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Master Plan Raises Concerns

March 15, 2022

The Master Plan is expected to be voted on at the March 16th, 2022 Planning Board meeting. If approved, the plan will then go to the Mayor and Council for the final vote. A former Councilman has urged the Planning Board to table the plan following its review at the Feb 16 meeting. At that meeting, residents raised concerns about the high-density the Master Plan will cause on Broadway vs the lower density proposed on the west side of town.

In a letter to the editor in the Feb 28th issue of the Pascack Press, a concerned resident called for the Master Plan vote to be tabled "until the governing body proposes resolutions to the density and zoning that treats all Woodcliff Lake citizens fairly." He continued, "The Planning Board's (appointed, not elected) proposal of significant zoning changes with no useful analysis and disclosure exposes Woodcliff lake to 'spot-zoning' litigation and smacks of impropriety and self-dealing.'

Residents see the proposed plan for Broadway as an attempt to segregate the town and give the developers an opening to over-develop Broadway. Should the East Side deserve less than the West Side? According to the Master Plan, it is clear that is the intention.

This Master Plan is proposing the following for Broadway:

  • Increase building heights from 36' to 40' before variances (with NJ State Land Use Laws, a developer could easily get 10% more).
  • Raises the number of floors from 2.5 to 3 stories.
  • Increase allowable density to 10 units per acre of market rate rentals (before variances). Currently the highest allowable density zoned is 5 units per acre in a small part of town. Why would the Master Plan call for zoning such a higher rate on Broadway.
  • It does not restrict the ground floor of mixed-use developments for commercial use only. Therefore, a building could be totally high-density rental apartments.

The purpose of the Master Plan should be to protect the town from overdevelopment, instead it seems it's purpose is to develop Broadway. There have been many measures to ensure certain areas of town have been protected, but none to protect Broadway. The community was asked through the Master Plan Survey, and the Survey Results showed that many residents are not in favor with what is planned. With over 26 acres of land on Broadway, the proposed density, building heights and no specifics on mixed-use percentages, Broadway can become the URBAN center of Woodcliff Lake.

What is the vision for Broadway? A quaint, tree-lined downtown or a narrow street lined with apartment buildings.

See Pascack Press Article, "Master Plan Over-Haul Raises Concerns" in the Feb 28th issue.

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