling a glass of water which you would begin to more slowly fill as you near the top so as not to spill drop over the edge.
 
Prospect/Summit Avenue residents know that one of those 139 cars could be the drop takes us over the edge. So the applicant's attorney pulled out the inherently beneficial use card which the applicant used to apply for the 14 variances to the Code.
 
The Hackensack Zoning Board asked the expert which it hired if the computer simulation accounted for cars trying to exit their hi rise buildings and what would happen to the traffic flow when a 44 foot tractor trail backed into the LTACH to make a delivery. The expert explained that a lot of variables could not be included in the simulation including human factors such as an LTACH visitor making an illegal left turn out of the LTACH garage or aggressive natured New Jersey drivers creeping out into the flow of traffic to make a turn.
 
If you are not an aggressive natured New Jersey driver and are not into risking your safety or life just to exit your parking garage please come on Wednesday June 23rd and tell the applicant how his project will affect your daily life on the streets where you live. Let's give them the human factors.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 18, 2010, 06:38:39 PM
#12593 REMINDER

WEDNESDAY JUNE 23RD AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on June 24, 2010, 06:32:30 PM
I saw this decision from the Zoning Board of Adjustment from May 19th.  The applicant went to Superior Court to challenge the denial, and the case was REMANDED back to the Zoning Board.  Despite the remand, the Zoning Board denied it again.  I think that's the first time such a thing has happened.  However, the Board is strongly against the concept of adult day care centers, which are basically another version of a homeless shelter. 

b.         Remand from Superior Court
V# 27-08 SP# 23-08
   147-149 Main Street
   Block: 303  Lot(s): 20 Zone: B-2 
Applicant DENIED to Demolish the existing garage and renovate the existing structure and to create an adult day care health care facility with associated site improvement.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 29, 2010, 01:49:58 AM
#12795

SAVE THE DATE - WEDNESDAY JULY 28th AT 7 PM
HACKENSACK SPECIAL ZONING BOARD MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Last night we watched again as objector counsel grilled the applicant’s traffic expert on mistakes made in his traffic study. We learned that not much independent research was conducted when the applicant’s traffic expert admitted that numbers and conclusions were copied from the applicant’s previous traffic expert’s (Omland) traffic study. After listening for two nights to all the mistakes made in this traffic study you wonder if traffic is really his expertise. 

Next up to be battered was the City of Hackensack’s traffic expert. During the May Zoning Board Meeting this same expert scintillated the viewer with a computer generated simulation of what traffic would be like on Prospect Avenue and Summit Avenue in the year 2013 if the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital is not built. Traffic in more than enough intersections would be rated an F which is a hazardous traffic condition which no resident walking or driving should be subjected to.

The applicant’s counsel pointed out a number of errors found in the City of Hackensack’s traffic study and then began tearing apart the mesmerizing simulation. One belabored bit of cross examine regarding how aggressive New Jersey drivers really are on a scale of 1 to 10 drove me batty. The default which was used in the simulation is 1 (least aggressive) which the applicant’s counsel argued was much too low and did we not think that New Jersey drivers were in fact aggressive along the lines of a 5 rating. It is clear to me that he does not live on Prospect Avenue which is home to quite a lot of mature drivers who along with the other drivers have to exercise extreme caution as they maneuver around joggers, baby strollers, toddlers, crossing guards, NJ Transit buses, fire trucks, dogs and other cars exiting driveways. It is tough to get up to a 5 rating even for me with my fast car, lead foot and quick reflexes.

Lucky for us residents the Zoning Board jumped in with a line of questioning along the lines of: how reliable is this application and has it been used in any other court cases to demonstrate traffic conditions. This may keep the simulation on the record as reliable evidence.

Unfortunately, we were left with no time for the public to question the traffic experts but were told that we could do so during the next meeting on Wednesday July 28th. The applicant’s counsel strenuously objected to having his client’s traffic expert made available for questioning when the public has already had an opportunity to do so during previous meetings. The Zoning Board will allow the public to question only the City of Hackensack’s traffic expert on July 28th.

Regarding the computer generated simulation the point was made by the City of Hackensack’s traffic expert that there are too many human variables which the simulation could not accurately capture. Let’s get those human variables on the record. Please come and question the traffic expert on Wednesday July 28th at 7 pm. Bring a jacket it can get frosty freeze in the 3rd floor auditorium.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 18, 2010, 11:34:37 AM
#13279 Hackensack officials should also cast a wary eye on prospective neighbors. The LTACH's application boasts 5 levels of underground parking requiring the removal of 5 garage levels worth of soil in addition to possible blasting to get down that low. Can a neighborhood ever have too much impervious surface? Hope the state comes over to Hackensack to have a look.

http://www.northjersey.com/bergen/071710_Towers_collapse_leads_officials_to_cast_a_wary_eye_on_its_neighbors.html (http://www.northjersey.com/bergen/071710_Towers_collapse_leads_officials_to_cast_a_wary_eye_on_its_neighbors.html)

Northjersey.com
 
Tower's collapse leads officials to cast a wary eye on its neighbors
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Last updated: Sunday July 18, 2010, 9:41 AM
BY LINDY WASHBURN
The Record
STAFF WRITER

The luxury apartment tower at 300 Prospect Ave. is one of a dozen tall residential complexes that transformed a leafy boulevard of stately homes in Hackensack into a high-rise haven for retirees and young professionals in the 1980s and ’90s. As crews worked to shore up the building Saturday, concern focused on whether the others might also be vulnerable to collapse.

City Construction Official Joseph Mellone said the state Department of Community Affairs will help guide the follow-up investigation, and determine whether inspections are needed in other high-rises along the densely populated strip of Prospect Avenue between Passaic and Essex streets.

“My immediate concern [Friday] was the remaining buildings around the area, that have similar construction, built around the same years, built the same way,” Mellone said. “We are going to look into all of that.”

It wasn’t clear on Saturday whether the cause of the collapse was specific to the building, such as a water leak, or if it was due to a more general problem.

A consultant engineer’s report to building management on March 30 said that a significant amount of water began pouring through a ceiling gap into the first floor of the parking garage and was noticed on March 25. The water carried soil and sand with it, the report said. Residents said they drove through a curtain of water to enter the parking garage.

“If we can identify exactly what happened here, then we can see if there is any other similar situation that can create the same kind of problem,” Hackensack City Manager Stephen Lo Iacono said. “If there is, we will take a look.”

No list of planned inspections had been prepared, he added. “There may be no concerns.”

The state bureau of housing inspection, within the Department of Community Affairs, conducts building inspections of multifamily dwellings every five years, with additional inspections when a complaint is received. No one at the department could be reached on Saturday.

But an attorney for a half-dozen residents of 300 Prospect Ave. said state inspectors should check in neighboring buildings.

“If there are soil conditions that are similar in the adjacent buildings, then I think the state had better step in right away,” said Sam Davis, of Davis, Sapirstein & Salomon in Teaneck. The state should “do an inspection of the footings of all the high-rises there, and make sure they’re sound. For whatever reason — a change in drainage patterns, because there is so much impervious surface in that area — perhaps soil conditions have changed in the last decade.”

A resident of another Prospect Avenue apartment building said that in light of the collapse, an inspection would be a good idea. “I think the majority of these buildings are safe,” said Sandy Butler of Bristol House, “but it does give you the willies a little bit.”

The city touched off the building binge on Hackensack’s hill with a change to the zoning code in 1969 that permitted construction of buildings up to 30 stories tall along a multiblock swatch of Prospect. The first, called the Stratford, was built in 1970.

Others followed with names like Camelot, Whitehall and Excelsior. In the peak years of 1986 and 1987, the city issued building permits for more than 1,000 residential units each year.

In its effort to prevent parking problems from arising, the zoning code required that each project have 1½ on-site parking spaces per unit, plus an extra 10 percent additional spaces for visitors.

Staff Writers Andrea Alexander and Monsey Alvarado contributed to this article. E-mail: washburn@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on July 20, 2010, 12:35:40 AM
The article says that the city issued approvals for "over 1000 units in 1987".  Actually it was MUCH more than that, and they were all over Hackensack from the multi-unit portions of the Fairmount Section to Linden Street at Passaic, Park Street at Clay Street, several on Union Street, several on Sussex Street, and the riverfront just north of Route 80.  Even an 18-story high-rise on State Street across from the end of Camden Street (a city-owned parking lot was later created) and another huge building proposed at 155 State Street (NW corner of Lawrence). And a very large luxurious project at the SE corner of Essex and Polifly Road. The Player's Club was torn down for this one, but nothing built and a Rite Aid and the Kaplan building were later built under 2 different applications.  Plus the SW corner of Ross Ave and the Railroad (the homes never torn down and they were sold off to new owners, accomplishing nothing but demographic change), and the SE corner of Ross Ave and Linden (where homes were later built to replace homes torn down). Clinton Place where the Mt. Laurel building was later built by the County. Also on Passaic Street directly adjacent to Trinity Baptist (to its east).  There may be more, can't remember them all.

Of the 1000+ each year, how many were actually built.  A lot less, because so many projects failed in the FIRST real estate collapse.  And some were built as much as 10 years later, such as Excelsior II and Quail Heights III.  Remember the state's first 'permit extension act'.

Prospect Towers was originally approved as THREE nearly identical buildings, including two of them fronting on 3rd Street. A 60-foot shale mountain stood there (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php?topic=448.msg1387#msg1387), all debris from the excavation of Tower I.  Boulders rolling down onto parked cars, mud running into the street, what a nightmare. The residents were in an uproar. Big political pressure. Towers II and III were later scrubbed and the mid-rise "stick" building was built in its place.  I wouldn't live there, there is no concrete between the floors and so much wood. To me it's a fire hazard.

There was a huge rush by builders to get their site plans in before the city's site plan ordinance took effectin early 1988, which mandated Planning Board review of all projects NOT requiring variances, as well as more parking and green space around the side and rear yard perimeters. The latter was specifically to allow for onsite drainage so that less stormwater runs off properties into the streets and the combined stormwater / sanitary system.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 24, 2010, 06:27:48 PM
REMINDER - HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING ON WEDNESDAY JULY 28TH AT 7 PM IN 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM OF CITY HALL AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

#13425 The Zoning Board has invited the public to question the City of Hackensack's traffic expert on July 28th. Try to somehow tie your traffic questions into the emergency conditions created by 300 Prospect Avenue's garage collapse. Or ask a traffic question and then try to tack on a statement about the 5 levels of garage parking (removal of soil creating more impervious surface, possible blasting, insufficent sewer capacity to handle the water from their sump pumps) before you sign off. Remember parking levels = building floors. Our goal is zero floors.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on July 26, 2010, 09:45:52 AM

You saw my post in this string on July 20th regarding the shale mountain on 3rd Street.  In this case, they are excavating far more cubic yards of rock. 

Rock and soil will be mixed right the surface. The bedrock will be encountered less than 3 feet down, and all the layers are tilted, rising from west to east.  One of the uppermost layers is the MOST SOLID.  Layers below can be crumbly, which is typical and expected for shale.  But it is 100% rock, it is not dirt or dirt mixed with rocks.  If anyone doubts, go look at the railroad cut 1/2 mile to the south.  Those rock beds are no different from the proposed jobsite, it's all the same ridge, all the same geology, all the same red shale lain down at the same time and in the same geological formation.  Look at the rock layers on the west side of the hill, angled and rising to the top of the hill.

Where are they going to put all this red shale, all this excavation material ???   Has there been any testimony on how many cubic yards of excavated rock will be generated by the footprint and parking garage.  How many THOUSANDS of truck loads will have to be hauled offsite.  How many truckloads a day, and was this part of the traffic study ???  Where will the excavation be temporarily stored so that it can be loaded onto trucks ?  What is the maximum cubic yards of excavated rocks that they will allow to be 'temporarily' stored onsite.

And where is the construction staging area for the entire jobsite ?  Where will they keep all the machinery, all the materials, and the construction trailer ?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 29, 2010, 07:54:22 AM
#13618

SAVE THE DATES - WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25, 2010 AND WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Richard Malagiere, Hackensack Zoning Board Counsel informs us that the public will be invited to question the City of Hackensack's traffic expert on Wednesday August 25 at 7 pm.

Tom Lydon's letter in The Record:

The Record: Letters, July 27, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
THE RECORD

Hospital project
 
Garage collapse at Prospect Towers in Hackensack.
deserves closer look

According to "How sound are high-rises nearby?" (Page A-6, July 18), there is legitimate concern about the structural integrity of the many high-rise buildings on Prospect Avenue in Hackensack, and inspections should be done. Sam Davis of Davis, Saperstein and Salomon of Teaneck said the state should do an inspection because soil conditions in that area have changed in the last decade.

However, I think that an even warier eye should be cast on any potential high-rise structure that requires a plethora of zoning variances to be built. For the past year, the Hackensack Board of Adjustment has been considering more than a dozen variances for the Long-Term Acute Care Hospital, a 20-story structure with five levels of underground parking at 329 Prospect Ave. This building would extend to Summit Avenue and would be situated diagonally across the street from Prospect Towers, where the garage collapsed nearly two weeks ago. Imagine having five levels of garage pancake in that area. It could be catastrophic.

I do not think that there are any other buildings on Prospect Avenue that have five levels of underground parking. Most of the buildings do not allow large trucks — which would be making daily deliveries at the hospital if approved — to drive on the property over their underground garages.

Residents can question the zoning board about this proposal at the next board meeting, scheduled for Wednesday evening at 7.

Thomas J. Lydon

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 20, 2010, 07:38:28 AM
#13953     
REMINDER – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25TH AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

We have just learned from our Prospect Avenue friends who live south of Central Avenue that, in addition to the street parking which since earlier this year had been banned on both sides of Prospect Avenue from Essex Street to Atlantic Street, the ban is now going to be extended farther north. Those living nearby to Hackensack Hospital have no handicap, resident or guest parking along Prospect Avenue. Let’s not forget Pineles’ offer to remove 4 parking spot in front of the proposed Bergen Passaic Long Term Cute Care Hospital so that 44 foot tractor trailer trucks can back into their driveway to make deliveries and their ambulances will park/idle there as they do at Prospect Heights when there are no deliveries.

At the end of the July 28th meeting I approached Richard Malagiere, Hackensack Zoning Board Counsel, to inquire as to when the residents will have the opportunity to question the City of Hackensack’s traffic expert. He told me on August 25th. Here is an opportunity for you folks who live south of Central Avenue to express your concerns regarding traffic and parking in the area.

Please come to the Wednesday, August 25th Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting at 7 pm in the 3rd floor auditorium of City Hall located at 65 Central Avenue.

We originally posted this parking ban article here on January 25, 2010:

NORTHJERSEY.COM
New parking ban sparks controversy
Friday, November 27, 2009
BY MARK J. BONAMO
Hackensack Chronicle
MANAGING EDITOR

The Hackensack City Council voted to ban parking on Prospect Avenue between Essex and Atlantic streets earlier this month, sparking protest from some residents.
According to city officials, the new restrictions, which are not yet fully in place pending the establishment of parking signs, will improve traffic flow in the busy area in the immediate vicinity of Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC).

However, some residents believe that the ban on parking in the affected area will leave local residents without both free parking and handicapped parking.

Furthermore, the move to eliminate parking in the neighborhood is part of the February 2008 developer’s agreement between the City of Hackensack and the hospital, an accord that has caused much discord in city politics since its inception.

City manager explains move

At its Nov. 10 meeting, the council voted 4-1 to approve the final adoption of the ordinance establishing the Prospect Avenue parking ban, with neophyte Councilman John Labrosse providing the only protest vote.

City Manager Stephen LoIacono believes that the new law will allow traffic to flow more smoothly around the medical center, the city’s and Bergen County’s largest employer.

"Once we do this, we’ll be able to relieve the congestion that is always around the medical center, especially when there are changes of shifts," LoIacono said. "We’ve recently picked up 120 spaces at the new hospital parking garage, so we will more than account for any loss of spaces on the street."

"Every time I go to the medical center, I always try to park on Prospect because parking in the garage is more time consuming," added LoIacono. "In the last five years, maybe twice I was able to find a parking spot. It’s disingenuous to think that someone who lives in the area is routinely parking their cars on Prospect because there isn’t any parking available. Visitors to the medical center are using all of those spots currently, including the handicapping spots in the area from what we’ve observed. We will find a way to accommodate people who need handicapped parking. But you’ll never convince me that you’re taking parking away from residents here."

Neighborhood resident opposes decision

But city resident Regina DiPasqua, who lives close to the medical center and who spoke out against the new Prospect Avenue parking ban at the council meeting, disagrees with LoIacono’s assertions that the parking situation in her neighborhood will not be adversely affected.

"I live two blocks from the affected parking area, and they are expecting people to pay to park in the garage. That’s not going to happen," DiPasqua said. "Right now, they get two hours free in my neighborhood. Then, they haven’t made enough provisions for handicapped people. How could they do that?"

