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May 18 2017

Teaneck planners begin review of AvalonBay s proposed apartment complex – News #nyc #apartment #rentals

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Teaneck planners begin review of AvalonBay’s proposed apartment complex

TEANECK — Testimony began on Thursday on a site plan application by AvalonBay Communities Inc. to construct an apartment complex off Windsor Road, with much of the discussion with the Planning Board focusing on the developer’s proposed fire-prevention measures.

AvalonBay is proposing to build a 248-unit, four-story apartment complex, which also will have some loft space, at 1775 Windsor Road, the site of the World of Wings butterfly museum. AvalonBay also would build an adjacent five-story parking garage. Amenities would include a fitness center and pool.

AvalonBay first presented its informal vision for the 5.88-acre site to the Township Council in May 2015. The Planning Board amended the township’s Master Plan in the fall to allow multifamily housing at the site, which previously was zoned for light-industrial use. The developer also was asking for approval of two zoning variances, one related to the height of a retaining wall.

There were few residents who attended the hearing on Thursday, though many had expressed opposition over the project when the council rezoned the area in December. Then, many residents voiced concerns over the site’s proximity to railroad tracks used by trains that carry hazardous materials, including Bakken crude oil. Oil-carrying trains have been involved in a number of incendiary derailments across North America in recent years, including one that killed 47 people in a town in Quebec in 2013.

Opponents also cited concerns about AvalonBay’s construction methods, which came under scrutiny after a devastating fire consumed much of one of the developer’s apartment complexes in Edgewater in January 2015, displacing hundreds from their homes. Fire officials said the apartments were built to code but that the lightweight wood-frame construction and truss-style roofs at the Edgewater complex caused the fire to spread more quickly.

On Thursday, one resident, Naomi Cramer, asked the board to ensure that the developer uses high-quality materials.

Ron Ladell, senior vice president at AvalonBay, said the developer is going above what is required for its fire-safety measures. Unlike the Edgewater complex, Ladell said, the proposed building in Teaneck will have a more extensive sprinkler system that will cover attic and interstitial spaces — “It’s a tremendous difference,” Ladell said.

He also said the building will have masonry fire walls, which also isn’t required.

The board questioned whether the developer will comply with a review by the township’s Fire Department, which made a variety of requests. One was for the developer to provide a generator as back-up power for the elevators and emergency lighting.

“This is something that I absolutely want to see done,” said Deputy Mayor Katz, who was sworn in as a Planning Board member in place of Mayor Lizette Parker, who died last month.

Ladell said it is something the developer will review.

The hearing has been carried to June 9.

If the plan is approved, construction would not begin until next year, Ladell said in a recent interview.

Other apartment projects are currently under way in Teaneck. The Township Council in February changed the zoning of the former Verizon building at 1500 Teaneck Road, which has been vacant for years, to also allow multifamily housing there. Some neighbors also opposed a project there proposed by BNE Real Estate.

Michael Karas/staff photographer

Teaneck resident Naomi Cramer, speaking at the Teaneck Planning Board meeting on Thursday, said she is concerned about the materials that would be used to construct the apartment complex.

Teaneck planners begin review of AvalonBay’s proposed apartment complex

TEANECK — Testimony began on Thursday on a site plan application by AvalonBay Communities Inc. to construct an apartment complex off Windsor Road, with much of the discussion with the Planning Board focusing on the developer’s proposed fire-prevention measures.

AvalonBay is proposing to build a 248-unit, four-story apartment complex, which also will have some loft space, at 1775 Windsor Road, the site of the World of Wings butterfly museum. AvalonBay also would build an adjacent five-story parking garage. Amenities would include a fitness center and pool.

AvalonBay first presented its informal vision for the 5.88-acre site to the Township Council in May 2015. The Planning Board amended the township’s Master Plan in the fall to allow multifamily housing at the site, which previously was zoned for light-industrial use. The developer also was asking for approval of two zoning variances, one related to the height of a retaining wall.

There were few residents who attended the hearing on Thursday, though many had expressed opposition over the project when the council rezoned the area in December. Then, many residents voiced concerns over the site’s proximity to railroad tracks used by trains that carry hazardous materials, including Bakken crude oil. Oil-carrying trains have been involved in a number of incendiary derailments across North America in recent years, including one that killed 47 people in a town in Quebec in 2013.

Opponents also cited concerns about AvalonBay’s construction methods, which came under scrutiny after a devastating fire consumed much of one of the developer’s apartment complexes in Edgewater in January 2015, displacing hundreds from their homes. Fire officials said the apartments were built to code but that the lightweight wood-frame construction and truss-style roofs at the Edgewater complex caused the fire to spread more quickly.

On Thursday, one resident, Naomi Cramer, asked the board to ensure that the developer uses high-quality materials.

Ron Ladell, senior vice president at AvalonBay, said the developer is going above what is required for its fire-safety measures. Unlike the Edgewater complex, Ladell said, the proposed building in Teaneck will have a more extensive sprinkler system that will cover attic and interstitial spaces — “It’s a tremendous difference,” Ladell said.

He also said the building will have masonry fire walls, which also isn’t required.

The board questioned whether the developer will comply with a review by the township’s Fire Department, which made a variety of requests. One was for the developer to provide a generator as back-up power for the elevators and emergency lighting.

“This is something that I absolutely want to see done,” said Deputy Mayor Katz, who was sworn in as a Planning Board member in place of Mayor Lizette Parker, who died last month.

Ladell said it is something the developer will review.

The hearing has been carried to June 9.

If the plan is approved, construction would not begin until next year, Ladell said in a recent interview.

Other apartment projects are currently under way in Teaneck. The Township Council in February changed the zoning of the former Verizon building at 1500 Teaneck Road, which has been vacant for years, to also allow multifamily housing there. Some neighbors also opposed a project there proposed by BNE Real Estate.





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