Franklin Lakes September 30, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 9 Board approves subdivision without water service by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Planning Board has approved a three-lot subdivision on Marie Court near Franklin Lake Road without obtaining a commitment on the part of the property owners to extend a water line onto their property. The board had urged applicants Sherif and Omneya Elfar, the owners of the two existing lots on the property, to pay the cost of extending a water line onto the property based on the fact that they were asking the board to approve a variance to include a “paper” right-of-way in the form of a culde-sac on the site to allow the three lots to front on a public street. The variance will allow the cul-de-sac to appear on the plans, but it will not be constructed. A long driveway will extend from Marie Court through the cul-de-sac area to provide access to the third lot. Board member Joseph Pullaro argued that the applicants are saving about $40,000 by not having to construct the cul-de-sac, and they will be spending another $24,000 to install two new wells as compared to the estimated $90,000 cost to extend the water line onto the property. He voiced the opinion that it would not, therefore, be such a financial burden on them to extend the water line. Harold Cook, the attorney for the Elfars, explained that his clients are willing to grant an easement on their property to the borough should United Water NJ, or the borough, ever decide to extend a water line to their property. Cook said it would be an undue burden to force his client to install the water line for one additional house on their property. The attorney pointed out that the borough does not have an ordinance that requires an applicant to put in a water line for one house, and it would not be equitable to make the Elfars do so. “There is no ordinance that says my applicants must hook up to city water if there is no need for a variance,” Cook said, adding, “There is an ordinance concerning the cul-de-sac, and we are asking for a variance for that.” Cook said he would agree with Pullaro’s position if there were an ordinance that required a developer to connect to city water, but Planning Board Attorney John Spizziri said he did not find anything in the borough code that requires an applicant to hook up to a water line. He explained that the land use law is very clear that a developer can be charged for a share of the cost of an off tract improvement, such as this water line, based on the benefit to the developer, but not the entire cost. The balance of that cost would have to be borne by the borough, Spizziri explained. Pullaro then referred to a letter from the borough’s fire official, Steve Linz, in which he called for a water main to be extended down Marie Court. Cook argued that such a request must be consistent with the land use law and, in this case, the requirement of the fire official is at odds with the land use law. There was no comment on the application from the public, and the board voted 7-2 to approve the application, with Pullaro and board member Julius Lauber voting against the approval. Lauber pointed out that the previous owner of this property wanted to subdivide the land, but could not because the borough did not have a “paper” cul-de-sac policy at that time. He explained his negative vote, saying he felt the developer should have been more cooperative in providing the water line in order to help the borough attain its goal of providing United Water NJ service to all areas of the municipality. The existing two-lot property is located in the A-40 residential zone, which requires minimum lot sizes of 40,000 square feet. Each of the three proposed lots in the subdivision would exceed that minimum. The new third lot will have access to Marie Court via a 150-foot driveway that will run through the “paper” cul-de-sac. The adjoining property owners have agreed to each maintain the area around the driveway. The two lots are currently fully developed with dwellings located on them. One of the lots has two sheds and a garage, which will be removed along with the dwelling on that parcel. New homes will be constructed on the other two lots, and all three homes will obtain water from wells. Borough hosts forum on sewers Franklin Lakes Mayor Maura DeNicola and the borough council will hold a public information forum on the installation of sanitary sewers in the business district along Franklin Avenue and adjoining areas. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m., in the council chambers at borough hall. The Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority is considering the installation of a sewer main and pump station that could potentially provide sanitary sewer service to users in the downtown business district and adjoining areas. The presentation will explain the status and possible scope of the sewer project. This forum will bring borough residents and potential users of the system up-to-date on the issues involved with the construction and financing of this project. The mayor, council, and borough professionals will be present to answer questions following the presentation. WE’RE BACK Halloween Store 15% OFF Choose from thousands of costumes & accessories Dogs - Infants - Kids - Teens - Adults Funny to Scary - Conservative to Sexy We Have It All all purchases through OCTOBER 7, 2009 We Accept All Competitors Coupons • Only one coupon per customer AVO HIGHWID AYS 201-891-9666 693 Wyckoff Avenue (Entrance by Wyckoff YMCA) 201-644-0285 350 Ramapo Valley Rd. (Rt.202) Oakland, NJ (Coppertree Mall) Wyckoff, NJ