DiPasqua believes that the local parking situation will deteriorate further when the parking signs reflecting the new law go up within four to eight weeks.

"People will not be able to park, they’re not going to have any recourse, and they’re not going to be happy," she said. "People who can get handicapped spaces might possibly have some recourse if they can get such a space, but I don’t know where they are going to put them. For example, there is no place to park on Atlantic Street, right around the corner, because it’s not wide enough. What is the plan here?"

Developer’s agreement with HUMC surfaces again

Apparently, the plan to eliminate parking on Prospect Avenue between Atlantic and Essex streets was put into motion more than a year ago because of an agreement made between the Hackensack city government and HUMC.

A developer’s agreement signed between the City of Hackensack and the medical center in February 2008 specifically stipulates that "parking on Prospect Avenue shall be banned on the west side" of the street from its intersection with Essex Street to a point nearly "100 feet north of the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Atlantic Street."

The aforementioned 120 spaces in the hospital’s parking garage were provided to the city as designated public parking in the same agreement.

The February 2008 developer’s agreement between the city and the medical center proved to be a sore point in city politics most of last year.

The agreement allowed for a one-time, $1 million payment to be made by HUMC to the City of Hackensack in exchange for permission to build a new cancer center.

However, the agreement also mandated the transfer of the city’s daytime ambulance service from Hackensack Fire Department (HFD) command to a private service hired by the hospital, resulting in the firing of eight city emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who served under HFD command. Despite strong protests from the EMTs and their supporters, the EMTs were replaced by the beginning of this year.

DiPasqua admitted that this detail disturbed her.

"Did the government know that [the new parking ban] was part of the agreement, and they wouldn’t tell us? Or did they not know? Why didn’t they mention this?" said DiPasqua. "The developer’s agreement has affected many lives. The city has given away jobs. They’ve given away parking. How many other developer’s agreements are there that we don’t know about?"

"Who is running Hackensack?" asked DiPasqua. "Is it the hospital? Or is it the city government? It just makes you wonder."

But regardless of the contents of the developer’s agreement, City Manager LoIacono firmly believes that the new Prospect Ave. parking ban is a move worth making.

"This is a decision that is entirely based on safety and traffic," LoIacono said. "That’s all we’re talking about here. This move makes a lot of sense."

E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 24, 2010, 07:02:18 PM
#14035
REMINDER – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25TH AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Northjersey.com
Testimony continues in Hackensack hospital case
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Record

What's new: Testimony will continue this week on whether Hackensack should permit the construction of a 19-story, long-term acute care hospital at Summit and Prospect avenues.

Frank Miskovich, a traffic engineer from Birdsall Engineering who was hired by the city's zoning board, is expected to answer questions from attorneys representing opponents of the plan. At the last meeting, Miskovich was cross-examined by the attorney for the applicant.

Among the issues being examined is how much vehicle traffic the 120-bed facility would bring to the neighborhood. Several neighbors who oppose the plan say the area can't handle more traffic.
Christos Diktas, an attorney representing one of the objectors, said the project doesn't belong in a residential area.

"It's a tremendous building blocking everyone's view,'' he said. "There are many issues with the construction of this building."

Background: Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC, whose president is Richard Pineles, is seeking approval to demolish two-story homes on four lots and construct the facility.
The hospital would contain 10 floors dedicated to patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 people. The building would have five levels of underground parking.

The project needs site plan approval, as well as several variances, including ones for parking, use and lot size. The area is zoned for residential and multifamily dwellings.

Pineles, who owns two nursing care facilities in Hackensack, filed plans for the project last year. He initially proposed a 24-story building with 140 beds and an adult day-care center to serve 250 people. He amended the application late last year.

More than a dozen hearings have been held on the project, and several have drawn hundreds of residents.

Opponents argue the facility is not suited for the city, already home to Hackensack University Medical Center. They fear harm to their property values and increased traffic in the congested area.

The proposed site for the hospital is also located diagonally from Prospect Towers, an 18-story apartment building where a parking garage collapsed last month.

The project needs site plan approval, as well as several variances, including ones for parking, use and lot size. The area is zoned for residential and multifamily dwellings.

Pineles, who owns two nursing care facilities in Hackensack, filed plans for the project last year. He initially proposed a 24-story building with 140 beds and an adult day-care center to serve 250 people. He amended the application late last year.

More than a dozen hearings have been held on the project, and several have drawn hundreds of residents.

Opponents argue the facility is not suited for the city, already home to Hackensack University Medical Center. They fear harm to their property values and increased traffic in the congested area.

The proposed site for the hospital is also located diagonally from Prospect Towers, an 18-story apartment building where a parking garage collapsed last month.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Board of Adjustment will hold its next meeting on the proposal at 7 p.m. Wed-nesday at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.

— Monsy Alvarado

http://www.northjersey.com/news/health/hospitals/101358379_Testimony_continues_in_Hackensack_hospital_case.html
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 25, 2010, 07:40:23 PM
There is a reporter taping the Zoning Board meeting and also Mark from the Hackensack Chronicle at the Zoning Board meeting right now. If you can get down to City Hall before the break which is usually around 8:00 or 8:30 pm you may be able to get your comments in the news.
 
Title: Is the City Council here for residents or business owners?
Post by: HackRes on September 06, 2010, 12:03:53 PM
It's a valid question, why do we have zoning rules and a 24-floor tower like this could go in?
I thought our elected officials were supposed to look out for it's residents.

There is another proposed reduction of street parking along Prospect (from Essex to Beech). Why? So we can be forced to pay for parking at the new garage on Atlantic. 

So many homes have been swallowed up by the ever-expanding hospital. Those were tax-paying residents. Their tax burden now flows to the rest of us because those properties no longer exist.

If anyone is interested, a city council meeting is scheduled for:
Sept. 7th at 8:00 pm
City Hall, 3rd Floor (65 Central Avenue)

Reduced street parking affects everyone. It becomes increasingly more difficult to sell or rent your unit when there are fewer street parking options in the area.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 07, 2010, 07:24:42 AM
#14365 Public hearing rescheduled to Tuesday September 7, 2010 at 8 pm

Public Notice for Prospect Avenue parking ban

Public hearing at a meeting of the City Council to be held at City Hall, Council Chambers, 65 Central Avenue, on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.,

County: Bergen
Printed In: The Record, Hackensack
Printed On: 2010/07/24

CITY OF HACKENSACKORDINANCE NO. 31-2010

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that Ordinance No. 31-2010 of the City of Hackensack, County of Bergen and State of New Jersey, entitled: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 37-2009, SECTION 170-50 SCHEDULE I: NO PARKING, TO PROHIBIT PARKING ON PROSPECT AVENUE FROM ESSEX STREET TO BEECH STREET was introduced and passed upon first reading at a meeting of the governing body of the City of Hackensack, in the County of Bergen, State of New Jersey, on July 13, 2010. It will be further considered for final passage after a public hearing thereon, at a meeting of the City Council to be held at City Hall, Council Chambers, 65 Central Avenue, on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 8:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter can be reached.

Debra Heck, City Clerk CITY OF HACKENESACK
ORDINANCE NO. 31-2010

AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 37-2009, SECTION 170-50 SCHEDULE I: NO PARKING, TO PROHIBIT PARKING ON PROSPECT AVENUE FROM ESSEX STREET TO BEECH STREET

BE IT ORDAINED, by the City Council of the City of Hackensack, in the County of Bergen and State of New Jersey, as follows:
Section I " Chapter 170-50 "No Parking" of the City code is amended as follows:

Name of Street Sides Location

Prospect Avenue West From Essex Street to Beech Street

Prospect Avenue East From Essex Street to Beech Street

Section II It is the express intent of this Ordinance to prohibit parking on Prospect Avenue from Essex Street to Beech Street.
Section III If any part or parts of this Ordinance are for any reason held to be invalid, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this Ordinance.

Section IV All Ordinances or parts of Ordinances, which are inconsistent herewith are repealed, but only to the extent of such inconsistency. All other parts of Chapter 170-21 not inconsistent are herewith ratifieid and confirmed.

Section V This article shall become effective immediately upon its final passage and publication as required by law.

Introduced: July 13, 2010
July 24, 2010-fee:$81.27 (86) 2900211


Public Notice ID: 13827447.HTM 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 09, 2010, 07:16:55 AM
#14519 A number of residents who live south of Central Avenue showed up to the City Council meeting to voice their displeasure over the Prospect Avenue parking ban extending from Essex Street to Beech Street. One building owner attended with lawyer in tow. Much to our surprise this ordinance was removed from the agenda and tabled. We learned that the Council still has to conduct a study and has agreed to meet with some of the residents to discuss the matter further.

One resident asked the Council during the public session why they are calling for a parking ban when residents so need the street parking for their own use and for guests or contractors. The Council revealed that a resident approached them about this problem and they tried to resolve by allowing residents to purchase parking permits for $25/month allowing them to park in the Cancer Center humongo parking lot.

To me this seems somewhat a reasonable solution as many residents pay $65 indoor/$35 outdoor for a parking space in their own buildings although those spots are either directly underneath or around their building.  In my building we are sold out of parking spaces so this might be a solution for some unit owners with multiple cars and believe me more than 2 cars per owner is common in my building.

Some residents would like to know if some deal was done with the Cancer Center which is now forcing them to park in the deck rather than on the streets. Hopefully they will learn the answer when they meet with the Mayor and Council.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on September 09, 2010, 01:47:55 PM

The whole Cancer Center deal was a lot of smoke and mirrors, backroom deals, etc.

Zoning Board members who were usually very critical on architectural details sat silent as the Hospital proposed a giant ugly brick wall along First Street, with no windows on such a long stretch.

Opponents of the parking ban should research the minutes, there was talk of the city renting spaces to residents during the application.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 11, 2010, 09:44:01 AM
#14656
SAVE THE DATES - WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 AND WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE


NORTHJERSEY.COM

Proposed hospital protest continues

Friday, September 3, 2010
BY MARK J. BONAMO
HACKENSACK CHRONICLE
MANAGING EDITOR

HACKENSACK — Anyone expecting a summertime lull in the level of concern exhibited by Hackensack residents regarding the potential construction of a 19-story, long-term acute care hospital at Summit and Prospect avenues would have been disabused of that notion at the Aug. 25 zoning board meeting.
 
(http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/5681/chronicle.jpg) (http://img259.imageshack.us/i/chronicle.jpg/)
Mark J. Bonamo/Staff Photo

Hackensack residents Doris Pape, Tama Cuperman and Murray Cuperman (left to right) listen intently at the Aug. 25 zoning board meeting on the proposal to build a 19-story, long-term acute care hospital at Summit and Prospect avenues.


During public comments, local resident Alexis Palinkas asked Frank Miskovich, a traffic engineer from Birdsall Engineering who was hired by the city’s zoning board, a question that highlighted a major issue for neighbors of the proposed project. "Do you really believe that six days out of 365 gives an accurate representation of the traffic in that area?" said Palinkas, referring to the time period of a recent traffic study of the location, not far from Hackensack University Medical Center. "This is the problem – we live here 365 days a year."

Traffic, property values, quality of life and the aftermath of the recent parking garage collapse in the vicinity of the proposed hospital were among the issues brought up by crowd members.

Long-term hospital project controversial a long time

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 in order 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 late last year.

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.

Concerned residents speak out

More than a dozen hearings have been held regarding the proposed hospital, including some that attracted over 200 people. But the more than 70 residents present at the Aug. 25 hearing voiced a new concern about the impact of the potential project: the ongoing effect of the July 16 parking garage collapse at 300 Prospect Ave. that has left residents of the high-rise building without a home, and residents of the adjoining mid-rise building at 310 Prospect Ave. concerned about the future.

"Have you been on Prospect Avenue since the garage collapse?" said local resident Lillika Weinberger, who lives on the street. "This is a dress rehearsal of what could happen for the next three or four years if this building is going to be put up. The situation was absolutely horrendous. It’s sheer madness to think of what would happen should this building go up."

Kenneth Crusius expressed worry that the property value of his home will not go up if the hospital does. "Would you be willing to buy my house on Summit Avenue?" said Crusius.

For Prospect Avenue resident Murray Cuperman, the recent garage collapse down the block from his home only adds to his sense of trepidation about the hospital project.

"The building that collapsed had three levels of parking under it. Now, they want to build five," said Cuperman. "This makes no sense."

The next zoning board meeting on the proposal is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 at City Hall, 65 Central Avenue.

E-mail: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 26, 2010, 11:13:21 AM
#15049
REMINDER - WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 AND WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 28, 2010, 10:01:28 PM
#15106 Attached is a copy of the Transcript from the August 25th Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting. Hope this helps you get up to speed in time for tomorrow's meeting:

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 29, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 29, 2010, 08:53:40 PM
#15152 The September 29th Zoning Board Special Meeting was adjourned due to illness of the witness. Please attend the next scheduled meeting on Wednesday October 27th at 7 pm to hear more testimony from the applicant's planner.

SAVE THE DATE - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 20, 2010, 07:48:03 AM
#15495
REMINDER - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2010 AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on October 22, 2010, 05:25:29 PM

Thanks for the continued updates on this.  People might not be commenting, but we are reading this.  We are following the story.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 27, 2010, 11:19:26 PM
#15607 Thank you just watching for your support.

Overlook, Prospect and Summit Avenue residents we need you to attend these last few meetings. Your physical presence at the Zoning Board Meeting is a constant reminder to those deciding whether or not to approve the LTACH application just what this area is zoned for - - residential and multi family dwellings. Don't let them forget.

SAVE THE DATE - TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on November 23, 2010, 07:39:29 AM
#15926

REMINDER - TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

Please attend next Tuesday evening. Have a nice holiday.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on November 29, 2010, 08:02:43 AM
#16038 Counsel representing Prospect Avenue residents will question the applicant's expert witness. Please attend tomorrow night:

REMINDER - TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2010
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE

#16056 Attached is the transcript from the October 27th Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on November 30, 2010, 10:44:02 PM
#16082 The applicant's traffic expert was a no show tonight and will be rescheduled so that counsel representing Prospect Avenue residents can question him at a later date (January 2011). Both residents and counsel will be able to question the applicant's traffic expert ONLY on new testimony regarding the LTACH parking requirements and the poll conducted to determine how much employee parking would be needed.

Counsel for Prospect Avenue residents were able to question the applicant's planner and one of the many questions asked pertained to the signage and its size (96 square feet).

One board member inquired about the LTACH's 2 entrances: one on Prospect Avenue where the big huge sign with backlighting will be mounted on a retaining wall and the other on Summit Avenue surrounded by lush park-like landscaping and a circular driveway and questioned if the planner could do away with the Summit Avenue entrance so to avoid setting a precedent for other developers who might want to build another hospital with an entrance on Summit Avenue. The planner could not envision this redesign.

During the Zoning Board's regular meeting in December, the board, counsel and experts will get out their calendars and try to find a date in January 2011 to schedule the next Special Meeting. Counsel representing a Prospect Avenue resident will bring his expert so there may be one more meeting date set following the January 2011 to cross-examine his expert. We are in the home stretch.

I arrived a few minutes after the start of the meeting but heard from my neighbors who arrived on time that after counsel finished questioning the applicant's planner and traffic expert tonight the Zoning Board had planned to vote on whether or not the applicant could build this proposed 19 story hospital with 5 levels of underground garage parking on Prospect and Summit Avenues between Golf Place and Berry Street. The traffic expert no show was a good thing for us.

The next Zoning Board Special Meeting in January 2011 is going to be a very important meeting for Hackensack residents. We need to pack the auditorium to remind the Zoning Board before they vote just how much we want the board to vote "NO" on this application.

I will let you know the date of the next Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting. Please talk with your friends and neighbors and ask them to attend.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 17, 2010, 07:36:05 AM
#16340 The next Zoning Board Special Meeting on Thursday January 20, 2011 is going to be a very important meeting for Hackensack residents. During the December 15th regular Zoning Board Meeting no future date after January 20, 2011 was scheduled. We know that the board was ready to vote during last month's meeting on whether or not to allow this this hospital to be built on Prospect and Summit Avenues.

We need to pack the auditorium to remind the Zoning Board before they vote on this LTACH application just how much we want the board to vote "NO".

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY JANUARY 20, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on December 17, 2010, 07:53:57 PM

THank you for the continued updates.  We are reading them
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 20, 2010, 07:43:52 AM
#16425 Just watching, thank you for your continued support. Please help us in getting the word out re: January 20, 2011 Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting. We are nearing the end of a long road and need the residents of Hackensack to attend the meeting prior to the vote. Happy Holidays.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on December 22, 2010, 07:55:08 AM
Yes, thank  you for updates. It is IMPERATIVE that as many residents as possible attend the Jan. 20th meeting. If you think this LTACH won't affect you, you're wrong. The impact will be felt for  miles around. It is not a done deal, as so many folks in some of the buildings are murmuring. 60 residents from my building will be at the meeting, we need everyone to come out and let the Board know we do not want this building in our neighborhoods. If you thought the garage collapse at 300 Prospect caused disruption, traffic jams, etc. - that was miniscule compared to what will be happening during construction, etc. The developer is arrogant and smug and condescending. I urge everyone to come to the meeting on January 20th!! We want the Board to vote NO....
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 10, 2011, 09:50:48 AM
#16783 @elizabeth, we agree that it is important for Hackensack residents to attend the meeting on Thursday January 20th. Thank you for your support.

