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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 , 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.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Leggate at JMLeggate@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Concerned July 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Here we go again. Won't the Planning board get involve before the fact rather than comment after our illustrious Zoning board says OK?
Marge July 19, 2012 at 08:03 PM
We have enough drug stores. A brand-new CVS is going up in Westwood. Enough is enough! Tear down those houses and plant some trees. We don't have enough of those. Now, there's an idea!
Concerned July 19, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Nice idea. Unfortunately, someone paid real money for ths site. They need to get it back. Let's make them build something more traffic. environment, master plan friendly. But in this great town don't hold your breath!
Edward J Rodriguez July 20, 2012 at 01:41 AM
We are talking about a monopoly. CVS is just trying to drive every drug store out of business. We have multiple problems in infusing yet another business on the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Ave (highway). Trust in the people for once. We have to look at the obvious. Rite Aid will have to close because of CVS and AP will be affected as well. That will in the long run give us yet another barren mall without income. They just want two things kill the competition and turn residential to commercial property ready for the highest commercial bidder if they are not successful in meeting building standards. Nice investment. But, as always, not for the residents of Washington township
Carey Grant July 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I'm looking forward to the improvement on that corner. Will it ever get built in my life time? So much talk so little action.
christina July 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Planting trees and making the property "park like" would be nice. What a nice thing to see upon entering the area instead of concrete and traffic. The traffic in that intersection will be a nightmare...make no mistake!
Township Resident July 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Nice but unrealistic. He bought those properties to make money. Maybe the town should have bought them but some would still complain about the town spending money such a purchase.
Falcon Fan July 20, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Improve the intersection. Why can't we ever get anything done in this town? The way it is now is not good and traffic is a joke. Westwood is fixing their traffic problems, why can't we?
Jeffrey Tammen July 20, 2012 at 02:47 PM
The town should Buy and make a park or commuter parking lot for town residents .propbally asking to much this has been a eyesore For the town for many yrs like 20 what is the town waiting for
Concerned July 20, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Go to a Council meeting and you'll see.
Gerald T. Brown July 23, 2012 at 09:49 AM
Give me a break, CVS is facing a 'hardship" with their application. The only group facing hardship are the residents of this community and all the commuters who have to go through the intersection on a daily basis. There are another group that have a "hardship", CVS competitors. What about the Ride Aid in town and the Walgreens in Hillsdale. Their attroney should have his head examined. Resident # 2

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