Allendale Land Use Board Deliberates Home Addition and Community Impacts

The Allendale Land Use Board recently convened to discuss a range of topics, with attention given to the application submitted by Robert and Jennifer Gerard for a second-story addition to their single-family home. During the meeting, the board reviewed several items, including resolutions for a former bank’s conversion into a restaurant and a time extension for a renovation project. Nonetheless, the Gerards’ application took precedence due to its potential neighborhood impact and variance requirements.

The proposed second-story addition for the Gerards’ home became the focal point of the meeting as the applicants, represented by their architect, sought approval for their project. The addition, designed to cover only half of the house’s current footprint, promised no changes to ground coverage, impervious surface area, or drainage patterns. To address concerns about the potential impact on neighboring properties, particularly regarding runoff water, the architect assured the board that no additional drains would direct rainwater towards adjacent lots. The board’s inquiries extended to the aesthetic continuity of the property, with the applicants confirming that new siding materials would match the existing exterior.

A critical aspect of the hearing involved the board’s scrutiny of the proposed chimney height, as it was unclear whether building code requirements had been met. Upon questioning, the architect admitted they had yet to review the specific height regulations for chimneys, signaling a possible oversight in the planning stages. Furthermore, the board examined the need for a variance concerning the rear yard. The architect cited the home’s longstanding condition since 1952 and the pre-existing undersized lot as grounds for the variance request, which the board took under consideration.

The public hearing segment of the meeting concluded without a definitive decision on the Gerard’s application. The board indicated that a future meeting would determine the outcome of the application.

Additionally, the Land Use Board engaged in discussions regarding the overall impact of construction within the town. Council members acknowledged the disturbances caused to residents due to ongoing development activities. Among the topics were the management of local flora, specifically addressing concerns about the planting of bamboo and the preservation of existing trees near the property under discussion. The applicants assured that the neighboring trees would remain undisturbed, although trimming would occur if necessary. A neighbor voiced unease over the sightlines and the addition’s potential to alter the neighborhood’s character, as well as worries about construction up to the property line.

Further, the board tackled resolutions involving community accessibility improvements, such as the installation of handicap ramps. A proposal to adjust the multiplier for variances was also discussed.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Amy E. Wilczynski
Land Use Board Officials:
Michael A. Sirico, Melissa Bergen, Ron Kistner (Borough Administrator), Frank Putrino, John Dalo, Joseph Daloisio, Gregg Butler, Jason Warzala, Chris Botta (Board Attorney), Mike Vreeland (Board Engineer), Ed Snieckus (Professional Planner)

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