REMINDER - THURSDAY JANUARY 20, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on January 13, 2011, 12:30:09 AM
This is our LAST CHANCE to save Prospect Avenue. Bring as many friends and relatives as you can with you so we can pack the room. The last few meetings were poorly attended. Get the word out now. If everyone who has a stake in the peace and well being of Prospect Avenue brings at least ONE person with them - this will be a strong show of solidarity against the building. Let's not assume either rumor is true -- "its a done deal" or "no way the ZB will approve this application". Please just show up: be seen and be heard if the opportunity presents itself. If you say nothing more than "I object"/"I am against the building" that will suffice. At least we will know that we tried our best. Also remember to wear your button. Remember STRENGTH AND UNITY IN NUMBERS. 
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 18, 2011, 07:39:26 AM
#16991 @bergen07601, too right...LAST CHANCE for Hackensack residents to show their opposition to this proposal to build a 19 story hospital with 5 levels of underground parking on Prospect and Summit Avenues. Thank you for your support. Please attend on Thursday January 20th:

REMINDER - THURSDAY JANUARY 20, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Attached is the transcript from the November 30th Zoning Board Meeting.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on January 18, 2011, 06:38:38 PM
Yes, I agree, this may be our last chance to let our voices be heard- we all need to attend the meeting on the 20th! Don't let the weather report deter you.....we have to continue our opposition and let the zoning board know how we feel about this monstrous LTACH. I've heard through the grapevine that the Bergen Record may send a reporter to the meeting- that would give you an opportunity to talk to the reporter, be part of the story and give much needed publicity to this issue. Spread the word, we need as many people as possible at this meeting!!
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 20, 2011, 07:23:59 AM
#17111 @elizabeth - I heard thru the grapevine that objector counsel who represents a Prospect Avenue resident will tonight bring forth their own experts.

Your intel may be right. Yesterday afternoon a group of concerned residents were to be photographed for a newspaper article in front of 329 Prospect Avenue, the proposed LTACH site. I do know that a number of Hackensack residents have called and spoken with a reporter from The Record for this article.

Please attend tonight and if you have the opportunity speak with the reporter:

REMINDER - THURSDAY JANUARY 20, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on January 20, 2011, 11:46:39 AM
Hospital battle resumes tonight in Hackensack
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Last updated: Thursday January 20, 2011, 6:21 AM
BY MONSY ALVARADO NorthJersey.com
STAFF WRITER HACKENSACK

—The fight over allowing a 19-story acute care hospital to be built on Prospect Avenue will continue tonight when the zoning board resumes hearings on a proposal that has drawn opposition from neighbors who say the plan would negatively affect the area.

The residents say the character of Summit Avenue, with its one-family homes and tree-lined sidewalks, is in jeopardy. They also say Prospect Avenue, home to dozens of high-rises, would become even more jampacked with cars and traffic.

(http://img831.imageshack.us/img831/8522/picture1lb.jpg)


"It's a safety issue, too,'' said Regina Nepsha, who has lived on Prospect Avenue for more than 15 years. "I work from home and I'm around here a lot, and traffic here is unbearable. I've seen people almost get hit, and it's only going to get worse if this building is allowed to come in."

The applicant, Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC, wants to demolish two-story homes on Prospect and Summit avenues to make room for the acute care hospital.

The hospital would be built on 1.15 acres that extend from Prospect to Summit, with the building being constructed on the Prospect Avenue side, and a landscaped circular driveway on the Summit side, according to testimony.

Richard Pineles, vice president of the company, did not return a call for comment on Wednesday. His attorney, Joseph Basralian, referred questions to Pineles.

But according to testimony, the building would have 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 people. The building would have five levels of underground parking on the Summit Avenue side of the project.

Joseph Burgis, a planner hired by Pineles, testified at the hearings that the facility would be inherently beneficial and promote the public good, by creating jobs, and adult day-care center spots, which are lacking in Bergen County, according to a Robert Wood Johnson study he cited.

Burgis also said the building, with its open landscaped area on Summit Avenue, was designed with the existing neighborhood in mind.

"I understand how some residents feel strongly that the use doesn't belong here, but in point of fact, it certainly can be designed to complement the established development pattern along Prospect Avenue,'' he testified in October, pointing to a restaurant and doctor's offices on Summit and Prospect avenues. "In addition to that, we've taken pains to try to design the Summit Avenue portion of the site so it's free of building."

Opponents, many of whom are part of the Prospect Avenue Coalition —a group of residents in 10 buildings and those who live along Summit Avenue —said having a landscaped area is not enough to sway them to support the project. They argue that zoning laws should be followed, and that the more than dozen variances Pineles is seeking should be denied.

"The people who bought homes here, not only on Prospect but all along Summit, they bought them because of the planning,'' said Jeff Mullarkey of Prospect Avenue. "To allow this flagrant disregard to the zoning laws to happen is really totally disrespectful."

They also point to Hackensack University Medical Center, which is already located nearby, and its ambulances that travel area streets, and say the neighborhood can't handle another hospital, and its traffic.

"I can't think of a place less appropriate,'' said William Schroder, who has lived on Prospect Avenue for 11 years.

Dorothy Monopoli, who lives two buildings away from the proposed site, said she fears how the facility will affect the value of her property. She said several residents on Summit Avenue have put their homes up for sale because of the proposal.

"They want to turn a prized residential area into a commercial zone,'' said Monopoli, a real estate agent.

City Attorney Joseph Zisa said he has been keeping a close eye on the hearings, and said the project is "inappropriate" for the site. "The expanding of this use into Summit Avenue, either below ground or above ground, is a very dangerous precedent,'' he said.

Pineles bought the properties where the acute care facility is proposed at a private auction, Zisa said.

The site for the hospital is also located diagonally from Prospect Towers, an 18-story apartment building where a parking garage partially collapsed last summer. The collapse caused traffic to be diverted in the area, and also led city officials to inspect underground parking garages in town to make sure they were structurally sound.

Some residents said the collapse has made them want Pineles to also submit underground water and soil testing of the site. They also said they want Pineles to detail how construction of the building and underground parking garage would proceed if he received approval and whether blasting would be part of the work.

"I don't know anything about digging garages, but if only blasting were to occur, how would they guarantee the integrity of the surrounding buildings?" asked Annette Jankowski at one of the meetings. "Because I don't believe for one moment that it wouldn't affect any of the surrounding buildings."

Pineles owns two nursing care facilities in Hackensack including a seven-floor center on Prospect Avenue, near the proposed site, which has been operating in the area for years.

E-mail: alvarado@northjersey.com
____________
Reader Comments (1)

1. Thursday January 20, 2011, 9:13 AM - tompaine says:
    Sounds like a plan. Another hospital in the flight path for Teterboro.


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on January 22, 2011, 07:37:57 AM
OK, so what happened at the hearing ????
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: BLeafe on January 22, 2011, 12:23:35 PM
It's in The Record today:

Update: Hospital parking study debated

Saturday, January 22, 2011
The Record

What's new: A traffic expert was cross-examined during a Hackensack zoning board hearing this week on a proposal to bring a 19-story acute care hospital to Prospect Avenue. Eric Keller, of Omland Engineering Associates, said that his parking study shows that the proposed facility would only need 417 parking spaces, as opposed to the 562 required under city ordinances. He also testified that a survey of employees at Prospect Heights, a nursing home across the street from where the acute care hospital is proposed, found that many of them were driven to work and didn't need to park a car on the site. He said he included the survey results as part of his report.

Keller was questioned by Theodore Moskowitz, an attorney representing himself and residents opposing the proposal. Moskowitz asked Keller why he didn't find out as part of the survey if employees were full time, part time or per diem, and how that would affect the traffic in the area.

Keller also answered questions posed to him by Christos Diktas, who represents another resident. More than 50 city residents attended the meeting, some who also disputed the findings in his report. "If your estimated numbers are wrong, what would happen to the overflow of people?'' asked Alexis Palinkas. But Keller said an increased number of employees will still not change his findings.

Board of Adjustment attorney Richard Malagiere also requested that Keller submit all the notes he used to form his report. Joseph Basralian, the attorney for the applicant, objected to the request, saying that he would fight it in court.

Background: The zoning board has been holding a hearing on the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital since 2009. The plans call for the developer to demolish two-story homes on Prospect and Summit avenues to make room for the acute care hospital. The hospital would be built on 1.15 acres that extend from Prospect to Summit, with the building being constructed on the Prospect Avenue side, and a landscaped circular driveway on the Summit side, according to testimony. A five-deck underground parking garage would also be on the Summit side of the project.

According to testimony, the building would have 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center with 63 stations and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 people.

The proposal led neighbors in nearby high-rises and homes along Summit Avenue to form The Prospect Avenue Coalition to fight the plan and hire an attorney. Opponents of the project say it will bring increased traffic to the already congested area of the city and would harm property values.

What's next: Attorney Diktas, who represents a local resident, will bring his own expert to the next meeting. He said Stan Lacz will provide testimony as an architect, professional engineer and professional planner. The next meeting is scheduled for March 3.

— Monsy Alvarado


Reader Comments (1)

   1. Saturday January 22, 2011, 8:05 AM - John C.Holmes says:
      That area is f***ed...Planes,ambulances and fire engines go 24/7. To top it off,building collapses...No thanks.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 11, 2011, 07:13:50 AM
17536
SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY MARCH 3, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETINGS AT 7 PM
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 25, 2011, 09:48:00 PM
17745
REMINDER - THURSDAY MARCH 3, 2011 AT 7PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
CITY HALL 3RD FLOOR AUDITORIUM AT 65 CENTRAL AVENUE
BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

This from a neighbor living at the World Plaza:

"See attached photos taken Thursday morning Feb 24 2011. After 25 minutes of attempting to back in and pull-in cab first The food delivery truck crashed into the drive way lights/guides damaging the truck and the property of Prospect Heights center. This is not the first time this has happened. In addition, while attempting to pull into the driveway the truck blocked traffic preventing cars on Prospect ave to pass."

The truck which will make the food and other deliveries to the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital will be a 44 foot tractor trailer. Deliveries will be made approximately twice a week. Traffic will be stopped in both directions so the tractor trailer can back into the hospital driveway. Don't forget their kind proposal to take away 4 street parking spaces in front of the hospital so the truck could more easily make this manuever.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on February 26, 2011, 10:29:49 PM
I understand that there is 33 acres of land available for redevelopment at the eastern end of Atlantic Street.  I'm talking about the unused Record campus.  And it's a straight shot up Atlantic Street to Hackensack University Medical Center.  Probably about the same distance from the hospital, except east instead of north.

I bet that this proposed monstrosity on Summit and Prospect Avenues, aka "Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care" could be built on a portion of The Record campus, the same square footage of usable space, but a little more spread out. Let's say covering 6 or 7 acres.  And without the expense of digging 3 stories underground or constructing such a tall tower. Cheaper construction.  Why can't this developer be pursuaded to make a bid on that property.  I bet it would fly through the permitting process in 2 or 3 hearings, tops, and with zero opposition.

But that would make sense.  Why do something that makes sense when you can fight for something for YEARS, and try to win at the end
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on March 03, 2011, 12:08:37 AM
Turns out we have a few more opportunities to save Prospect Avenue. Everyone: Bring as many friends and relatives as you can with you so we can pack the room. The last meeting should have been standing room only like it was at the beginning stages of the hearings. Where is everyone? Let's keep up the pressure -- the hearings will soon be over and we will know Prospect Avenue's fate. We've gotten this far because of those who  made the effort to attend every meeting and be heard. We are in the home stretch -- we need a great turn out tomorrow.  I will reiterate: Please just show up: be seen and be heard if the opportunity presents itself. Saying "I object" or "I am against the building" will suffice.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on March 03, 2011, 06:59:39 AM
Thank you Bergen- very well stated. We have to fill the seats tonight! It would also help if everyone called Monsey Alvarado at The Record and ask her to cover the meeting tonight....call her at 201-937-3081. In my opinion, the Record has not given this issue enough coverage. Keep in mind, that this month marks 2 years since this LTACH nonsense began!!  Yes, they want to wear us down, no doubt. Tonight's meeting is important and should prove interesting. The LTACH traffic expert has been subpoeneaed to produce non-privileged file notes in connection to his "expert" report. I encourage everyone to attend this meeting, we must show the zoning board how much we care about our neighborhood. This monstrosity LTACH will be our worst nightmare if it's allowed to be built. Let's not forget what our street was like during the garage collapse in July.....mulitply by 100, add tractor trailers, construction mess, etc. etc. !! There will be no quality of life on Summit & Prospect if this LTACH is built.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 09, 2011, 07:45:37 AM
17997
SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY APRIL 28, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 22, 2011, 08:40:43 AM
18651

During the public session of Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital hearings many residents have voiced their concern over the additional traffic congestion which would be brought to the area if this hospital is built and how there are already unbearable traffic jams near Prospect Avenue and Passaic Street - some of this traffic stemming from the Veterans Health Administration building located at 385 Prospect Avenue which recently made improvements to their ramp entrance/exit on the Prospect Avenue side.

We have noticed some new construction on the expansive front lawn of 385 Prospect Avenue which had previously submitted a proposal to build a parking lot in the front of the building and subsequently was turned down by the Hackensack Zoning Board. We have learnd that the Zoning Board's decision was overturned in court. Now a driveway will be added on Berry Street as an entrance to the parking and an exit driveway will be built on the north end of the property (next to the other 2 driveways).

More congestion for Berry Street.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 08, 2011, 07:56:52 AM
19140 Attached is a copy of the Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting transcript dated March 3, 2011 re: Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital. I was unable to attend this meeting and the following are from notes from a Prospect Avenue Resident:

The witness, Mr. Lacz, was unruffled and a well spoken gentleman. Then he testified and apparently there are 53 violations in LTACH's building plan. Mr. Basrailian will cross examine Mr. Lacz at next meeting. Mr. Ditkas' questions were excellent, point by point re: statutes, etc. Mr. Lacz did say that given the water table and pressure, most likely other buildings could suffer structural damage w/ the garage digging. If  you get copy of testimony, you can see details. There wasn't any time for audience questions. I think it was a most interesting meeting, and Mr.Lacz has 45 years experience as engineer, architect & planner.
 
Mr. Ditkas is counsel for a Prospect Avenue Resident and Mr. Lacz is their expert witness. Mr. Basrailian is counsel for the applicant, Richard Pineles. I believe there will be an opportunity for the public to question this witness.


SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY APRIL 28, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 16, 2011, 07:00:22 PM
19406
REMINDER - THURSDAY APRIL 28, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 26, 2011, 08:18:20 PM
19829 I noticed something new at the corner of Passaic Street and Summit Avenue - a left turning signal when crossing both ways over Passaic Street. Was the part of the Veterans Administration building parking lot expansion application to mitigate traffic jams in that area? I am not driving around these mean streets during the daytime. Has it helped any? Let us not forget that a similar proposal was made for the intersection at Summit Avenue and Central Avenue by Pineles crew.

REMINDER -THURSDAY APRIL 28, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: elizabeth on April 27, 2011, 02:04:43 PM
The zoning board meeting tomorrow night is crucial- please come and fill the seats! This may be our last opportunity to voice our opposition to this horrendous LTACH proposal. It is still my opinion that the Record has not given this story the coverage it deserves. If this were a Ridgewood issue, would the Record pay attention???? Call Monsey Alvarado at Record 201-937-3081 and ask why no coverage! We can defeat this, just as PC air rights was trounced. If you think this building won't affect you because you do not live on Prospect or Summit Avenues, you are wrong....the traffic issues will domino far beyond these avenues! Plus, my bottom line is this is a residential neighborhood, what's the point of zoning ordinances if they can be overturned by someone like Mr.Pineles and his money???  Let's show we care about our neighborhoods--come to the meeting!
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 28, 2011, 03:14:41 PM
19906           MEETING CANCELLED TONIGHT
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 12, 2011, 12:52:45 PM
20283

SAVE THE DATES - TUESDAY MAY 24, 2011 and JUNE 28, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 21, 2011, 07:31:05 AM
20492 For those of you who were wondering, the April 28, 2011 Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting was cancelled due to lack of quorum.

Last month marked the 2 year anniversary of these special meetings. ProspectAvenueCoalition would like to thank all of the Hackensack residents who have attended each of these meetings and for their tireless support in the opposition to the applicant's request for approval of 14 (or it is really 67=14+53) variances needed to build a 19 story hospital on Prospect and Summit Avenues.

