OT Planning Board should vote "No" on Assisted Living complex on a residential lot.

OT Planning Board should vote "No" on Assisted Living complex on a residential lot.

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Patches Magarro started this petition to Old Tappan Planning Board Mayor and Council

We are residents of Old Tappan who are concerned about overdevelopment in town. We demand the planning board to vote “No” on a developer’s request to build a 100-bed three-story assisted living facility on his residential lot at 244 Old Tappan Rd. Our small town is already exploding with the following projects: 

Enclave at Old Tappan- 225 townhomes/apts plus retail stores at the former Pearson site

Artis senior living - new development on Central Ave. across from Oakes Park

20-26 townhomes on Central Ave. across from NVOT high school 

Multiple group homes at the corner of OT Rd. and Washington Ave.

Strikingly large building under construction on a residential lot at the corner of OT Rd. and Kristin Place

We are already in compliance with our affordable housing commitment. This project goes against Old Tappan’s Master Plan: to secure open space and environmental preservation especially near the center of town, and to contain commercial development in designated commercial zones. To flip this lot to commercial use would require planning board approval of multiple variances of major proportion.  It would be massively out of scale on this small lot and set a terrible precedent for our already overdeveloped small town.

Our planning board is tasked with upholding our codes and zoning to protect our town from opportunistic individuals who are looking to personally benefit at the expense of the community at large. The negative effects of this project include:

Even worse traffic and congestion on Old Tappan Road especially by our schools and rush hour 

More demand on our police, with potentially the need to hire more officers (and more taxes)

Greater stress on our volunteer fire department and ambulance corps

Increased threat of flooding due to the huge loss of trees adjacent to wetlands on the site.

The positive result of a “No” vote would avoid all of the above and also save the open space at the site. The lot includes a stone building listed with the national registry of historic buildings and wetlands with a vernal pond critical to local wildlife. There is keen interest by Bergen SWAN (Save the Watershed Action Network) and other land trusts in assisting with guiding funding from the County and State toward the purchase of this land to save it as a nature sanctuary, as well as support from our Congressman Josh Gottheimer to apply for federal funds. Preserved land would be a far superior benefit to Old Tappan children and families than yet another assisted living venture. 

We, the undersigned residents of Old Tappan, object to this losing proposition and call on our planning board to reject it by voting “No” on the variances required to build it.

 

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