To start off the highly anticipated council meeting, Mayor Packer lead a very nice tribute to Former Mayor Hahn by having the opera La Bohème act 3 play while having GRTV focus on a picture of former Mayor Hahn and asking for a moment of reflection of the work he did. After that, it was business as usual.
The 2016 budget was passed. You can view it here.
Final reading of ordnance 1737 to change the Source way to Jean Baker Wunder Way was voted down. Per several of Jeans friends that spoke at the last council meeting, ,Jean would never have wanted her name on any sign. She was very happy with having it the Source Way. This showed how humble a person she was.
There was a first reading of Ord. #1741 – First Reading – AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 225 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE BOROUGH OF GLEN ROCK 1971, ENTITLED “WATER”, TO REPLACE SECTION 225-5, “REGULATIONS” WITH NEW REGULATIONS REGARDING OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE WATER IRRIGATION CONSERVATION MEASURES.
GR Environmental Commission (GREC) worked with Councilwomen Amy Martin and Mary Jane Surrago to develop these new water conservation measures. More details will be following.
This first reading passed.
Before the Public Comment period and the AR-1’s final reading, Mayor Packer announced that because of the concern of the Density, the developer contacted the borough with a proposal of reducing the density (units / acre) from 30 to 25. Because of the change, the Ordnance would have to go back to the planning board for approval. However, the final vote on the current AR-1 proposal took place as is with 30 units per acre.
Ord. # 1739 – Final Reading – AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 230 OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF GLEN ROCK, 1971 ENTITLED “ZONING” BEING AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A UNIFORM SET OF ZONING REQUIREMENTS; TO ADD AN AR-1 AGE RESTRICTED HOUSING DISTRICT.
During the Public comment section, many residents expressed their concern with not just the density, but also the traffic patterns. Resident Greg Morgan, repeated his concern about the density and was glad to finally see a potential site map. Seeing this site map increased his concern with the setback of only being 40 feet.
Planning Board Chairman Bob VanLangen also spoke about the AR-1. He proceeded to say that 91% of our towns tax base is coming from residential housing taxes, and we can not sustain this for many years. To fix this we need to look at different ways, through commercial taxes, to help change this for the better. He also said, that Glen Rock needs to learn to get things done. In addition, he urged the council to listen to the professionals that they pay to give them their advice. They are the ones trained to make the recommendations.
Glen Rock resident Gabe Bullaro also expressed that he thinks that Glen Rock residents families should be the first choice to rent the units, similar to Glen Courts.
Terry Moore, resident and former council member, compared the AR-1 to the dispute several years ago about adding the extra parking spaces by the mainline train station. People then did not feel the need for the parking spaces then, but now today, we need even more spaces.
After the reading of the final ordnance 1739, the ordinance failed to pass by a by a 4-2 vote.
Councilman Mike O’Hagan: To many moving parts in this ordinance right now. This vote does not mean that this type of housing is not needed, and agrees that the 91% residential tax base is not sustainable. He then reiterated that he is concerned with the density, and that the developer did come back with different numbers that everyone will reexamine.
Councilman Art Pazan: He stated first that he used to be on the zoning and planning board. The town needs diverse group housing, but other parts of the borough may be more appropriate. We also need more revenue from projects like this.
Councilwoman Mary Jane Surrago: Agreed with the reasons given by Mike and Art.
Councilwoman Amy Martin: Agrees that there is a great need for diverse housing, but not in this location. She also expressed her concern with the density. Ms. Martin then pointed out that if Bottle King is any example of the expertise of the professionals we refer to, it does not give her great confidence in this ordinance and that this does not sit well with her.
Councilman Skip Huisking: Concerned with the density also
Councilwoman Kristine Morieko: She thanked the developer and expressed her respect of his willingness to work with us. There have been a lot of changes and progress. She aggress that the need exists. Concerned also about the density.
4-2 against the ordinance.
Mayor Packer then took time to agree it is important to listen to everyone regarding matters like this. But he also took time to say we have to look at opportunities like this and consider projects that will help slow down tax increases.