Attached as an anniversary gift is the transcript from the first special meeting (April 15, 2009) and as a bonus also attached is April 29, 2010 transcript.   

REMINDER - TUESDAY MAY 24, 2011 and JUNE 28, 2011
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 23, 2011, 09:19:53 PM
20571

TOMORROW'S MEETING ON MAY 24TH IS CANCELLED AGAIN DUE TO LACK OF QUORUM
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 26, 2011, 09:32:34 PM
20723 The next, and what should be the final, meeting will be on Tuesday JULY 26 2011 at 6:00 PM . The Agenda will likely include cross examination of Objectant Expert Lacz, further cross examination of LTACH Expert Keller, and, perhaps the decision vote by the Board.

FINAL MEETING DATE - TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 at 6 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Flyer attached.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 02, 2011, 07:32:38 AM
20908 REMINDER - TUESDAY JUNE 28, 2011 HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 AT 6 PM.

FINAL MEETING DATE - TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 at 6 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 12, 2011, 11:30:18 AM
21227 My emphasis highlighted by bold red:

SeekingAlpha.com

Hackensack hospital sells hospice program

Tue May 10, 2011 10:57 am | about: AMED
NEWS PROVIDED BY: McClatchy

May 10--Hackensack University Medical Center has sold its hospice operation to a Louisiana company that had purchased the hospital's home health care program in 2009.

Amedisys Inc., which specializes in home health care and hospice services, announced the purchase of the hospital's eight-bed inpatient unit last week for an undisclosed sum.

The unit, housed in the top floor of the for-profit Prospect Heights Care Center on Prospect Avenue in Hackensack, will remain in the same location with its current staff, said Hackensack spokeswoman Nancy Radwin.

"This transition of care will proceed over a period of time and is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals," Radwin said.

The Baton Rouge firm has not determined whether it will expand the unit, said Jacqueline Chen Valencia, Amedisys' senior vice president of marketing.

"Providing high-quality patient care is one of our company's main operating tenets, and we are excited about the opportunity to extend our high-quality hospice service into New Jersey, said William F. Borne, Amedisys' chief executive officer.

"We have worked closely with HUMC since acquiring their home health operations in 2009 to provide patients a seamless transition of care from the hospital to home. We are eager to expand this relationship to hospice services," he said.

For-profit corporations have been acquiring hospice programs nationwide, said Donald Pendley, president of the New Jersey Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. In New Jersey, about one-third of the state's 58 hospice programs are operated by for-profit companies, he said.

"For-profits normally focus on patients in nursing homes while the non-profits deal a lot with patients still in their homes," Pendley said. "It doesn't really matter whether it's for-profit or non-profit running the program. What's important is that if the patient or family is not happy, they have a federal right to transfer to another hospice program and both programs are required to assist in the transition."

Hospital officials said the sale will not change the quality of care for patients.

"At HUMC, our focus is always on providing the most advanced, top-quality care possible to the people we serve, either directly or by partnering with providers who share our philosophy," said Dianne Aroh, executive vice president, chief nursing and patient care officer at HUMC. "We believe this vision is shared by Amedisys, and by completing this transaction and working together to streamline the transition of care to our patients, we will strengthen the end-of-life care being provided to our community."

E-mail: williamsb@northjersey.com
___
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Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 26, 2011, 11:10:28 AM
21543

FINAL MEETING DATE - TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 at 6 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on June 28, 2011, 07:23:50 AM
21584 THERE IS NO MEETING TONIGHT.

The JUNE 28, 2011 HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 AT 6 PM.


FINAL MEETING DATE - TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 at 6 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 10, 2011, 06:31:49 PM
21933 The transcripts from the April 2009 and April 2010 Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meetings were attached in an earlier post dated May 21, 2011 and the December 2009 transcript was attached on January 27, 2010.

In 2009 the meetings began in April and there were no meetings scheduled in the months of August, October and November. Attached here are the remainder from 2009: May, June, July, September.

We have it on good authority that the Zoning Board will make its decision on July 26th as to whether or not to build this hospital on Summit and Prospect Avenues on a site zoned for residential and multi family dwellings. The meeting starts an hour earlier (6pm). Please come when you can.

FINAL MEETING DATE - TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 at 6 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 24, 2011, 08:03:40 PM
22323 Attached is a revamped flyer.

FINAL MEETING DATE - TUESDAY JULY 26, 2011 at 6 PM
HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD SPECIAL MEETING
RE: BERGEN PASSAIC LONG TERM ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL APPLICATION

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: 07601bergen on July 26, 2011, 02:55:48 PM
PLEASE PICK UP THIS FLYER AND SIGN IN TONIGHT FOR UPDATES AFTER TONIGHT'S HEARING.

DEAR COMMUNITY MEMBER:
THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING TONIGHT’S IMPORTANT ZONING BOARD HEARING.
YOUR PRESENCE HERE TODAY IS VERY IMPORTANT AND IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION TO THE LTACH APPLICATION.  AS YOU WILL BE AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK BRIEFLY, PLEASE DO SO.  IF YOU DO NOT PLAN ON SPEAKING WE URGE YOU TO PLEASE CONSIDER SAYING THE FOLLOWING AS EVERY VOICE COUNTS:
STATE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS
“I OPPOSE THE LTACH APPLICATION AND ASK THE ZONING BOARD TO DENY IT.”

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 26, 2011, 07:04:20 PM
22394 DECISION DAY

The Zoning Board Meeting was scheduled to start at 6:00 pm but did not begin until about 30 minutes ago. There are over 100 people here and they are still coming in.

Come to the 3rd floor auditorium at 65 Central Avenue.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on July 28, 2011, 09:10:22 AM
I understand that there was no decision at the last meeting and that the next meeting is scheduled for September 15th.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on July 28, 2011, 01:50:08 PM
Discussion continues for new hospital in Hackensack (http://www.northjersey.com/news/126334168_Discussion_continues_for_new_hospital_in_Hackensack.html)
Thursday, July 28, 2011
BY MARK J. BONAMO
MANAGING EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK - The recent summer heat wave has only added to the slow burn many Hackensack citizens feel toward the potential construction of a 19-story, long-term acute care hospital at the corner of Summit and Prospect Avenues.

More than 100 residents attended the July 26 Zoning Board meeting to listen to continued testimony about the proposed 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.

Many residents of the neighborhood surrounding the site of the proposed medical facility have been arguing against its construction since Pineles began seeking approval for the project. The majority of the July 26 meeting was taken up by the cross-examination of Stan Lacz, a planner working with one of the lawyers who is fighting the project.

Lacz was questioned by Joseph Basralian, an attorney representing Pineles. But during a break, several residents came forward to express their displeasure with the proposed hospital project.

"The number of people here tells everyone how we feel," said Joan Betty Schwarz, a Prospect Avenue resident. "I can't remember anyone from the neighborhood speaking in favor of this project."

"First, there will be all that construction. Then, after that, we're going to have the excess traffic," said Murray Cuperman, another Prospect Avenue resident, referring to the neighborhood's quality of life. "We have a lot to lose here."

Although the special meetings concerning the proposed hospital have gone on for many months, most of the residents present appeared to remain committed to stopping the project.

"It's slow as molasses, but necessary," said Dr. Mark Johnson, who lives on Summit Avenue. "When this becomes a court case, which I think it will when the board rejects the plan, all of the topics that are being covered are going to be important for the judge to hear information about."

The next special Zoning Board meeting about the proposed hospital is scheduled for Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 65 Central Ave.

Email: bonamo@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Oratam_Weaping on August 01, 2011, 09:08:15 PM
To approve this application would not only cause irreversible immediate and long-term, complications for city residents, local business & their patrons, but also municipal services. Any additional tax revenues would be negated by remedial services. It is also poor planning on part of the applicant. The applicant should do a 1031 exchange and possible development deal for a location on Essex Near Railroad Ave., or along River Street in the  vicinity of Atlantic or Passaic Street.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 14, 2011, 06:15:57 PM
22982 ProspectAvenueCoalition would like to thank the residents of Hackensack (100+) for attending what we had hoped would have been the final Zoning Board Special Meeting re: Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital application. We were as disappointed as you that July 26th was not Decision Day. Through our sources we learned that the Zoning Board was ready to vote on the Pineles application in October 2010 and we had it on good authority that the Zoning Board was expected to vote on July 26th.
 
It appears that Mr. Stan Lacz, a highly experienced architect, engineer and planner, who was brought in to testify by Mr. Chris Ditkas (objector counsel retained by a Prospect Avenue resident) must have been such a credible expert witness that the applicant’s counsel needed to take another crack at either knocking down his testimony and/or his credentials. It seemed like both to me. I guess when you bring back an expert witness to cross examine you should try to avoid questions which open up issues that you do not want to go on the record like -- why the applicant had not already conducted geology testing at the proposed site or why the public has not yet heard the findings on the 300 Prospect Avenue garage collapse.

At the end of the Special Meeting on July 26th, no decision was made so the Zoning Board scheduled the next meeting date for Thursday September 15th at 7 pm and invited the public to come to comment on the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital application. Comments from the public may be limited to 3 minutes per person depending on the queue.

One of the applicant’s expert(?) witnesses will return to the hot seat for more questioning. There will be a secret special rebuttal witness (Mr. Pineles). If Mr. Pineles gets up to the mic again this may be your last chance to tell the applicant what you think of the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital.

In the end if the Zoning Board turns down this application and the applicant is not happy with the outcome the applicant may appeal the Zoning Board decision. The appeal judge who hears this case will look at all of the transcripts and read the expert witness testimony as well as the comments made by the public. If the public has no objection to the application then the judge may send the application back to the Zoning Board with instructions to build as was done with the Prospect Heights application.

Regarding Prospect Heights, a few weeks ago I met a nurse and thought to inquire as to whether or not nurses would welcome any new job opportunities that Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital might present and also asked if they were familiar with Prospect Heights in Hackensack or if they knew anyone who worked there. I was told that Prospect Heights is known as not a good place to work, should be avoided when seeking employment and the level of care there was not up to standard. Yikes.

Meeting flyer attached. Transcript from July 26th Special Meeting to follow.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 15, 2011, 12:15:26 AM
Just a point of information.

There was a handful of local residents who testified against the original Prospect Heights application.  Generally it was residents in the neighboring towers who were upset about overdevelopment and especially about the loss of the huge Beech tree that was left on the front lawn long after the mansion was demolished.

There was also testimony against the building not being square, and against the tile surface looking like an institution instead of looking like an apartment building.  The board was implored to require the building to have a brick facade instead of the hideous tiles.

If I remember correctly, the vote was 4-3 in favor of Prospect Heights, but this meant that the application was denied because there was not a 2/3 or 3/4 majority YES vote for a "D" variance.

When the decision was appealed, the judge based his ruling not simply on the merits/detriments of the application and the action of the Zoning Board with its split decision, but on case law in New Jersey on projects that meet the definition of "inherently good".  That is the final hurdle, and the applicant knows it.  They literally feel that they can build anything anywhere they want, as long as it qualifies as inherently good in front of the courts.  That's why they have the nerve to feel that they can poke out to Summit Ave.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 19, 2011, 08:26:14 AM
23190 @just watching, the applicant may have the inherently beneficial card in the back pocket but this time there is no handful of of local residents testifying. We are hoping for a 0-7 vote in favor of Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital. And if we are successful in appeal court then perhaps the applicant can take the LTACH and build it in an area in Hackensack specifically zoned for this type of use. Thank you for your continued support.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 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

Attached is our new flyer.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Oratam_Weaping on August 20, 2011, 01:38:08 PM
Perhaps I am a bit confused. Who would want this on Summit Avenue? Bad for traffic, residents, professional services already there. I would like to see this on North side of Essex Street, at the available lot of the Southbound side of Railroad Ave., between  Railroad Avenue, and Neuman Street. I will be there to oppose it being on Summit in the very least.  Wait a minute... will this facility pay property taxes?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Oratam_Weaping on August 22, 2011, 09:39:42 PM
Wait a minute... will this facility pay property taxes?  Because if they are not paying property tax they should move the project to Hackensack Minnesota.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 24, 2011, 09:29:19 PM
23450 Attached is our revamped flyer.

SAVE THE DATE - THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Oratam_Weaping on August 25, 2011, 10:39:17 AM
THIS IS A NON-TAXPAYING ENTITY - A SURE-FIRE - KILLER FOR EVERYONE PAYING RENT OR OWNING ANY PROPERTY IN HACKENSACK.

KILL THE APPLCATION  NO MORE HOSPITALS!
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 25, 2011, 05:36:07 PM

Officially, the Zoning Board is not legally supposed to consider whether a facility is tax-paying or not. Unofficially, that's another story.

There's lots of reasons to deny the application, and I have little doubt that it will be denied.  The only question is what happens when the applicant sues the city. There really needs to be massive public testimony.

I saw the opposition's flyer, and I completely disagree with their tactics. The final meeting is not the time to sit there are read a book. 

Every single person in objection needs to do one little thing.  Get on line to speak, stand up to the microphone, state their name and address, and state that they are opposed to the application. That's it, easy, done.  If they don't want to elaborate, it'll all be over in 10 or 15 seconds or less of public speaking.  Everyone should be told that they can handle that, and that they need to do it for the betterment of Hackensack. The more names on record as testifying in objection, the more it will influence the court.  It doesn't matter if each objector is repeating the same thing.  NUMBERS OF SPEAKERS IN OPPOSITION is the only thing that counts, and if they only speak 10 seconds each, that's not a problem.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Oratam_Weaping on August 29, 2011, 02:19:33 PM
Can they consider the economic consequences related to costs related to sewars, roads, traffic, etc???
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 29, 2011, 09:44:33 PM
Yes to all of those.

And most importantly they can consider the impact to the zoning of Summit Ave.  Currently a single-family zone, called R75, single-family houses on 75-foot wide lots with a minimum lot size of 10,000 sf.

Once this big building gets built, it will destroy the Zone plan and the master plan for the entire neighborhood.  It will open up pandora's box for other developers to come in and build office building, apartment buildings, more medical facilities.  The zoning Board has an obligation to defend the zone, and can only grant a "D" variance (2/3 majority yes vote) for the most explicit of reasons.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: hackensack_newbie on August 30, 2011, 10:56:01 PM
Sounds like this is bad news. Although I don't live in the immediate vicinity (I'm closer to Spring Valley), I'm around Prospect almost on a daily basis, either visiting someone, waiting for the bus, or just driving through. I plan on attending the September 15th meeting to show my support for the opposition. I agree with Just Watching that everyone should say something.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 08, 2011, 01:51:12 AM
23949 @ just watching, prospectavenuecoalition applauds your significant contributions in the area of community activism and wishes that everyone living in Hackensack would be so civic minded.

For over 2 years we have actively and continuously rallied, recruited and coaxed residents to go up to the mic to say at least “I oppose this application”. As you can see from the Zoning Board transcripts posted on this thread many members of prospectavenuecoalition have done their part by asking numerous questions and getting important testimony on the record. Many have stepped up to the mic, some repeatedly, to voice their opposition to this LTACH application but getting people to participate has been no easy task.

Initially, our primary goal was to pack the room and in this we succeeded. Our secondary purpose was to feed the queue during the public comment section and to direct residents to the media to get their quotes in the newspaper. As the special meetings seem to be never ending our refocused goal is to pack the room again so thus the revamped flyer created courtesy of a recruited resident. Seeing how you disagree with our tactics we have attached our standard flyer which does not recommend bringing reading materials.   

We hope that your post encourages more residents to step up to the mic to voice their opposition to this LTACH application.

REMINDER - THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on September 13, 2011, 11:04:59 PM
24148 Attached is the transcript from the July 26th Hackensack Zoning Board Special Meeting.

REMINDER - THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 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

The Hackensack Zoning Board has invited the public to comment on this application during the September 15th Special Meeting.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on September 16, 2011, 07:27:56 AM
status report ???
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on September 16, 2011, 12:02:04 PM
I'm told there was no decision last night.  Next meeting is October 26th.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Edwin on September 16, 2011, 08:18:51 PM
why don't they pay taxes? Hackensack has a medical building exemption or something, for its realty taxes?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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 applicant’s traffic expert was again questioned by opposing counsel about whether or not any independent research was conducted or if the applicant’s 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 high–density 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-of–life 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 50–foot 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-a–half 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-of–life 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.  
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: 07601bergen 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.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey 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 — that’s a good amount,” Rutishauser said. “They’ll have to apply for a soil permit from the village and that permit has a lot of conditions.”
 
Rutishauser’s comments followed a presentation by a geologist Monday night to the village council on the hospital’s 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 developer’s agreement, which is a very comprehensive document and we’ll 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. We’ve 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

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Homer Jones 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on October 28, 2011, 11:26:06 PM
Dirt pile: http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,448.msg1387.html#msg1387
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching 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 ?
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor 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 city’s 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 city’s 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 it’s going to be worse when it’s 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 property’s 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 company’s 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 developer’s 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 city’s 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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 city’s requests on January 19, after which a vote on the proposal is likely.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey 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

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue - DECLINED
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor 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 board’s 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 city’s 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 property’s 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 don’t 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 facility’s 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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 board’s 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.

