CVS Resumes Application Despite DEP Decision
CVS may be able to get a permit from the DEP to allow them to build a new store on the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue despite a required buffer area around a nearby stream.
The Washington Township Zoning Board resumed hearing testimony about the application for a proposed CVS on the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue during their meeting Tuesday.
The fate of the project may still be determined by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP decided in April that the stream behind the site is a Category One waterway, which means all major developments — those on an acre or more of land — require a 300-foot buffer from the stream.
Tendai Richards, an attorney objecting to the plan on behalf of the Northgate Condominium Association, said the board should not continue hearing the project as long as the DEP has not given its approval.
"As things stand today, nothing can be done on this property," Richards said.
Carmine Alampi, representing applicant First Hartford Realty for CVS, said both the DEP and the zoning board could review the plan simultaneously.
Christopher Statile, the board engineer for this application, said the applicant could still appeal the DEP's dcision, seek a permit for the site or obtain a hardship waiver to allow them to build on the site.
The board voted unanimously at the meeting to continue hearing testimony for the plan.
"There could be a million permits, but we can't see the future, so we proceed," board Chairman William Johnson said.
Architect Robert Gehr then testified about the plan. Gehr said he designed the 14,508-square-foot building with some features he believed would fit in better in the residential zone, including earth tones and windows designed to look more like those found on houses. The side of the building facing the stream and neighboring homes would also include panels designed to look like windows to retain the residential feel while preventing lighting from inside the store from spilling onto neighbors' property, Gehr said.
"We wanted this to be more complimentary to this specific site," Gehr said.
The plans include a retail area, pharmacy, storage space and a service area including a break room and office for employees, according to Gehr. A drive-through for pharmacy customers was also included. The building would be 161 feet long and mostly about 23 feet tall, though a portion of the roof would pass the allowed 30-foot mark.
Board members requested Gehr make several changes to the plan, which he will be able to explain at the board's next meeting August 21.