An engineer began explaining the updated plans for a 14,600-square-foot CVS on the corner of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue to the Washington Township Zoning Board Tuesday night.
The revised plans have left out one of the previously included residential lots and no longer include the additional 4,000-square-foot retail store, but still would combine five residential properties. According to engineer David Caruso, most of the existing houses are in disrepair.
According to Carmine Alampi, the attorney for applicants First Hartford and CVS, they will need several variances, including one for putting a business in a residential zone and several for parking. However, the plans include a drive-through pharmacy window, which attorney Christopher Minks said requires another variance they have not asked for.
"The application is nothing short of devastating," Minks said after listing several issues with the plan.
Minks has been hired to object to the plan by Northgate Condominium Association.
Alampi argued that the drive-through has become a common feature of pharmacies and that it should be included, as the township master plan does not prohibit them.
"30 years ago, there were certain uses that were strange to us, Alampi said, referring to drive-through pharmacies. "Over the years they became part of our natural pattern."
Minks also said the application could not continue because Board Engineer Christopher Statile listed the stream behind the property as a Category One tributary in his report, which means it requires a 300-foot buffer. The Department of Environmental Protection previously determined that the stream was not one which required their protection, but Statile said the decision was based off a topographic map that did not show all the underground water connected to the nameless brook.
"If new information is provided to the state, then that detemination could be overturned," Statile said.
Board Chairman William Johnson said the board would consider the issue of the stream at the next hearing.
The board then ended the meeting after Board Attorney Donna Baboulis became of aware of a technicality which meant that sufficent notice may not have been sent. According to Caruso, there is a retaining wall that runs along a portion the western side of the properties and encroaches on a neighboring home. That means the encroached property will also have to be included in the application and property owners near that home will also have to receive notice about the planned CVS.
Alampi said he would send out notice of the plans again.
The hearing is expected to continue at a special meeting at 8 p.m. January 24, 2012 in the