Little Falls Board Denies Zen Real Estate Building Application

In the most recent Little Falls Planning Board meeting, the Board denied the application from Zen Real Estate LLC for various variances required for their property development. This decision was reached due to a lack of affirmative votes. Zen Real Estate’s application had been a continuation from a previous hearing, and revised plans were presented which included a 20-foot setback and a 30-foot height, intended to address concerns about visual impact from neighboring properties. However, discussions at the meeting revealed persistent concerns about the visual impact of the rooftop and the safety of potential installations. Despite suggestions to condition any screening to the review and approval of the planner, the board could not resolve the variances being sought, leading to the denial of the application.

The board also engaged in discussions about a property in the B1 Zone, proposed to remain as a single-family home, which was situated on Cedar Grove Road. The orientation of the home was debated, with conflicting views on whether the front was Cedar Grove Road or Hudson. Variances for setbacks were a focal point of this discussion, and a physical survey of the property was introduced. Public comments were opened, but there were no speakers. The attorney for the property clarified the variances being sought, and after a debate focusing on the D1 use variance and the C variances, the board voted to approve the application. The approval was significant in that there was mention of the potential future rezoning of the property and surrounding properties to r1b.

Another matter involved a new application from Roger and Wendy McNeil for a D1 variance and several C1 variances to construct a new home. The McNeils’ attorney expressed confusion regarding the property’s zoning and highlighted the family’s long history with the home. While the architect presented plans that complied with flood zone requirements and discussed the addition of a fence that may require a variance, the board did not reach a decision on this application.

Furthermore, the board delved into proposed changes to a residence which included several extensions and an elevation of the foundation to meet flood elevation requirements. The architect assured the board of the home’s compliance with the special flood hazard area ordinance and addressed concerns regarding the height of the building, flood vents, and the conversion of a pantry to a laundry room. Discussions also covered the property’s connection to public utilities, the need for proper drainage, and a survey of the property. While the public had the opportunity to address the testimony, no one stepped forward. The board members continued to express concerns about the impact on the neighborhood and requested more information before rendering a decision.

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.
James Damiano
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