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Board Begins Hearing Updated CVS Application

Objector says board cannot continue

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

B@B December 14, 2011 at 07:44 PM
It's all kabuki theatre. James Kourgelis owns the township and He Will Be Obeyed.
Carey Grant December 15, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Yup. Like it or lump it. That's the Township way. It used to be a nice place to live. Not anymore.
Grace Hogan December 18, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Anyone who believes that Kourgelis "owns the township and will be obeyed" or "like it or lump it" obviously hasn't been attending Council or Zoning Board meetings this past year. Defeatists are unaware that residents are holding the Township and Kourgelis accountable to the letter of the law (i.e. Municipal Land Use Law, case law, Township ordinances). Before B@B or Carey Grant roll over for Kourgelis or Township officials (or the unofficial bosses), try exercising your rights as citizens. Use it or lose it people.
Carey Grant December 19, 2011 at 09:12 PM
You go Hogie! Beat your that drum and wave that flag! All its going to do is raise your blood pressure and give you a stroke. Cell phone towers get built by the suckers who live by bad areas and stores get built by busy cornes. Nobody's rolling over. Its just the facts.
Grace Hogan December 19, 2011 at 09:37 PM
Without the citizenry's input, there are no checks and balances in government. Come to Council and Zoning Board meetings and lay it on the line for your elected and appointed officials. Meeting residents who may be of like mind could even be fun for you. You obviously feel strongly about Township issues. Your input is invaluable.
Carey Grant December 20, 2011 at 01:53 PM
They dont care.
resident December 21, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Be advised that the permit that the granted for the retaining wall was for a so called "planter". I beleive the fee was $79. How absurd! Also be advised the there are no existing permits which allowed for the 3 -4 ft. grading of all those lots with construction debris. The engineer and code officer never approved or tested the material dumped in those lots. Since precedence has been set by the town, feel free to grade your property with out obtaining permits and don't worry about summonses, because they don't exist either.

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