Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Montvale Moves Ahead on Rezoning

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Montvale Moves Ahead on Rezoning

Article excerpt

MONTVALE -- The Borough Council introduced an ordinance at Tuesday's meeting that would rezone the site of DePiero's Country Farm for a development proposal.

The ordinance introduction was not open to public discussion, though the council chambers were standing-room-only for the meeting.

The ordinance, if adopted, would allow for the rezoning of DePiero's Farm, making way for the construction of a 140,000-square- foot Wegmans store, plus tens of thousands of square feet of additional retail and restaurants and 32 units of low- and moderate- income housing.

If the ordinance is not adopted, the property will be left open to residential development, including 32 affordable housing units and 128 market-rate units. The borough, as with all communities in the state, has a court-ordered obligation to promote housing for people of modest income.

DePiero's Country Farm, owned by Edward and Elaine DePiero, has been a working farm and market since 1924. Though they own one of the last undeveloped areas in Montvale, which is home to many corporate headquarters, the DePieros have been looking to sell their property, occupying 55 acres, for financial reasons.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be held April 30.

At Tuesday's meeting, Elaine DePiero read aloud a letter from the DePiero family, explaining why it had to sell the property -- looming foreclosure -- and why Wegmans and the surrounding commercial and residential development would be the best bet for Montvale.

"We have no choice but to end the farm operation as it exists now," she said.

The family's attorney, Antimo del Vecchio, spoke about the development and the benefits it would bring to Montvale and also introduced presentations by Ralph Uttero, the senior vice president for store development at Wegmans, who emphasized that his company, like the DePieros' venture, is a family-owned, -oriented and - operated business. …

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