"We’re disappointed with the decision of the board, and we’ll 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 building’s 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 hospital’s front entrance.

"I don’t 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 it’s 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 02, 2012, 11:34:15 AM
35147 LTACH APPEAL WATCH

The clock has started ticking.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition 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.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on November 26, 2012, 11:33:21 AM
36674 LTACH APPEAL WATCH

The appeal has been filed on November 7, 2012.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on November 29, 2012, 10:26:09 AM
Hackensack and its zoning board sued over medical center denial (http://www.northjersey.com/community/181224061_Committee_seeks_to_build_monument_in_Hackensack.html?page=all)
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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 applicant’s 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 developer’s 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 board’s lawyer, said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and so couldn’t comment.

When told of some of the claims in the suit, he did say: "It’s 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
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 03, 2012, 03:15:46 AM
 37155 Attached is a copy of the summons and complaint.

Bergen Passaic LTACH, LLC v. City of Hackensack, et al.
Docket No. BER-L-8293-12


If you have any questions please email: prospectavenuecoalition@yahoo.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 05, 2013, 06:36:16 AM
38442
NORTHJERSEY.COM : COMMUNITY

Super trials and superstorms: 2012 proved newsworthy for city

FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2013
BY JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
HACKENSACK CHRONICLE
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HACKENSACK — This past year was one of monumental events — from superstorms to Super Bowl wins to historical elections and everything in between. The City of Hackensack did not trail far behind when it comes to having a number of occurrences captivate residents throughout 2012. The year was engulfed with up-to-dates on the city's former disgraced police chief who was charged, and later found guilty, on fraud and misconduct charges; interfaith residents who were shocked and shaken up by anti-Semitic vandalism and acts of crime around Bergen County were drawn together in the name of peace and solidarity; and Mother Nature showed her fury and wrath as Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in the area. Here is a look at this year's most compelling local stories.

JANUARY

Hospital voted down

After years of debate, the Hackensack Zoning Board voted down a plan to build a 19-story hospital on Prospect Avenue.
The unanimous vote put a stop to the proposed project known as the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH). Zoning Board members struck down the plan, citing concerns over traffic, parking and quality of life issues. The project generated concerns among residents living in the vicinity, specifically on Prospect and Summit avenues. As concerns ran rampant, residents hired two attorneys to present their opposition to the hospital.

http://www.northjersey.com/community/185627152_Super_trials_and_superstorms__2012_proved_newsworthy_for_city.html?page=all (http://www.northjersey.com/community/185627152_Super_trials_and_superstorms__2012_proved_newsworthy_for_city.html?page=all)http://


Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 09, 2013, 11:39:28 AM
38527

The County Seat
December 2012

Rejected Developer Sues City


A development company known as Bergen Passaic LTACH filed a lawsuit in state Superior Court in Hackensack on Nov. 7, seeking to overturn the city’s rejection of its building proposal.

LTACH filed an application before the Hackensack Zoning Board to erect a 24-story building on Prospect Avenue, between Golf Place and Berry Street. The structure was to be used as a long-term acute care facility with a dialysis unit an adult medical day care.

There were 23 zoning hearings during the application process as well as several revisions to the original plans. The developers reduced the number of stories from 24 to 19 and the height of the building from 276 feet to 227. The developers argued that although the neighborhood was not zoned for this type of facility, there was a need for the service in Bergen County. During the course of the hearings, the meeting room was packed with concerned neighbors objecting to the plan. After hearing testimony from all sides, the zoning board denied the application.

Hackensack City Attorney Joseph Zisa said the city would defend itself against the developers’ lawsuit and defend the zoning board members’ decision.

“We will defend ourselves with the same vigor and resolve that the city defended and won litigation when a developer attempted to build a high-rise structure above railroad tracks on Prospect Avenue.”
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 06, 2013, 12:45:59 AM
40172

LTACH APPEAL WATCH

The matter has gone before Superior Court Judge Alexander Carver for a management conference.

To better prepare ourselves for a potentially prolonged court battle ProspectAvenueCoalition is asking the residents of Hackensack to vote in the mayoral election on Tuesday May 14, 2013.

Why you should vote? A newly elected Mayor and Council may decide to cut litigation costs to the City of Hackensack. If the City of Hackensack chooses to settle rather than continue to fight the Pineles lawsuit then the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital will be built on Prospect and Summit Avenues. They may also appoint a new City Attorney. The incumbent City Attorney successfully fended off several lawsuits filed by PC Air Rights (Excelsior III). If a new City Attorney is appointed we would like (prior to casting our vote) some assurance with respect to their credentials and win record.

To ensure that the candidates support our opposition to an LTACH being built in a single/multi-family residential zone instead of the area surrounding Hackensack Hospital which is zoned specifically for a project of this type, ProspectAvenueCoalition has begun planning Meet the Candidates nights at some of the condo/coop buildings on Prospect and Overlook Avenues. The candidates may hold their own candidate night at a larger public venue. If they do we will post the information here.

If you would like a mail-in ballot please email ProspectAvenueCoalition@yahoo.com.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: vsasson on March 08, 2013, 12:03:01 PM
Why not move this proposed tower to the property owned by North Jersey Media Group on River Street -- about 20 acres? It will make the Borgs even richer, and everyone else happier.

Who is to say the owners won't apply for non-profit status after several years of paying full property taxes?

Hackensack doesn't need another hospital.

Victor E. Sasson
City Council hopeful
Eye on The Record
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on March 09, 2013, 08:57:54 AM
This has been suggested by several people over the years.  Construction costs would be much less.  It would be cheaper to build a 5-story structure with a bigger footprint, and cheaper to landfill the 20 acres to get it above flood-level than to dig underground and make 5 levels of underground expensive masonry parking garage. 

The problem is the land cost.  Even though they paid real high for those houses on Summit Ave, their total real estate investment would be higher at The Record campus.  Especially considering who owns it now, and how greedy he is for money. Also, Pineles wants the prestige of being on Summit and Prospect Ave.

All in all, it's a good idea.  There would be less legal costs for Pineles as well, and less risk of spending so much time and then losing in the end.  I guess he thinks his legal precedent for his other building on Prospect Ave is rock-solid.

[Editor's note: The next three comments were moved here: Potentially Defamatory Posts/Member Responsibility (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,2655.msg8207.html#new)]
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on March 29, 2013, 10:14:08 AM
Candidates running for the Hackensack council take part in event (http://www.northjersey.com/news/200553281_Candidates_running_for_the_Hackensack_council_take_part_in_event.html?page=all)
Friday, March 29, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle
   
Candidates vying for a seat in the council, following the 2013 city elections, took part in a Meet the Candidates event held at The Whitehall luxury co-op on March 19.

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*200/MC_HKMeetCandidates_032913_hk_tif_.jpg)
Candidates running in the 2013 city council elections took part in a Meet the Candidates event at The Whitehall co-op on March 19. The event’s main topic was where the candidates stood regarding the possible Bergen Passaic Long-Term Care Hospital (LTACH) project.
TOM HART/PHOTO

Buy or license this photo

Candidates running in the 2013 city council elections took part in a Meet the Candidates event at The Whitehall co-op on March 19. The event’s main topic was where the candidates stood regarding the possible Bergen Passaic Long-Term Care Hospital (LTACH) project.

The event, sponsored by the Prospect Avenue Coalition, brought dozens of local residents interested in the topic of discussion: the candidates’ stance on the Bergen Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH).

The company behind the proposed 19-story medical center sued the city in November over the denial of its application. The applicant wanted to demolish homes on Prospect and Summit avenues in order to construct LTACH which would have 10 patient room floors, a dialysis center and an adult medical day-care center.

Candidates for the Coalition for Open Government, Citizens for Change, and Victor Sasson — who is running as an independent — stated their opposition to the project, and promised continuing doing so, if elected to council.

Whitehall unit owner Murray Runin mediated the event.

Traffic flow, impact on the quality of life, the number of medical centers in the Hackensack area and excessive noise levels were some of the reasons, given by candidates, to their opposition of LTACH.

Candidates from opposing slates agreed that if it were to be built, LTACH should not be erected in a residential area but in a proper hospital zone.

"This building does not belong in this area," John Labrosse, current councilman and Citizens for Change candidate, said. "It belongs in a hospital zone area."

Coalition for Open Government slate candidate and current Board of Education member Jason Nunnermacker echoed Labrosse’s comment.

"I would approve the project only for the zone it is used for," Nunnermacker said.

The fact that Hackensack has sufficient hospitals was another motive behind the opposition of LTACH construction.

"Hackensack has enough hospitals," Sasson said.

Citizens for Change candidate Kathy Canestrino said that she, along with the rest of her slate, will "form a coalition to stop" the construction of the medical center.

"I am vehemently opposed to such development on this block," she said.

"I and [Citizens of Change candidates] are against this monstrosity," Citizens of Change candidate Rose Greenman said. "This project will have a negative impact on the property value and quality of life."

Both Citizens of Change and Coalition for Open Government candidates voiced their approval of seeking the best, equipped professionals specializing in matters of the sort to assist the city in fighting this litigation process.

"This issue concerns me because I live in this area," Coalition for Open Government candidate and current planning board member Joanne Mania Colon said. "We need a good, strong legal team to fight this battle."

David Sims, who is running under the Citizens for Change platform mentioned that the noise level from the construction, and afterwards by ambulances driving to and from the medical center, is of concern.

"This project will be too noisy and big for this area," he said. "We should protect the quality of life."

Residents in attendance echoed Sims’, and the rest of the panel’s, concerns regarding the quality of life and noise.

Coalition for Open Government candidate Joseph Barreto said the building can pose a safety risk for pedestrians, in particular young students walking to and from the surrounding schools.

When one attendee asked the panel if they would fight the legal proceedings with taxpayers’ money, opposing candidates Labrosse and Nunnermacker said yes.

"We would have to," Labrosse said. "Everyone pays their taxes so the city can fight your battles for you when the time comes. This is one of those times."

Sasson said that the last thing the city needs is another property they "cannot tax" — same as Hackensack University Medical Center.

Out of the 11 candidates vying for election, six said they lived within a close enough proximity to be effected by the project if it is constructed.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 01, 2013, 12:33:44 PM
41500 The Meet the Candidates night at the Whitehall was quite a success. It was well attended by the unit owners and many questions pertaining to the LTACH were asked. Each of the 11 candidates stated their opposition to the construction of the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC on Prospect and Summit Avenues.

ProspectAvenueCoalition has organized future Meet the Candidate nights at the Baridge House, The Camelot and Devonshire.

The Applications for Vote by Mail left by the Whitehall meeting room door were all taken by the end of the night.

Voter Registration Deadline: 21 days before Election Day.
http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/voter-regis-forms/bergen-voter-reg-form-062212.pdf (http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/voter-regis-forms/bergen-voter-reg-form-062212.pdf)

Deadline for Vote by Mail Application: Applications must be received in the County Clerk's office (not postmarked) by close of business no later than seven days prior to Election Day. You, or an Authorized Messenger acting on your behalf, may also apply for a Mail-In Ballot in person at the County Clerk's office at any time up until 3pm on the day before an election.
http://www.bergencountyclerk.org/web_content/pdf/voting/Vote-By-Mail-Application.pdf (http://www.bergencountyclerk.org/web_content/pdf/voting/Vote-By-Mail-Application.pdf)

Deadline for Mail-in Ballot: Your Mail-In Ballot must be received by the County Board of Election before close of polls on Election Day (May 14).
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on April 15, 2013, 01:55:22 PM
41986 ProspectAvenueCoalition hosted its second Meet the Candidates night at the Baridge House on Thursday April 10th.

The next Meet the Candidates night is at the Devonshire to be followed by The Camelot. We have received numerous requests from residents seeking invitations to one of our Meet the Candidates night. In the past, the Devonshire has had a large unit owner turnout therefore space for invited guests is limited. The Camelot may be standing room only. So far I have not heard of any candidates night scheduled elsewhere in the town. We will let you know if any more candidate nights are planned.

Resident feedback has been overwhelming. Many just want to express their thanks for the opportunity to get to know the candidates and their views. Some residents were not aware that Hackensack is a nonpartisan municipality and that they could vote for any candidate regardless of which slate the candidate is affiliated with or that the popular vote could split a slate as it did during the 2009 City Election.

In the 2009 City Election the candidate who received 1,628 votes needed only 22 more votes to get elected to the Council. The Meet the Candidates nights may be a good place for candidates to pick up votes.

These are the results from the 2009 election:

Michael Melfi* 1,813
Jorge Meneses* 1,798
Marlin Townes* 1,780
Karen Sasso* 1,745
John Labrosse 1,649

Larry Eisen 1,628
Kathleen Canestrino 1,612
Toni Williams Haverty 1,549
Ronda Wilson 1,537
Pablo Andrade 1,427
Rhonda Williams Bembry 579
Guy Navarro 457
Margaret Otchy 445

*Incumbent
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on April 16, 2013, 10:22:16 AM
Check the 2013 Election board on this site for more info
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on May 03, 2013, 03:22:23 PM
Folks should know that 593 Summit Ave has been purchased by Anthony Palmieiri, one of the biggest high-rise developers in Hackensack.  His company owns Excelsior I and II. Unsure if he was involved in the PC Air Rights debacle, the quest to build Excelsior III over the railroad tracks.

593 Summit Ave is near Euclid Ave, and it is over 2 acres in size. The partially wooded lot goes 400 feet deep, down into the woods.  It is directly adjacent to the Borg's Woods Nature Preserve.

Word on the street is that Palmieri is watching the Bergen-Passaic LTACH court case, and if they win, he'll be wanting to make something big at 593 Summit Ave.  The battle has to be won at the LTACH appeal level, or Hackensack will be immersed in the next big zoning battle.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 03, 2013, 04:09:49 PM
RN There is a response posted on Citizens for Change Facebook page

"Kathy Canestrino Regina - The administrator of this page is one of our campaign managers. We are trying to get as much information out to the public as possible and this seemed the most efficient way to do it. If a candidate is making the post either it is in their name (as this one is) or the administrator states that the comment comes from the candidate. From what you have written, it appears that you found our website. Hopefully you can find the answers to your questions there. If you have additional questions, please ask - I will try to answer them for you (or have another candidate answer at your request) Unfortunately negative comments are out there from all sides, I hope you are open to our positive commitment to Hackensack as well.
Like · about an hour ago"

And like the other person wrote the "Open Government" does not even allow discussion on their page. The information you were looking for is there but you should contact Mrs Canestrino, as she says in the post, if you have any questions. I am not administrator on that page and I hope you do not take a workers' "bad day" out on the candidates, because that was not posted by any of them.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on May 03, 2013, 08:36:43 PM
I need to state the obvious. It's abundantly clear that both slates are opposed to the Bergen-Passaic LTACH.  So people can decide the election on other issues. And there are plenty of other issues. Thank you.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Homer Jones on May 03, 2013, 10:08:01 PM
Ah, common sense ten days before an election.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 04, 2013, 12:51:28 PM
42739 ProspectAvenueCoalition hosted its final Meet the Candidates Night at The Camelot. The format was similar to the debate style used at the Whitehall and the Baridge House which I have observed to be the more informative than the Meet and Greet format -- and revealing it was. 60+ residents and their invited guests attended in addition to the press and a photographer. A residents’ group discussion was held the next evening so that the attendees could exchange thoughts on the candidates and their views. A number of attendees asked if they could attend another Meet the Candidates Night. Sorry folks, we are all out of them.

All of the candidates still promise to fight the LTACH to the bitter end although not all of them may keep those with deep knowledge of the LTACH case in place and may instead retain new counsel.

Earlier this year the Zoning Board Attorney had stepped down from the Zoning Board but has been retained as Special Counsel for the LTACH case. I have spoken to a number of ProspectAvenueCoalition members and all have said that they are relieved to hear of the decision to have the former Zoning Board Attorney stay on the LTACH case.

The campaign promise to keep fighting the LTACH is easy enough to make. We would like to know how the candidates intend to keep their promise. Each of the 2 slates include at least 1 candidate with budget experience. ProspectAvenueCoalition has tried to look closely at this experience for the reason that we need to feel confident that the legal expenses necessary to fight the LTACH for the next 4-8 years will be continually funded and not trimmed or cut. If anyone has the answer to RN’s question re: LTACH we ask them to post here:

“For instance, do you plan to cut the legal defense budget on LTACH, or the budget on Main Street development? How do you plan to lower property taxes?”

Hackensack is a nonpartisan municipality and you may vote for any candidate regardless of which slate the candidate is affiliated with. The candidates with the most votes will fill the open seats on the Council allowing for a split slate Council.

