Paramus NJ garden center housing plan is moving forward

PARAMUS – Two developments planned for two nurseries, one of which closed years ago, cleared another hurdle last week when the borough council approved the zoning changes.

Although neither of the two plans has yet been submitted to the Paramus planning committee, the borough council last week approved changes to a 2019 zoning ordinance. The changes have been sent to the Planning Council. earlier this month for review.

The 2019 ordinance had designated several nurseries in the city as areas in need of rehabilitation, including Joy’s Farm, Eisele’s Nursery, Denny Wiggers Garden Center, land on the former Tree Land Nursery, and vacant land near Parkway Primary School. .

The town planning council identified the nurseries as suitable for development as the borough sought to provide its fair share of a regional need for affordable housing.

The properties are among the few remaining developable sites in the borough, officials said. Declaring an area in need of rehabilitation does not allow a municipality to force an owner to move or cede ownership through the eminent domain.

Richard Masiello, from Emerson, purchases vegetable plants for his garden at Joy's Farm and Garden Center in Paramus, NJ on Monday, May 24, 2021.

Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said that while no one wants to see nurseries develop in the city, it is beyond the control of the council. What the board can control, however, is how they are developed, LaBarbiera said. He said he was happy that improving the changes was a unanimous board decision.

“They will minimize the impact on our schools and the load on our services while ensuring a product and development consistent with the residential character of the surrounding areas,” said LaBarbiera.

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The recently approved changes would also include zoning changes for the former Revicki farms on Spring Valley Road, which has not functioned as a farm or nursery in years. A developer is seeking to bring 24 townhouses to the vacant site.

Seniors housing is proposed for Joy’s Farm and would have two buildings: one would be similar to Brightview, an assisted living facility on Forest Avenue, and the second would have dedicated housing for people aged 55 and over.

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The borough council already amended the 2019 zoning ordinance in October for the proposed Joy’s Farm project, but introduced an additional amendment last week that would change the height from 48 feet to 56 feet to accommodate a sloping roof. instead of a flat roof.

For Revicki Farms, there is wording in the ordinance that refers to a maximum of eight units per acre, which would leave the project with 23.46 units. One change specifies that it can be rounded to 24 units.

In other changes, no unit would be allowed to have three bedrooms unless it was designated as affordable housing, and the roof and balcony overhangs could extend 2 feet into the setback of the building. building. There was a request to move the fence back from the property line to save trees.

Now that council has approved the zoning changes, both projects will go to the planning council for review.

Stephanie Noda is a local reporter for For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


Twitter: @ snoda11