Franklin Lakes February 4, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 7 Planners opt not to extend Cheyenne Drive by Frank J. McMahon The members of the Franklin Lakes Planning Board have reached the consensus that they do not want to extend the Cheyenne Drive cul-de-sac to connect to a three lot subdivision being proposed for a steeply sloped rocky property at the end of Omaha Way. The end of the Cheyenne Drive cul-de-sac is located west of this site, which is steeply sloped and heavily wooded. Several members of the board expressed concern about potential drainage problems on the site because of the rocky nature of the land and the steepness of the property. The subdivision has been proposed by Mark Built Homes of Union and that firm’s attorney, Jerome Vogel, and its professional engineer, Craig Hermann, appeared before the planning board recently to review the plans that had been prepared with and without the cul-de-sac extension. Hermann, who prepared the plans, told the board the site is approximately 14 acres and is surrounded by residential properties on three sides and the High Mountain Park property in Wayne on the south side. The property is in the borough’s A-130 zone, which permits 80,000 square foot lots if water or sewer service is available. Hermann provided the board with a letter from United Water indicating that water will be provided to the site, so the plans reflect lots that conform to the 80,000 square foot minimum requirement. He explained however, that if Cheyenne Drive were to be extended, there would be 50,125 cubic feet of excavation required, which would add 3,341 truck trips on and off the site versus 1,450 truck trips if the road is not extended. In addition, he said the extension of that road would require 58,268 square feet of additional disturbance, the retaining wall heights for the road would have to be extended above the four feet that is permitted, and there would be 13,998 square feet of additional impervious coverage in the area. More trees would also have to be removed to extend the road, according to Hermann. If the road were not extended, there would be less effect on the steep slopes in the area, he said. “If the board wants to extend it we can live with it,” Vogel told the board, “but good planning indicates it should not be extended.” Planning Board Chairman Frank Conte explained his support for not extending the road, saying the area may be a habitat for some endangered species and there would be more environmental elements preserved by not extending the road. Other members of the board agreed, but board member Joseph Pullaro cautioned that the challenge with this proposal would be drainage because the site is sitting on rock. Board member Jay Lazerowitz also agreed, but voiced the opinion that, in fairness to the public, the board should not make a final decision on the road extension until the whole application has been reviewed. Conte concurred, and suggested the board come to a consensus on the issue, but not make a final decision on it at this meeting. Vogel acknowledged that the board’s consensus would not be considered as a final action on the road extension issue and the board would continue to have the option to require it. Pullaro suggested to Vogel, nevertheless, that it may be advisable to locate the three houses proposed for the site on two of the lots and leave the third lot undisturbed, and Vogel agreed to recommend that to his client. In his report to the board, James Kelly, a professional engineer from Boswell McClave Engineering, the borough’s engineering firm, advised that confirmed state maps indicate that a threatened or endangered habitat is located within the area in question. He recommended that, should the application be approved, the properties be restricted from closing off or fencing in the subdivided lots in order to encourage the continued free roaming and habitation of the undeveloped portions of the property by the threatened or endangered species. When the board continues its review of this application on March 4, it will consider the extent of the impact on the steep slopes in the area and the several variances that will be required for the development of the property. The Franklin Lakes Seniors will host a seven day Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Entertainment Spectacular from April 26 to May 2. 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