Please vote on Tuesday, May 14.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: 07601bergen on May 05, 2013, 04:39:56 PM
As a concerned member of Prospect Avenue Coalition, I was invited to and attended some of the “Meet the Candidates” events, sponsored by many Prospect Avenue hi-rises, where the candidates seeking election to the City Council presented their positions on a number of critical issues.

I also attended a followup residents’ discussion group last week. Many who attended indicated that they wanted to decide on which candidates to vote for and were looking for subtle insights from other attendees which they could consider in reaching their voting choices. The future of the LTACH litigation was overwhelmingly the group's primary concern. For this monumentally important reason, all present thought that we could best demonstrate our positions and strength by voting for a unified selection of candidates.

We felt that a mixed slate, rather than a single slate, fit the bill to achieve the overall group's ideal view of all that needs to be achieved. A mixed slate offers a combination of skills, ability, concern, understanding and personality which is best suited to tackle Hackensack’s upcoming and midterm issues regarding LTACH and other issues.

It would behoove those whose predominant concern is the LTACH to truly understand which candidates will tirelessly fight the LTACH fight till LTACH is out of options, and feel comfortable with how these candidates plan to keep money allocated to this budget item to its conclusion. If the incoming slate is solely concerned with high litigation costs and cutting budgets, this slate may just decide that the LTACH litigation cost is excessive and does not merit any further City involvement. THIS MEANS THAT THE COST OF LTACH LITIGATION WILL FALL ON PROSPECT AVENUE OWNER/RESIDENTS. It has been suggested that unless we have a HALF-MILLION $$ to spend we might as well save the pittance in hand and brace ourselves now. Sell your property for what you can get now. Surely, our property values will plummet when the LTACH is built.  
Members of the Prospect Avenue Coalition have reviewed the candidates’ websites and mailings.  After much introspection and thought, digging deeper than most, each of us present has a strong opinion as to which candidates may best serve our needs. The option detailed below is one you may wish to consider:

#1 John LaBrosse
#3 David Sims
#7 Jason Nunnermacker
#9 Joseph Barreto
#10 Scott Young

In closing, Anthony Palmieri (Excelsior III and PC Air rights litigation) just purchased land at 593 Summit Avenue, and just may be waiting to see what happens with the LTACH appeal.   

Hackensack residents NEED TO VOTE. EVERY VOTE COUNTS.  PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. This will send a clear message to current or future developers, that we will protect the zoning rights that have been established to make Prospect & Summit Avenues and surrounding areas the wonderful residential communities they have become.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 05, 2013, 10:23:46 PM
I think this post should be under the Election thread because it seems to endorse specific candidates. The rest of Hackensack may be interested in the opinion expressed and reasoning for it.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on May 05, 2013, 10:40:18 PM
The post now appears in both topics.

If your reply is more about LTACH, reply here.  If it is more about the election, reply there: 2013 Election (http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,2599.msg8589.html#new).

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 05, 2013, 11:21:36 PM
Are Prospect Avenue residents aware that there are other issues in this election? NOBODY wants the LTACH. The Prospect Avenue group has hired their own attorney to represent their interests and I believe the motion to intervene has been granted. Any good zoning attorney could step in and get up to speed in a heartbeat. Right now Joe Zisa is making preparations (at taxpayer expense) for a smooth transition on this issue.

I'd like to know if your suggested candidates were by consensus, or if this is your own opinion. I ask this because you wrote:

"After much introspection and thought, digging deeper than most, each of us present has a strong opinion as to which candidates may best serve our needs. The option detailed below is one you may wish to consider"

It is not clear to me who is endorsing these candidates, or why.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on May 07, 2013, 04:14:06 AM
I agree that it makes sense to keep Joe Zisa and the Special Counsel/Zoning Board attorney involved in the litigation for the reasons stated by the Prospect Coalition.  If Zisa is no longer retained as City Attorney after the election, he could be hired by the city to continue the litigation on this matter.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 07, 2013, 08:07:32 AM
I am not sure what manner you believe I addressed you in. I asked if Prospect Avenue residents are aware that there are other issues in the election. You did answer that by stating that for some Prospect Avenue residents there are no other issues in this election. Thank you.

I did request that post by 07601bergen be posted in the election thread. At first the editor did not think it needed to be and then he decided to put it in both places. I think he made the right call. It belongs in the other thread because it is related to the election and the election affects ALL city residents, not just Prospect Avenue. Most residents of this city are concerned with what happens on Prospect Avenue. It is not an island, it is part of the city. What happens in any one part of the city most certainly has an effect on other parts. I too think voters should be informed. I also think voters should vote with their heads based on all the facts and with regard to the city as a whole.

As I am not a member of the coalition, I was not privy to the information gleaned at the Prospect Avenue candidates nights. Since a recommendation was made that would affect those who are not part of the coalition, I thought other residents would be interested in an explanation as to why those candidates would be the best choice. Maybe there is something you know that the rest of us do not.

I did not speak with Joe Zisa one on one. I do not call him because he usually charges the city for telephone calls. He stated at the April 23 council meeting that he is in the process of transcribing the minutes of those zoning meetings. Maybe I wrongly assumed that in this digital age it would not be on paper. His statement was in response to a resident's question and seemingly in order to make a smooth transition on this issue. Of course ALL taxpayers are paying the bill for that.

Prospect Avenue residents have retained their own counsel for this issue. A resident of Prospect Ave has ties to that firm. I think the LTACH concerns are pretty well represented on this issue, both by the city and on their own. The rest of Hackensack should also be concerned as it affects us. The Prospect Avenue residents should also be concerned about the rest of the city, as it affects them too. The audience for this thread is the entire city, as well as some non-residents.

I do not believe that my post was misleading and erroneous. I hope I clarified that here. Most of the residents of Hackensack have been behind you in your fight. I simply thought, as it will have an effect on the rest of us, an explanation as to the recommendation would better inform those who are not part of the coalition. I guess you disagree.

Again, voters should vote with their heads. It is their vote, their voice.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 08, 2013, 07:41:09 PM
Now I am confused. Two different endorsements have been put forth by members of the Prospect Avenue Coalition.

At least this letter attempts to explain, but the statements therein are misleading and erroneous.

Misleading:
The council member who is seeking re-election has also fought hard against this project, not only the four who are leaving. Remember, the fact that those four appeared before the Zoning Board is one of the points in the appeal.

A member of Citizens for Change also lives on Prospect Avenue.

Other candidates have also pledged to fight this project and address quality of life issues.

Erroneous:
The negative campaign with personal attacks is being run by Open Government and their mailings are proof.

TWENTY YEARS AGO Mrs. Canestrino was only named as a plaintiff in her husband's personal injury case for spousal reasons. She never appeared in court and the Judge's statement is taken out of context by Open Government in their mailing.

To suggest that Mr Labrosse bought his car with taxpayer money is ludicrous. He bought the car THREE YEARS BEFORE his wife's case was settled. Remember, Ex-Chief Zisa sued her. When asked, not one member of Open Government said they would allow such a photo of them to be distributed. Yes, it was that bad.

Fact:
The legal costs to the city for Prospect Ave have been under $25,000. That is a minuscule part of the $6,000,000.00 spent for legal fees, mostly for matters involving the Ex-Chief.

Citizens for Change has shown the connection between Open Government and the machine that has been running the city. Anyone who thinks that is negative must be part of the machine. They have also questioned the integrity of one candidate for the allegation that he stole their signs, as well as the fact that his running mates seemingly stand behind him, no matter what.

The Prospect Coalition seems to be of two minds. Each voter should make up their own mind based on their own choice.

I believe Citizens for Change has a clear plan as is outlined in their platform and it addresses many issues, not just open government issues http://hackensackcitizensforchange.blogspot.com/p/function-togglemeavar-edocument.html#.UYrWFqKG2So The 10 point plan of Open Government does not address taxes, redevelopment or quality of life issues.

Also to be considered when any endorsement is given is what the person giving it has to gain.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 09, 2013, 02:09:52 AM
Excuse me, but your tone could be dialed down a notch or two. You act like I am crashing some private party. My tax dollars, my home, my child's future are on the line here too. I care about Hackensack. That is why I go to council meetings. I never saw any member of Open Government at a council meeting before they decided to run for office. Have I seen you?

My statement "of 2 minds" is in reference to the difference of opinion posted in this thread with regard to the "suggestion" for whom votes should be cast. There is not a unified coalition if we have read two suggestions, so far.

People should vote based on accurate information. It is inaccurate to state that one slate is negative when the other slate is perceived as negative by the majority of people who have seen their mailers. I find it interesting that you do not find the Open Government mailings (car & court) to be negative. They are full of half-truths, innuendo & personal attacks.

The Hackensack Citizen contained REAL stories reprinted from the Record newspaper. If you have a problem with the TRUTH of those stories take it up with the reporter. Facts are facts. The negative campaign is being run by Open Government. That is a fact that anyone can see. Who is accused of stealing signs? Who used a confidential Board of Education list for a political mailing? Who did not give the residents of Hackensack enough consideration to even answer the Record's questions themselves? Open Government did it. Nobody made any of that up. Sometimes the TRUTH is ugly.

I do not know how my caution as to who is giving an endorsement can be taken as negative campaigning. I am not running for office. Nor am I getting paid to represent any party. And I am not holding any appointed or elected position within the city. Endorsements from anyone in any of those circumstances ought to be looked at in that light.

Finally, your thinly veiled threat that my posts "will only cause an increase in calls asking if a more unflattering picture could be found" is more negative than any comment I have made and absolutely inappropriate.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: HackRes on May 09, 2013, 01:35:21 PM
Response to: 07601bergen on May 05, 2013, 04:39:56 PM
Quote
Members of the Prospect Avenue Coalition have reviewed the candidates websites and mailings.  After much introspection and thought, digging deeper than most, each of us present has a strong opinion as to which candidates may best serve our needs. The option detailed below is one you may wish to consider:
#1 John LaBrosse
#3 David Sims
#7 Jason Nunnermacker
#9 Joseph Barreto
#10 Scott Young

First, a general thanks to the Prospect Avenue Coalition (PAC) for organizing the "Meet the Candidate" nights and the follow up discussion meeting. Both were key in helping me getting a better sense of what each candidate can offer our city, and what affect they will have on LTACH. 

As a member of the PAC, I have always appreciated their tireless dedication to defeating the LTACH and their thorough vetting of candidates. A split ticket gives us the best from both slates—a stronger option than choosing one slate over the other.

What made the difference for me personally, was the focus by some candidates on litigation costs and budget cuts. It is imperative that the town council we elect keep money allocated to this budget item to its conclusion.

Additionally, I'd like to add that attendees at the discussion meeting were vocal about keeping the City Attorney, Special Counsel and Zoning Board in place.

Considering all these issues, I think a split ticket is the best option and will be voting for:
#1 John LaBrosse
#3 David Sims
#7 Jason Nunnermacker
#9 Joseph Barreto
#10 Scott Young

As a united group, we can make a difference in this election.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: vsasson on May 09, 2013, 03:36:31 PM
I don't think such a 3-2 City Council is workable, not much will change and property taxes will keep on rising.

The Prospect Avenue Coalition should be aware of rumors that [Deleted by Editor. This is not a rumor mill. What Vsasson stated should be easily verified if he takes the time to do it. He can also post it on his own blog.]
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 09, 2013, 05:25:33 PM
I question the exclusion of any of the female candidates.

I have heard of a 3rd proposal by Prospect Avenue residents. Great! No matter where you live in the city, you should make up your own mind when you cast your vote.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: vsasson on May 09, 2013, 06:57:37 PM
More censorship by Albert H. Dib.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: HackRes on May 10, 2013, 10:44:47 AM
Response to Regina (Reply #283 on: Yesterday at 05:25:33 PM)

I did consider Maria Colon. I've been following your posts and I'm surprised you would push for her since she's been serving on the planning board for over 20 years and I know you are looking for a change. But that is your prerogative.

Personally, I felt the other candidates had stronger credentials.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 10, 2013, 02:21:47 PM
Hackensack council candidates answer question from public during forum (http://www.northjersey.com/news/206879191_Hackensack_council_candidates_answer_question_from_public_during_forum.html)
Friday, May 10, 2013
BY  JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR
Hackensack Chronicle

HACKENSACK — Dozens of city residents congregated inside The Camelot apartment building to hear from the council candidates vying for the five seats on the governing body.
 
(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*199/MC_HKForumCoalition_051013_hk_tif_.jpg)

(http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*453/MC_HKForumIndependent_051013_hk_tif_.jpg)
BERNADETTE MARCINIAK/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
City council candidates took time to answer questions and voice their stance on certain issues, during an event, on April 29, organized by Prospect Avenue Coalition. Jeff Mullarckey, top right, moderated.
 

The Prospect Avenue Coalition organized the April 29 event, asking candidates various questions that dealt with the proposed Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital, taxes and the city’s future. Prospect Avenue Coalition formed to oppose the construction of the acute care facility.

The company behind the proposed 19-story LTACH sued the city in November over the denial of its application. The applicant wanted to demolish homes on Prospect and Summit avenues to construct the facility.

Candidates for the Coalition of Open Government, Citizens for Change and independent candidate Victor E. Sasson, all stated their opposition to the project. However, their positions on other topics were not as unanimous.

All slates had varying opinions when presented with the fact that the city spent $6 million in lawsuits brought on by police officers against the Police Department and yet only $22,000 was spent on LTACH hearings, according to moderator Jeff Mullarkey who posed the question how each slate planned to fight the LTACH appeal.

"[There was] $22,000 spent and we got a 5-0 decision," said Coalition for Open Government slate candidate Jason Nunnermacker, who is a current Board of Education member. "I say you got a pretty good deal. In all honesty, you will have to spend money on attorney fees. That’s just the way it is... But I am very, very confident we’ll win and if the city only spent $22,000 that is a great thing."

According to Sasson, while he thinks Hackensack will win the appeal, the important thing is for the city to have a competent attorney representing the case.

Kathleen Canestrino, who answered this question on behalf of the Citizens for Change slate, believes budgeting is necessary.

"The key to anything is to budget for it," Canestrino said. "Budgeting is not a year-to-year plan. It is a three- to five-year plan. Therefore, what is budgeted on any given year, is not a surprise. It is part of a longer plan. Rather than examine each lawsuit and classify them individually, the current council has one size fits all when it comes to [lawsuit] payouts [involving police officers]. We need to budget our money."

All the slates also answered whether or not they will keep the same LTACH and city attorneys.

Former zoning board attorney Richard Malagiere, who was head of the LTACH case, resigned after code violations on one of his rental properties came to light following a fire that displaced families.

Current city attorney Joseph Zisa is part of the Zisa family and political legacy within the city.

Addressing the crowd, Nunnermacker said he would keep Malagiere, but the slate was still uncertain of Zisa.

"If elected we plan to keep the same LTACH [fighting] team in place through end of term," Nunnermacker said. "Why? Malagiere should be captain of the ship if he is willing to. He did a great job. And if he is on board with continuing the fight he should. As for Mr. Zisa. It would be irresponsible of me, and [the slate] to say one way or another because we do not have the full information to make this decision."

Citizens for Change had a similar view when it came to Malagiere.

"I would not allow Malagiere to take any further cases but at the same time I would not like to jeopardize the LTACH case so I’m willing to keep him on that case but with a co-counsel," Canestrino said.

Sasson vehemently opposed the rehiring of either attorney.

The recent city approval that aims to hire Class II officers, was also a topic of discussion with both Citizens for Change and Sasson agreeing it was a great way for the city to save money while still having the force necessary to patrol the streets.

Kenneth Martin, a candidate under the Coalition for Open Government and retired police officer, did not agree.

"If elected, we will look into this program with [Police Director Michael] Mordaga," he said. "Having Class II officers worries me because they are not fully trained and they are carrying guns around, interacting with our youth. These Class II officers will not just be from Hackensack. They can come from any other place."

According to previous interviews with Mordaga, Class II officers will receive the same training as full-time salaried police, including passing the required physical and psychological evaluations. However, Class II are paid hourly, do not receive benefits, and are required to turn in their guns at the end of their shifts.

Toward the end of the event, Mullarkey asked if the Coalition for Open Government slate, viewed by many as the "Democratic Party," has close ties to Lynne Hurwitz, and received contributions from her.

"All of our [contribution] reports are online," Nunnermacker said. "They are accessible through njelect.com… I do not know if she has been supporting us. On behalf of myself, if [Hurwitz] supports our slate, that’s great. I’m here tonight asking about the 50 people present for their support as well."

According to The Record, Hurwitz was a key strategist behind former police chief Ken Zisa and a dominant force in the city’s politics.

Replying to Mullarkey’s question, Sasson said he will be able to work and collaborate with either slate if elected.

When asked, Labrosse said that working at Hackensack University Medical Center will not effect his voting and answered concerns over the fact that he was covered under two insurance policies — one being the city’s.

