Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne Residents against Center

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne Residents against Center

Article excerpt

"If passed, it will shred the fabric of the neighborhood."

Arlene Sullivan

Wayne resident

WAYNE – A group of homeowners say a proposed center for developmentally disabled individuals would lower their property values, if walls are built along their properties and trees that buffer their homes from highway traffic noise are cleared.

Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey, a Livingston-based nonprofit, presented plans to the Wayne Board of Adjustment on Monday to construct a 17,000-square-foot adult day care facility standing 30 feet tall.

If approved, the project would be built on 2 acres of vacant land at 993 Route 23 as well as an adjacent property at 9 Meadow Road. An existing 1,248-square-foot residence at 9 Meadow Road would be razed to make way for parking.

The nonprofit's president, Purna Rodman Conare, said the organization currently rents space within a "harsh" industrial park on Hamburg Turnpike. He called the Meadow Road site an "ideal" location to house 35 staff members and up to 90 patients from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays.

"We've been in Wayne for 15 years, but we want to move into an area that's within the community and more natural," Rodman Conare said of the project, which would be funded in large part by the state's Division of Developmental Disabilities.

"The building would be structured like a home with an outdoor area for them to utilize."

Staff members use 20 vans to transport clients to and from the site beginning at 7 a.m. and returning around 5 p.m., Rodman Conare said.

Plans show the center would be accessible only from Meadow Road because the Route 23 side of the property runs along the highway's Alps Road exit. A one-way entrance and one-way exit are proposed.

The development would include 65 parking spaces as well as a buffer along the residential property lines composed of walls, fences and "extensive new landscaping," according to a report prepared by Wayne Planning Director Linda Lutz.

In addition to a use variance, which would permit the center to operate within a residential zone, the applicant is also seeking a 1-foot side-yard setback where 10 feet is required.

As part of the plan, an 8-foot-tall wall would be built 12 inches from Arlene Sullivan's property line at 11 Meadow Road. …

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