Teaneck Council Meeting September 24

The Council was scheduled to vote on a first reading for AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING A REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR 1425 TEANECK ROAD. The basis for the ordinance was a plan prepared for the Planning Board by township planner Richard Preiss. It was to be presented last night to the council for a vote without any input from the Planning Board. The Plan was issued the same day as the council meeting providing insufficient notice to the public. It was tabled for the next council meeting.

The redevelopment plan itself is exclusively for this site – currently a small DPW workplace. Although there is no mention of Bright Side Manor in the Plan, it is unsurprisingly similar to what the Manor (a redeveloper) has proposed – a five-story affordable rent apartment building with 40 units for senior citizens.Stipulations include: “The development will be built much like this plan;” “A minimum of 1 parking space shall be provided for each four dwelling units;” “0 setback for front, rear and side yard,” “60’ maximum height;” “No redevelopment projects shall be undertaken or carried out except in accordance with a Redevelopment Plan adopted by ordinance of the municipal governing body.” “Where a provision of the Redevelopment Plan conflicts with a provision of the Development Regulations, the Redevelopment Plan shall control.” More information about the plan including illustrations and floor layouts, begins on The Agenda Packet Page 121 (See preview image above.)

TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: Cheryl Hall spoke of long delays in taking a left turn off Westervelt Pl. next to the proposed Senior Center. Dr. Yvonne Thornton was concerned about our narrow streets with too many cars parked on both sides. Motorists have to stop, weave in and out of lanes to allow passage, increasing the likelihood of serious accidents. She felt that residents with garages should park there or at least in their driveway. She suggested making some roads one way or allowing parking on only one side. Council members pointed out that there are no easy solutions, and Mayor Hameeduddin noted that there appears to be no increase in resulting accidents.

PARKING PROBLEMS: Councilman Schwartz said he has been in touch with 189 The Plaza to find out if the parking lot there can be made available to the public until construction begins. He plans a parking forum open to everyone in early November to get input on this issue.

The gated Votee Park Sportsplex entrance area where the flag will be flown.

LGBT PRIDE FLAG: The Council passed a resolution authorizing the display of the flag on township owned flagpoles only within the gated Votee Park Sportsplex entrance area as a “form of Government expression.” Dr. Chuck Powers pointed out a distinction in the regulations that the flag is not “expressive” but “commemorative” as it commemorates the actions at Stonewall in June 50 years ago. Councilman Dunleavy said he expected a flag-raising event in early October with the flag to fly for one week. He added that members of the committee authorized to plan for next year Pride events have not yet been selected. Dr. Sandy Silverberg appeared disappointed with the flag location. Councilman Pruitt voted against the resolution explaining he was not opposed to the Pride flag but was concerned about internal council conflicts developing down the road regarding which flags would be raised.

LITIGATION: Residents Alan Sohn and James Veach expressed their belief that there has been improper billing on the part of the township’s law firm Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Capuzzo. One example they cited is the billing for OPRA litigation in the lawsuit of Teaneck v. Jones. The firm receives a monthly retainer of $20,000 ($240,000 annually). The firm’s lawyer who handles the township account, John Shahdanian, explained there was additional billing for certain aspects of this lawsuit and that the council agreed such was appropriate. The residents who raised the issue pointed out that the contract signed by the firm stipulates that the retainer fee includes “All Open Pubic Records Act (OPRA) issues and litigation.”

OTHER MATTERS: Micki Shilan pointed out that painting was taking place in the Senior Center space while residents were there, panels in the ceiling are missing and others might fall, and the worst problem is that cleaning of the toilets is terrible. Township Manager Kazinci said he would address the problems with the supervisor. Residents neighboring Holy Name Hospital reiterated their concerns over zoning violations, impinging on the residential area and other problems with the hospital. They said that after many efforts of trying to reach some compromise they still have received no proposal from the hospital. See the full Agenda Packet and Video

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