"I am afraid that I might be fired from HUMC as a result of a vote," he replied as to why he had insurance with the city. "But I never filed one claim with the city of Hackensack."

The event was one of a handful of Meet the Candidates nights presented to residents of Hackensack.

"I wanted to see their stance on LTACH," said Tom Lydon, of Hackensack, when asked why he came out to hear the candidates. "I want better for the town I live in… Our schools need work. There is so much friction on the school board. I am hopeful that this city will turn around."

Maxine Soren, of Hackensack, was also optimistic of the city’s future.

"I want to see Hackensack rejuvenated," she said. "You have to vote and be hopeful of a change. So we’ll see."

Elections take place on May 14.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 15, 2013, 12:46:40 PM
43759

ProspectAvenueCoalition would like to congratulate the Citizens for Change slate for winning yesterday's election. We are confident you will honor commitments made during the election to defeat the LTACH and look forward to an open government with free flowing information. We also wish you success on addressing the many other issues that affect our city from development of downtown to lowering taxes.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on May 17, 2013, 07:21:23 AM
Very gracious of you. We all have to support the new Council and let them know our concerns. They have promised to listen to all of us and it is our job to make them aware of issues.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 07, 2013, 02:28:19 AM
47327/47519

LTACH APPEAL WATCH

The Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC trial will take place on Friday, August 16th at 1:30pm at the Court House on Main Street. If you are interested in attending the trial please be aware that comments, heckling and/or talking while the court is in session will not be permitted and doing so may result in ejection from the court room.

The former Hackensack City Attorney and the newly appointed City Attorney will be representing the City of Hackensack. The Judge presiding over the trial will be: 

Judge Alexander H. Carver, III | Superior Court, Civil Division, Bergen County
Bergen County Courthouse
10 Main Street, 3rd Floor
Hackensack NJ 07601
(201) 527-2390

The latest judge to announce his retirement is Judge Alexander “Zan” Carver, 67, who said Monday he is leaving the bench to join the Hackensack law firm of Harwood Lloyd.

Carver, who was sworn in as a judge in May 2008 and has since served in the family and civil divisions, said he will work as a mediator and arbitrator at the firm. His last day on the bench is Sept. 1, he said.

“I hope to be useful in mediating cases that otherwise would go to trial,” Carver said.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Bergen_County-based_state_court_faces_stream_of_departing_judges.html
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 09, 2013, 09:46:48 PM
Here's an article in NJ.com.  Judge Carver approves a controversial height variance for the LG headquarters on the Palisades.  It will jut above the treeline, prompting outcries from preservationists in NY and NJ.  Carver evidently doesn't care how high the building is.


http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2013/08/judge_upholds_variance_for_lg_headquarters_subject_of_legal_dispute_on_the_palisades.html#incart_river_default (http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2013/08/judge_upholds_variance_for_lg_headquarters_subject_of_legal_dispute_on_the_palisades.html#incart_river_default)
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 11, 2013, 10:39:30 AM
47710

Northjersey.com

Hackensack hospital object of suit

SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2013
BY  HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
THE RECORD

HACKENSACK — The city and zoning board are expected to go to court on Friday to fight a lawsuit alleging that the board unfairly denied an application for a 19-story medical building that was strongly opposed by neighborhood residents.
The zoning board, however, will not be represented in court by its former attorney, Richard Malagiere, who faced controversy but had community support to keep him on the case.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment rejected the application for the proposed Bergen Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital in January 2012, saying that the project would bring traffic and parking problems to the residential neighborhood.

But the project didn’t get a fair shake, the applicant claimed in the lawsuit, filed in November in state Superior Court. Bergen Passaic LTACH alleged that city officials conspired to delay the process and tainted the outcome with bias and prejudicial comments.

Malagiere declined to seek reappointment as board attorney in January. He never publicly said why, but his decision came weeks after a fire at a Johnson Avenue home he owned with land-use lawyer Carmine Alampi and Anthony Errico. The house had many illegal electrical connections, and the fire was the result of faulty wiring, officials said. The Record also found that the owners didn’t have an occupancy permit and that the premises had not undergone a safety inspection. Serious violations also were found at an adjacent home they owned.

Some residents insisted Malagiere be kept because of his experience and knowledge of the case, and they even made it a topic in the spring City Council race. The Prospect Avenue Coalition, a resident’s group, held three forums to get candidates’ views on the proposed hospital and asked all of them if they’d keep Malagiere after the election.

Stepped down

Malagiere decided on his own to step down from the case in late May, shortly after a new City Council was elected, officials said.
Laura Kirsch, the new zoning board attorney, who was appointed in April, has taken over the case. The case file was lengthy but not complicated, she said.

"You do what you have to and yes it took time, but we got it done," said Kirsch, a Hackensack-based attorney with expertise in zoning and real estate.

The new interim city attorney, Thomas Scrivo, will represent the city in the case, in place of the former City Attorney Joseph Zisa.
The applicant wanted the hospital building to include 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.

Bergen County Superior Court Judge Alexander Carver will hear the case. Carver has announced that he will retire Sept. 1, and it’s unclear whether he plans to rule on the case before then.

Email: adely@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/219150461_Hackensack_hospital_object_of_suit.html?page=all#sthash.tkQzXm26.dpuf
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 13, 2013, 07:51:57 AM
47864 http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/directions/berdirect.htm#table

Important Parking Update for the Bergen County Justice Center

Effective Monday, July 29, 2013, the Bergen County Justice Center – Court Street parking lot will be closed due to the new construction of the Bergen County New Agency Building. The Bergen County Administration has provided a parking lot for the public with shuttle service to and from the Bergen County Justice Center, 10 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ.

PARKING LOT LOCATION: Parking lot opens at 7 a.m. The Record News Lot, 150 River Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601

SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE: Providing transportation for jurors, attorneys, court users, and the general public,
 
SHUTTLE HOURS: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday Shuttle will run every 10-15 minutes. The last shuttle from the justice center leaves at 7 p.m.

PARKING FEES ESTABLISHED BY BERGEN COUNTY:
 
Jurors FREE
 
Persons using handicap parking:
First 90 minutes FREE
$5/day flat fee thereafter
 
All others:
First 50 minutes FREE
$5/day flat fee thereafter
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on August 18, 2013, 07:28:20 PM
Court arguments begin in appeal over Hackensack rejection of acute care hospital
Friday August 16, 2013, 5:10 PM
BY  KIBRET MARKOS
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — A proposed 19-story medical building on Prospect Avenue will benefit the public more than it would inconvenience its neighbors, an attorney argued in court on Friday, asking a judge to overturn the city’s decision to stop the project.

Attorneys for the city, meanwhile, argued that the city’s zoning board was right to deny the application to build the Bergen Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital, calling the proposed project not only inconvenient but dangerous to area residents.

The case made its way to Superior Court in Hackensack late last year when the applicant, the Bergen-Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital, LLC, filed a lawsuit challenging the zoning board’s decision.

Bergen-Passaic LTACH is seeking to tear down residential structures on Prospect and Summit Avenues and erect a medical center that will include 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 adults.

Citing traffic and other quality-of-life concerns, the city’s zoning board ruled that the detriments of the project outweighed its benefits and denied the application.

Joseph Basralian, an attorney representing Bergen Passaic LTACH, said at a hearing before Superior Court Judge Alexander Carver that the concerns about added traffic were not justified because the average stay in long term acute care facilities was 25 days. That means patients will not be continuously going in and out and add to the traffic or parking needs.

He also said the height of the buildings in that area on Prospect Avenue ranges from 13 to 28 floors, and that the proposed 19-floor building is well within the high-rise limits of the zone.

Basralian said such a facility would be highly beneficial to the community because of the rise in the aging population in and around Bergen County.

Because of high obesity and diabetes rates, the need for dialysis has been rising by about 5 percent a year, he said. The six dialysis centers in Bergen County already are operating near capacity, he said.

Laura Kirsch, an attorney representing the city’s zoning board, did not agree. She said both Prospect and Summit avenues already experience high traffic volume with frequent backups and that this project would only make “a bad situation worse.”

 “This is a building with 120 [long-term acute care] beds, 63 dialysis seats and 180 adult day-care beds,” she said. “It’s three commercial units crammed into one building in a residential zone.”

She also said the building would have 500 employees and that there will be added traffic from ambulances, delivery trucks, and family members visiting patients.

 “Parking and traffic are already terrible,” Kirsch said. “There is no reason to make them even worse.”

The added traffic is particularly a hazard for a nearby elementary school and its students who must cross Prospect and Summit avenues during morning rush-hour traffic, she said.

The hearing will continue Monday with more arguments.

Email: markos@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Court_arguments_begin_in_appeal_over_Hackensack_rejection_of_acute_care_hospital.html?page=all#sthash.2agO1PLK.dpuf
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Rob Gartner on August 19, 2013, 11:28:16 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Fate_of_rejected_Hackensack_medical_building_plan_in_judges_hands.html

I guess we will know pretty soon.  I hope the city's attorney made a stronger argument than it sounded in this article.
________________________

Fate of rejected Hackensack medical building plan in judge's hands
Monday August 19, 2013, 4:24 PM
BY  ALLISON PRIES
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK — The fate of a 19-story medical building proposal that was unanimously rejected by the city’s zoning board is now in the hands of a judge.

Oral arguments that began on Friday concluded Monday morning with just an hour of rebuttals by attorneys.

Judge Alexander H. Carver, III will make a decision by Aug. 30, his expected retirement date.

The Hackensack Zoning Board of Adjustment denied the application in January 2012, saying it would bring traffic and parking problems to the residential area around the site at Prospect and Summit avenues. Residents packed hearings, held protests and hired attorneys to oppose the medical center.

Joseph L. Basralian, the attorney representing Bergen Passaic Long-Term Acute Care Hospital, argued that the facility would benefit the growing population of aging adults in Bergen County more than it would inconvenience its neighbors; the center’s clients typically stay 25 days and would not add to traffic problems, and that the height of the building was comparable to those within the same zone.

The project would require the demolition of two homes to make way for 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 adults.

Demand for dialysis centers has been rising about 5 percent per year, Basralian said, and six other centers in Bergen County are already operating near capacity.

Laura Kirsch, an attorney for the city’s zoning board, said the major issues that drove the board to vote down the project were parking, traffic and safety issues. Prospect and Summit avenues already experience traffic problems and back ups.

She expressed concern about 30 dump trucks of soil leaving the site per day over 10 months of construction and the impact that would have on the water table for neighboring properties. Kirsch said there were issues with site lines and an inability for cars and trucks to maneuver safely at the driveways. “There’s no continuous path,” she said.

Liquid oxygen tanks being trucked on and off the site could also exacerbate the problem. “You have the potential for a serious accident,” Kirsch said. “If a vehicle hits a truck carrying oxygen, we could lose Prospect Avenue.”

Basralian declined to comment after the hearing.

The lawsuit says that the city and zoning board engaged in a political scheme to deny the applicant a fair and impartial review.

Carver, during the hearing, asked Kirsch how she felt about candidates for mayor and council speaking out publicly at the beginning of the application. Kirsch said the officials spoke as any other citizen would have the right to.

But Carver said if they had come as private citizens, they wouldn’t have spoken at the beginning of the application and “set the tone.”

LTACH also claims in its lawsuit that the board allowed an objecting attorney to harass the property owner, applied different standards for its own experts and created a conflict of interest with the applicant’s engineering consultant by engaging and interviewing the consultant — forcing the applicant to switch professionals in the middle of the process. The company also said the hearing process was delayed and costly, noting there were 23 meetings, of which 20 were special meetings at a cost of $3,000 each to be paid by the applicant to the city.

Email: priesa@northjersey.com

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Fate_of_rejected_Hackensack_medical_building_plan_in_judges_hands.html?page=all#sthash.QVar9ntG.dpuf
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: regina on August 26, 2013, 07:46:11 PM
Judge ruled in favor of the Zoning Board/City

http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Judge_upholds_decision_denying_Hackensack_hospital_plan_.html?scpromo=1
_______________________

Judge upholds decision denying Hackensack medical building plan
Monday August 26, 2013, 6:59 PM
BY HANNAN ADELY
STAFF WRITER
The Record

HACKENSACK – A state Superior Court judge on Monday upheld a decision by the city’s zoning board denying an application for a 19-story long-term acute care hospital – a plan that sparked fierce protest in the city over years.

Residents and officials had packed hearings on the project to argue that it would have brought traffic hazards, congestion and parking problems to their neighborhood. On Monday, they cheered the court’s decision even as the attorney for the applicant pledged to appeal.

“This has been three years of waiting to see what happens and trying to stop it from being built in this area,” said Murray Runin, a member of the Prospect Avenue Coalition, a residents’ group that opposed the project. “This would have disrupted the whole area.”

In his 20-page decision, Judge Alexander H. Carver III said the application got a fair hearing and the board reasonably determined that the harm to the neighborhood would outweigh the public benefit.

Bergen-Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital had sought to tear down residential structures on Prospect and Summit Avenues and build a medical center including 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center and an adult medical day-care center for up to 180 adults.

The board unanimously denied the application in January 2012.

The Bergen/Passaic LTACH sued the board and the city in November, alleging that it didn’t get a fair hearing; was subjected to delays and unnecessary fees; and that city officials conspired to delay the process and tainted the outcome with prejudicial comments.

Email: adely@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 26, 2013, 07:49:40 PM
48520

Judge Carver upheld the Hackensack Zoning Board decision denying the Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital, LLC application and dismissed the complaint.

WE WON.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on August 26, 2013, 10:15:24 PM
Judge upholds Hackensack rejection of proposed acute-care hospital in residential neighborhood
Monday, August 26, 2013 Last updated: Monday August 26, 2013, 8:41 PM
BY HANNAN ADELY, STAFF WRITER The Record

HACKENSACK — A state Superior Court judge on Monday upheld the city’s zoning board denial of an application for a 19-story long-term acute care hospital — a plan that sparked fierce protest in the city.

Residents and officials had packed hearings to argue that the hospital would have brought traffic hazards, congestion and parking problems to their neighborhood. On Monday, they cheered the court’s decision. Meanwhile, the attorney for the applicant, Bergen-Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital, pledged to appeal.

“This has been three years of waiting to see what happens and trying to stop it from being built in this area,” said Murray Runin, a member of the Prospect Avenue Coalition, a residents’ group that opposed the project. “This would have disrupted the whole area.”
Mayor John Labrosse called the decision a “victory for the community.”

“While the city needs and welcomes responsible development, I feel this particular development was too big and too intrusive for the neighborhood,” he said. “It would have caused horrendous traffic problems and serious concerns about the safety of nearby residents.”

In his 20-page decision, Judge Alexander H. Carver III said the application got a fair hearing and the board reasonably determined that the harm to the neighborhood would outweigh the public benefit.

Bergen-Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital sought to tear down residential structures on Prospect and Summit avenues and build a medical center including 10 floors of patient rooms, a dialysis center and an adult medical day care center for up to 180 adults. The applicant claimed the medical center would fill a public health demand and meet 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.

The board unanimously denied the application in January 2012, saying it would hurt traffic safety and parking and that the proposed uses were contrary to the city’s zoning plan and ordinances.
The applicant sued the board and the city in November, claiming it didn’t get a fair hearing, was subjected to delays and unnecessary fees and that city officials conspired to delay the process and prejudiced the outcome with their comments.

The court found there was credible evidence of increased traffic and dangerous traffic situations on already-busy streets. Carver also found no evidence that the board was influenced by officials’ statements and concluded that council members statements were not improper.

The court refuted claims of delays and unnecessary fees; out of 23 total hearings, 20 were special meetings that required a $3,000 fee be paid to the city. The fees, though, were set by city ordinance, not by the board. The applicant also didn’t object to special meetings and delays during the proceedings, Carver wrote in his decision.

Attorney Joseph Basralian, who represented the hospital, said Monday his client will appeal the judge’s decision but declined further comment.

Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino said the building would have been “completely out of character for the neighborhood.”

“It’s far too intense of a development in a residential neighborhood,” she said. “In his decision, the judge gave considerable weight to the safety issues, and I have to agree that public safety was and is a major concern of the council and the people living near the proposed development.”

Email: adely@northjersey.com

http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Judge_upholds_decision_denying_Hackensack_hospital_plan_.html
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 30, 2013, 07:38:56 AM
Attorney Joseph Basralian, who represented the hospital, said Monday his client will appeal the judge’s decision but declined further comment.

http://www.northjersey.com/hackensack/Judge_upholds_decision_denying_Hackensack_hospital_plan_.html

48707 Continue to check here for LTACH APPEAL WATCH updates.

48771 Attached is a copy of the LTACH Order of Judgment and Opinion given by Judge Carver on August 26, 2013.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: bergen07601 on September 23, 2013, 10:56:34 PM
So, nice win for Prospect Avenue residents. Yes, our presence counted. Big round of applause to Karen Hull/Prospect Avenue Coalition who continuously organized and announced the developments of each meeting. Clap, clap, clap. Her efforts drove us to each meeting over the past few years in this sometimes tedious and boring battle. Let's applaud ourselves too. We fought and won in the face of the developer's big $$$.

