Mahwah November 4, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 3 Land strip status continues to dog subdivision by Frank J. McMahon The status of a narrow strip of land that borders the northern portion of a 7.7-acre site between Wyckoff Avenue and Skytop Drive on the border between Mahwah and Ramsey, continued to be a point of discussion at the last meeting of the Mahwah Planning Board. The land in question is shown on the township’s tax map with the name Division Place. The status of that land was questioned at the meeting by Michael Kelly, Mahwah’s township engineer, who said his review of the status of that parcel has not satisfied him that it has ever been vacated or “distinguished” by the township, and the matter still needs to be resolved. Robert Inglima, the attorney for property owners, claimed his clients own the strip of land, have a deed to it, have paid title insurance on it, and it has never been a street and, therefore, does not have to be vacated. Inglima explained that, when the strip of land was sold many years ago by a previous owner, that previous owner retained the right to use the land to access Wyckoff Avenue, but the land always remained in private ownership. He further explained that any concern that the strip of land may have been a street was eliminated by a 1962 township ordinance, which created a new development on the property. “There is no question we own it (the strip of land) and no one has asserted that we don’t own it,” Inglima said. Peter Scandariato, the planning board’s attorney, agreed, saying Inglima’s clients do own it because they have title to it. He advised the board that it cannot get into the issue of private ownership rights. “It is not for this board to determine who has the rights to the property,” Scandariato said. He added that, if the subdivision is not affecting the easement, it is not an issue for the board. The owners of the property, George and Deborah Kayal, want to subdivide their four-lot residential property into seven single family residential lots, which would include two existing lots with existing dwellings on Wyckoff Avenue and a cul-desac that would extend from Skytop Drive to access the other five lots. One of the four existing lots is Division Place, the 25-foot wide strip of land that extends from Skytop Drive to Wyckoff Avenue. The Kayals want to locate the cul-de-sac on part of that strip of land, but that would mean that several properties in Ramsey which abut the Kayal property would then have a second frontage on a public road. To eliminate that situation, the Kayals proposed that a three-foot wide landscaped strip of property separate the cul-de-sac from the Ramsey properties and be maintained by one of the owners of the newly created lots. John D’Anton, the attorney retained by several neighbors of the Kayal property to represent their interests in this matter, maintains that the strip of land is a “paper street” that the township would have to vacate in order to permit the subdivision. That course of action would require splitting the owner- ship of that strip of land among the Kayals and the abutting property owners. That would reduce the size of the Kayal property and impact the size of their proposed lots. D’Anton wants the Kayals to reduce the number of proposed lots to six and to locate the cul-de-sac access from Wyckoff Avenue to avoid creating a dangerous intersection with Skytop Drive. A traffic expert has testified, however, that the traffic impact of the proposed subdivision and cul-de-sac from Skytop Drive would be minimal. A professional planner who testified on behalf of the Kayals said that Skytop Drive is a less traveled road and it is always better to bring in a new culde-sac from the road that has less traffic volume. Meanwhile, the Kayal’s professional engineer is continuing to work with the township’s water utility engineer to search for ways to provide adequate water to the area for fire protection. That aspect of the subdivision application is expected to presented to the board on Nov. 9. “You be the Star on the Red Carpet” “You Be the Chef” We Are Parties • Playland • Archade • Turf/Sports • Baseball • Wacky Science Friday, November 6th • 7-9 pm Family Fun Nights will run the 1st Friday of the month from November through June. CALL FOR DETAILS!!! FREE Birthday Child or Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Playland Bring this ad for a 11-4-09 janine InTheSwing3x3(11-4-09) 3 x 5”