Page 4 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • June 3, 2009 Mahwah Board approves high fence for car storage lot by Frank J. McMahon The Mahwah Board of Adjustment has approved a variance from the township’s zoning code pertaining to fence heights to allow Prestige Motors to install eight foot high fencing around its 16.5 acre vehicle storage lot between Stag Hill Road, Ramapo Valley Road, and South Houvenkopf Road. Black chain link fencing will be installed along the rear and side yards of the property, which will be used for the temporary storage of up to 794 new and just-off-lease cars, and an ornamental aluminum estate style fence will be installed along the two front yard sides of the site along Stag Hill Road and South Houvenkopf Road. Bruce Whitaker, the attorney for Prestige Motors, which is leasing the site from the property owner Short Line Bus Tours Inc., told the board his client’s insurance company requires the eight foot high fencing for security reasons to prevent theft and vandalism. The township’s zoning code permits six foot high fencing in rear yards and four-foot fences in front yards. He also advised that there would be cameras mounted on the fencing and the township’s police chief has reviewed the eight-foot fencing and approved of it because it would limit the surveillance needed by the police department at the lot. Joan Foley, director of administration for Prestige Motors, advised that the lot would be used to store highend cars such as those made by Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, BMW, Lexus, and Toyota. She confirmed the need for the eight-foot fencing to prevent vandalism and theft of those automobiles. Foley confirmed that there would also be lighting on the site from dusk to dawn and an area around the fence for police patrols. She said Prestige would maintain the fencing, lighting, and anything related to security. She also advised that there would be security guards at the site. James O’Connor, a retired Newark police officer who was on that city’s auto theft task force and said he is familiar with security measures for the storage of motor vehicles, confirmed that the eight-foot fencing is appropriate. “When you have a lot of this size with a low fence, you are inviting trouble,” he told the board. In May 2008, the township’s planning board voted 5-3 to approve the use of the site for a motor vehicle parking lot. The property is located in the township’s B-40 highway business zone. Prestige will use five aces of it to store new and lease-back vehicles. Some planning board members voiced concerns about the potential impact of this use on several nearby township Helpful Hints Helpful Hints from wells, and the Ramapo River from which these wells draw their drinking water for the residents. They also expressed concern about the effect of this use on the aquifer under this property, which provides water supply for the township. At one time, a porous pavement surface was proposed for the site, but that proposal was abandoned due to concerns expressed about the aquifer. A building that was originally proposed for the site was eliminated from the plan due to the board’s concern that it would be used to change the oil in the cars, and some of that oil could seep into the ground and affect the aquifer. A landscaped entry is planned on South Houvenkopf Road, and that road will be improved by Prestige. Whitaker told the planning board at the time that the plan would eliminate the issues raised by residents of Stag Hill Road and it would result in a cleanup of South Houvenkopf Road, which would be crowned and curbed on the side of the property owned by Prestige. Whittaker said that would eliminate the parking of trucks in that area. Several conditions were made part of that planning board’s approval, including the condition that the truck turning radii and drainage plan for the site be approved by the township’s engineer, and that a drip irrigation system be provided on the site to maintain the landscaping. Another condition provided that the board would recommend to the township council that no parking signs be placed on South Houvenkopf Road. Peter Says... ome CLEARCUT WINDOW & SIDING INC. 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