And he is on to his next project. More commercial use of our beautiful residential neighborhood.
For those of you who are interested and can attend a public hearing on October 2, 2013, at The Bergen County Utilities Authority, Administration Building, Foot of Mehrhof Road, Little Ferry, New Jersey, at 10:00 A.M. in the Public Meeting Room. See the thread re Prospect Heights Medical Waste Treatment Expansion at http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,2791.0.html. Please post your comments if you attend.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 24, 2013, 08:00:00 AM
And he is on to his next project. More commercial use of our beautiful residential neighborhood.
For those of you who are interested and can attend a public hearing on October 2, 2013, at The Bergen County Utilities Authority, Administration Building, Foot of Mehrhof Road, Little Ferry, New Jersey, at 10:00 A.M. in the Public Meeting Room. See the thread re Prospect Heights Medical Waste Treatment Expansion at http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,2791.0.html. Please post your comments if you attend.

@Bergen07601, congratulations to the residents and a big thank you to those who attended the trial. ProspectAvenueCoalition will continue to closely monitor the 336 Prospect Avenue proposed Plan Amendment: The Bergen County District Solid Waste Management Plan is hereby amended to incorporate the Prospect Heights Care Center SteriMed System 70 Medical Waste Treatment Unit located at Lot 10, Block 341, 336 Prospect Avenue, Hackensack, New Jersey, 07601.

Several ProspectAvenueCoalition members attended the Public Hearing on October 2, 2013. These residents asked many questions regarding the potential harm that operating a medical waste unit of this type may cause to the residents living in the World Plaza and Ritz Plaza in addition to any other residential buildings nearby. The Bergen County Utilities Authority did not have ready answers for some of their questions.
 
Following the hearing the proposed Plan Amendment is pending agency approval. If approved by the requisite agencies then Pineles would still require Hackensack Zoning Board approval as the medical waste treatment unit is not a permitted use on Prospect Avenue.

50619

[Editor's note: All future posts related to the Medical Waste Treatment Unit should go here: http://www.hackensacknow.org/index.php/topic,2791.0.html.  Thank you.]
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on October 29, 2013, 07:34:45 AM
50795 LTACH APPEAL WATCH

An action in lieu of prerogative writ has been filed by Bergen Passaic Long Term Acute Care Hospital LLC.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on December 07, 2013, 04:36:11 PM
52293

329 PROSPECT AVENUE and at least 2 of the houses directly behind on Summit Avenue have been demolished.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on December 07, 2013, 10:35:45 PM
oh, you beat me to it with the posting, I saw it this afternoon while in Hackensack.  I was shocked.  I think all 4 houses were leveled, the 3 on Summit and they were demolishing the one on Prospect when I circled around the block to look.

This is a double-down strategy; in order to show the appeals court judge that they mean business about building this huge building on this property.

I wonder if they got all their demolition permits, or is this something they are doing in a quick sneaky way on a Saturday when the inspectors and city officials cannot be reached to stop the work.  And if they applied for demolition permits, you'd think that city officials would notify the activists of the permit request.  That leads me to believe that the developer didn't apply for demolition permits.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on December 08, 2013, 08:09:07 AM
1912 map showing the homes on Summit and Prospect Ave. The map is zoomable.  I think I can identify all 4 houses on this map.  All 4 were over 100 years old.

http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/173108/Plate+019+++Midland+Township++Maynard+and+Hackensack+Right/Bergen+County+1912+Vol+2/New+Jersey/ (http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/173108/Plate+019+++Midland+Township++Maynard+and+Hackensack+Right/Bergen+County+1912+Vol+2/New+Jersey/)
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Homer Jones on December 08, 2013, 10:07:35 AM
From the developer's perspective, the demolition of these buildings was the right thing to do. As long as the buildings are demolished prior to the end of the calendar year he will only have to pay taxes in the year 2014 on the land value of the property and not on the land and improvement value of the property. This is standard operating procedure in the real estate development business.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: swapcatsr@gmail.com on December 29, 2013, 08:22:39 PM
53386 A birdseye view of the house at 329 Prospect Avenue last week then this week:
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on December 31, 2013, 07:28:31 AM
Nobody ever posted whether the city issued the demolition permits, nor if the local neighbors were informed of the demolition request.

I hope eventually there will be 3 new homes on Summit Ave, and a 3 to 5 story condominium for the lot on Prospect Ave.  The lot is too small for a high-rise of any type.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Whitey on January 02, 2014, 09:14:59 AM
The Hackensack Building Department said the owner was issued all the necessary permits.  I don't know about notifying the residents.

Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on March 19, 2014, 09:15:08 PM
55301 Filling in the foundation at 329 Prospect Avenue.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on January 21, 2015, 09:43:57 AM
68915

LTACH APPEAL UPDATE

Bergen County freeholders hear Hackensack opposition to medical waste disposal plan

JANUARY 14, 2015, 8:06 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2015, 8:06 PM
BY TODD SOUTH
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD

HACKENSACK — A group of more than 30 residents and Hackensack City Council members came to the Bergen County Freeholders meeting Wednesday to speak out against an application by a Prospect Avenue senior care center’s owner to neutralize medical waste at the site.

...

Pineles is still in a lengthy zoning battle involving his application to the Hackensack Zoning Board to allow him to build the 19-story Bergen-Passaic Long Term acute Care Hospital on 1.15 acres on Summit Avenue that would extend to Prospect Avenue. The board denied the application on quality-of-life grounds in January 2012. Pineles filed a lawsuit and a state Superior Court judge upheld the board’s decision in August 2013. That decision was appealed.

...

http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen-county-freeholders-hear-hackensack-opposition-to-medical-waste-disposal-plan-1.1193246 (http://www.northjersey.com/news/bergen-county-freeholders-hear-hackensack-opposition-to-medical-waste-disposal-plan-1.1193246)
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 03, 2015, 01:56:58 PM
69275 LTACH APPEAL UPDATE
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY
APPELLATE DIVISION
PO BOX 006
RICHARD J. HUGHES JUSTICE COMPLEX
TRENTON, N.J. 08625-0006
DATE: Dec 24, 2014

KIRSCH & KIRSCH LLP
ATTN: LAURA S KIRSCH
TWO UNIVERSITY PLZ, STE 308
HACKENSACK, NJ 07601

RE: A-000702-13 T03

BERGEN PASSAIC LTACH, LLC
V
CITY OF HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

The above-entitled appeal is scheduled for argument before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

DATE: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015

LOCATION: ROOM 1114, VETERANS COURTHOUSE, 11TH FL, 50 W MARKET ST, NEWARK

PART: H

TIME: 10:00 AM

On all appeals, please endorse the enclosed copy with the name and email address of counsel who will argue this appeal, and forward same to this office immediately.

JOSEPH H. ORLANDO
CLERK OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
PHONE: 609-633-7079
PHONE: 609-633-7078
Name of counsel:
Email Address :

cc:
MC CARTER & ENGLISH LLP - GARY THOMAS HALL
MC ELROY DEUTSCH MULVANEY & CARPENTER, LLP - THOMAS P SCRIVO
WINNE BANTA ET AL - LORI A JOHNSON

Arguments times will occasionally be adjusted by the court. Prior to your argument please confirm the time for your appeal by going to our website, www.njcourtsonline.com.click on Calendars & Schedules and then click on Appellate Court Calendars. You may also call (609)633-7079 or (609)633-7078. Thank you.

ADDENDUM
APPELLATE DIVISION INCLEMENT WEATHER CLOSINGS
During the months of November through March, when traveling conditions may be hazardous because of bad weather, counsel may be in doubt as to whether the Appellate Division will sit as scheduled. For reports concerning unscheduled closings, delayed openings or cancellation of Appellate Division sittings, please check our website at: www.NJCourtsOnline.com and click on "Unscheduled Closings". This site will also provide links for receiving court information on Twitter or through SMS text messages.

If you do not see a cancellation notice, please report to court at the appropriate time and place.

As a last resort, you may call the Clerk's Office (609-633-7079) for a recorded message regarding any cancellations. If someone has been able to get there, you will be provided with whatever other information is available.
Sept. 2013
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on February 28, 2015, 11:29:24 AM
70682 LTACH APPEAL UPDATE

Our neighbor who attended the Feb 4th hearing tells us that we may will need to wait 30 - 60 days from the argument date before any further updates on A-000702-13 T03.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 07, 2015, 12:19:58 PM
73702 LTACH APPEAL UPDATE

TO: THE RESIDENTS OF PROSPECT AND SUMMIT AVENUES

RE: A-000702-13 T03 BERGEN PASSAIC LTACH, LLC V CITY OF HACKENSACK ZONING BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT


WE WON ... AGAIN


THANK YOU TO  MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP, THE COUNCIL AND THE CITY OF HACKENSACK FOR ITS SUPPORT.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 14, 2015, 12:47:03 PM
74170 IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ THE OPINION PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK (NEW jERSEY COURTS WEBSITE / Unpublished Appellate Opinions for May 7, 2015):

https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a0702-13.pdf
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Editor on May 15, 2015, 08:32:26 AM
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/community-news/court-rules-against-city-health-care-developer-1.1335298
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on May 30, 2015, 08:38:26 AM
74858 http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime-and-courts/court-upholds-zoning-board-s-decision-1.1340918?page=all
 (http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime-and-courts/court-upholds-zoning-board-s-decision-1.1340918?page=all)
NORTHJERSEY.COM : NEWS : CRIME AND COURTS
Court upholds Hackensack Zoning Board's decision in LTACH case


MAY 29, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2015, 1:09 PM
BY JENNIFER VAZQUEZ
NEWS EDITOR | HACKENSACK CHRONICLE

HACKENSACK - The Prospect Avenue Coalition can breathe a sigh of relief now that an appeals court has upheld the Hackensack Zoning Board's decision to deny a site plan application by a nursing home developer who sought to build a multi-story care facility and dialysis clinic on that street.

...

Following 22 hearings, the Hackensack Zoning Board denied the proposal. The appellate court found that the board "concluded reasonably" that the development was bigger than the site would accommodate, would detrimentally affect the neighboring residential properties and that the proposal could not be reconciled with the city's master plan and zoning ordinances.

"We find nothing arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable in the Board's conclusion," the three-judge appeals panel said in their per curiam decision.

...

Attorney John N. Visconi, who was filling in for the borough attorney Thomas P. Scrivo during the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 18, said it is unclear if the plaintiff will seek further action. Scrivo represented the city during the appeals process.

"The appellate division upheld the trial court's affirmation of the board's decision," Visconi said. "It was a 3-0 decision...it's unclear right now if the plaintiff will appeal any further."

The unanimous decision makes the case's chances of being heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court less likely, but Pineles could petition the higher court for an appeal.

Pineles did not return request for comment.

Email: vazquez@northjersey.com
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on July 19, 2015, 07:51:11 AM
78196 No new appeal has been filed by Richard Pineles. The time period in which to file an appeal of the denial of variances has lapsed.

Please email us at ProspectAvenueCoalition@yahoo.com or Facebook at ProspectAvenueCoalition if you learn of any news or updates regarding 320/322/324 Summit Avenue and/or 329 Prospect Avenue.

LAND USE AND PLANNING

26-2-6701 Bergen Passaic LTAC, LLC v. City of Hackensack Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, App. Div. (per curiam) (28 pp.) Plaintiff Bergen Passaic LTACH appealed from a judgment of the Law Division dismissing with prejudice its complaint in lieu of prerogative writs. Plaintiff sought reversal of the decision of the City of Hackensack Zoning Board of Adjustment denying variances and site plan approval so that plaintiff can build a high-rise long-term acute care hospital (LTACH) combined with a dialysis facility and adult daycare center in a residential zoning district near the Hackensack University Medical Center. The board reasonably concluded that plaintiff's proposed development is much bigger than the site would accommodate and would detrimentally affect the neighboring residential properties. It also reasonably concluded that the proposed development could not be reconciled with the City's master plan and zoning ordinances. Numerous bulk variances were required as well as the use variance for the facilities that were not otherwise permitted in the zoning district. The appellate panel found nothing arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable in the board's conclusions. Further, the board considered contrary testimony from opposing experts and it rationally explained its credibility decisions relating to the detrimental effects of the project, including inadequate parking and unsafe vehicular circulation at the site, and the deprivation of light, air, and open space of neighboring residential properties. The appellate panel affirmed the Law Division's judgment.

Read more: http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202726503228/Unapproved-Opinions-May-713-2015#ixzz3gIpYsVpc
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on July 19, 2015, 04:01:15 PM
You have to subscribe to read the article.  If you can pull it up, copy and paste the text, that would be great for the rest of us
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 11, 2015, 07:58:56 AM
79475  On Friday August 7, I received a USPS receipt for certified mail from City and on August 8 I received in my mailbox this Notice of Public Hearing (see attached). Too late to attend the public hearing if it was held on August 3, 2015 @ 7pm.

Under consideration is Ordinance 28-2015 which seeks to amend Chapter 175 of the City of Hackensack Municipal Code by removing "Nursing, rest and convalescent homes" from the conditional uses allowed in Zone R-3 and Zone R-3B.

If this hearing was held on August 3rd and you attended please post any updates here or email us at ProspectAvenueCoalition@yahoo.com. Thanks.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 11, 2015, 01:02:14 PM
79502 UPDATE

8/18/2015 - Notice of Public Hearing: R-3 and R-3B Zones

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING


City of Hackensack, Mayor and Council
Bergen County, New Jersey
R-3 and R-3B Zones

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on Monday, August 3, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter (Hearing is Scheduled for Tuesday, August 18, 2015) as may be heard, a public hearing will be held before the Mayor and Council of the City of Hackensack at the City of Hackensack Council Chambers, 65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor, Hackensack, New Jersey, to consider for final approval Ordinance 28-2015, which seeks to amend Chapter 175 of the City of Hackensack Municipal Code, entitled “Zoning,” to Amend the “Schedule of District Regulations” as authorized by Section 175-4.1, entitled “Schedule of Regulations” by removing “Nursing, rest and convalescent homes” from the conditional uses allowed in Zone R-3 and Zone R-3B.

If you are receiving this notice, it is because your property is located within the R-3 or R-3B Zones, or within 200 feet of the boundaries thereof.

At the public hearing, any interested party may appear in person, or through an attorney, and ask questions, participate, give evidence or make a statement concerning the application and the proposed change to the zoning districts’ classification.

Enclosed please find the following:

Copy of Ordinance 28-2015, An Ordinance Amending Chapter 175 of the Code of the City of Hackensack, amending the “Schedule of District Regulations” as Authorized by Section 175-4.1 Entitled Schedule of Regulations regarding R-3 and R-3B Zones.

In addition, a copy of the proposed Ordinance is on file with the Clerk of the City of Hackensack and may be reviewed in the Clerk’s office during during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except legal holidays.

Please feel free to contact the City Clerk if you have any questions:

Deborah Karlsson, City Clerk
65 Central Avenue,
Hackensack, New Jersey 07601
(201) 646-3940
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: just watching on August 12, 2015, 07:13:28 AM
Good idea.  The few remaining properties on the Prospect Avenue high-rise strip that can be built on would better serve the city as residential development.
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: swapcatsr@gmail.com on August 17, 2015, 07:50:05 AM
Please attend tomorrow (Tuesday August 18) to show your support for this Amendment to the Schedule of District Regulations which will remove “Nursing, rest and convalescent homes” from the conditional uses allowed in Zone R-3 and Zone R-3B (your neighborhood):

8/18/2015 - Notice of Public Hearing: R-3 and R-3B Zones
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
City of Hackensack, Mayor and Council
Bergen County, New Jersey
R-3 and R-3B Zones

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on Monday, August 3, 2015, at 7:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter (Hearing is Scheduled for Tuesday, August 18, 2015) as may be heard, a public hearing will be held before the Mayor and Council of the City of Hackensack at the City of Hackensack Council Chambers, 65 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor, Hackensack, New Jersey, to consider for final approval Ordinance 28-2015, which seeks to amend Chapter 175 of the City of Hackensack Municipal Code, entitled “Zoning,” to Amend the “Schedule of District Regulations” as authorized by Section 175-4.1, entitled “Schedule of Regulations” by removing “Nursing, rest and convalescent homes” from the conditional uses allowed in Zone R-3 and Zone R-3B.

If you are receiving this notice, it is because your property is located within the R-3 or R-3B Zones, or within 200 feet of the boundaries thereof. 79940
Title: Re: 24-story tower for Summit Avenue
Post by: Prospect Avenue Coalition on August 18, 2015, 11:22:22 AM
80061

This public hearing regarding an Amendment to the Schedule of District Regulations will not be held tonight.

If you would like more information please contact the City Clerk's office at 201.646.3490.