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More 188 Broadway Issues

May 6, 2021
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The new 188 Broadway application is very similar to the original application with only a modest reduction of 7 apartment units.

The new application is bad because...

  • The owners are still applying for a second building. The application is for 2 stories and a total of 53 apartments for a density of 14.8 units per acre. This application is like trying to squeeze a size 10 foot into a size six shoe; or like forcing a square peg into a round hole.
  • The proposed project does not offer any benefit to Woodcliff Lake and demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the residents.

Seeking variances to change office to apartments

  • The developers of 188 Broadway purchased the property (at a discounted price) in 2018, long before the COVID pandemic, with no intention of continuing to operate it as an office building.
  • They did not attempt to rent the existing office space or explore other retail options.
  • Right from the start, their plan has always been from the start to apply for numerous zoning and ordinance changes to allow for high-density rental apartments.

Overdevelopment

  • The number of apartment units is too dense for the amount of space available on this property.
  • If approved, this project will open a pandora's box by setting a precedent for overdevelopment in all of Woodcliff Lake.
  • Understandably, the developers are trying to maximize their profits, but in this case their plans will be a substantial detriment and burden to the surrounding neighborhood and residents.

WCL Master Plan

  • High-density development does not conform with the Woodcliff Lake's current Master Plan because multi-family apartments are a prohibited use anywhere in the town.
  • Even though a new WCL Master Plan is being considered at this time, the current Master Plan is, in fact, up-to-date.

Traffic Congestion

  • The 188 Broadway application does not exist in a vacuum.
  • With additional development along Broadway, WCL will see a radical increase in traffic and congestion along the Causeway, Broadway, Prospect Avenue and Highview Avenue.
  • The overflow will not only come from the development of 188 Broadway, but also from the current overdevelopment in Park Ridge, Hillsdale, River Vale and Montvale.
  • Broadway, Prospect Avenue and the Causeway have already seen an increase in traffic congestion over the years.
  • The proposed apartments at 188 Broadway will pose a safety hazard for both pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Broadway is only a two-lane road which cannot be widened due to topography
  • If the 188 Broadway application is approved, WCL will have to deal with gridlock, especially at one of the worst intersections in town, an irregular intersection and delays from the trains (28 times daily and increasing).

High Density Development

  • High-density development will put pressure on our infrastructure
  • High-density development will increase school budgets
  • High-density development will require additional first responders, and police resources and personnel
  • Due to high-density in this area, NJ Transit will increase the number and length of the trains causing more delays getting across the Causeway. This will make it difficult to get your children to school on time, and for emergency vehicles to respond to the Eastside

School Enrollment

  • School enrollment for Dorchester, WCL Middle School and Pascack Hills may see a student body increase. With all the neighboring development in Park Ridge and Montvale, what are the plans to accommodate a rise in enrollment?
  • What will Park Ridge do when they outgrow their high school; will they ask to join Hills?
  • Will WCL remain an attractive town when the quality of our school system is negatively affected?

Inadequate Space

  • The 188 Broadway applicant's proposed 111 parking spaces which exceeds the required number of 97 and means that the parking lot will be very crowded.
  • There will be minimal maneuverability for emergency vehicles
  • There will be insufficient open space, no landscaping, and no outdoor sitting area or lifestyle amenities for tenants

Risk Posed by 2nd Building

  • The proposed 2nd building does not offer a buffer zone between the tree lined hill behind it and the residential homes nearby.
  • If a fire were to break out during a dry period and fueled by winds coming off the lake, it could quickly spread the fire up the hill to the residential homes overlooking 188 Broadway.
  • This risk impact is compounded by having only one ingress/egress driveway, insufficient parking maneuverability for emergency vehicles and delays in crossing the causeway

Recommendations

  • Residents are not saying WCL can't evolve
  • All development must fit with the character of Woodcliff Lake
  • No spot zoning
  • Sensible development
  • Woodcliff Lake is designated "Tree City USA" and should stay that way
  • Woodcliff Lake is a town more like Ho-Ho-Kus. Broadway should look like a quaint town, not a street of apartment buildings.

See More Critical Issues Why 188 Broadway is a Bad Idea

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