Teaneck Council Explores Benefits of Accessory Dwelling Units For Seniors

In the recent Teaneck Town Council meeting, the principal topic of discussion was the potential implementation and benefits of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) within the community. Other discussions included the establishment of a new advisory board focusing on the town’s fields and deliberations on field maintenance and renovations. Various community events, collaborations, and grant acquisitions were also reviewed, along with discussions about hiring in the local police force and redevelopment plans in specific areas of Teaneck.

A director of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) led a detailed discussion on the introduction of ADUs in Teaneck, outlining the many benefits of these smaller, independent residential units located on the same property as a single-family home. She pointed to their potential in fostering age-friendly environments and rejuvenating community demographics. Citing AARP survey data, she revealed that over 60% of respondents would consider constructing ADUs for reasons such as housing loved ones, having space for guests, or increasing their home value.

During the Q&A, Deputy Mayor Elie Y. Katz inquired about occupancy guidelines for potential ADU ordinances, while council member Mark J. Schwartz raised concerns over possible parking and traffic issues. The AARP offical reassured the council by referencing Portland’s successful history with ADUs, noting no significant increases in parking or traffic issues. She encouraged the council to explore resources available on the ARP website for a deeper understanding of ADUs, offering continued support from ARP in further deliberations and educational initiatives surrounding ADUs.

The council expressed a keen interest in the concept, appreciating the AARP director’s insights and recognizing the need for further deliberations to draft a well-informed ordinance. They agreed on the potential benefits of ADUs and expressed a willingness to collaborate with experts to gather comprehensive data to guide the creation of a suitable policy for Teaneck.

The potential establishment of a new advisory board dedicated to the town’s fields was brought forward, with council member Hillary Goldberg suggesting a composition that includes representatives from all Teaneck sports organizations and a board of education member, to oversee policy development, maintenance, and scheduling for the fields. Discussions ensued on the appropriate nature of this board, with varied opinions on its necessity and structure. Karen Orgen proposed a task force as a more flexible alternative, with emphasis on stakeholder engagement and fast-tracking initiatives.

Among other topics discussed were upcoming community events including Halloween festivities, a modified Teaneck Day, and a flu clinic offering free shots for individuals with traditional Medicare Part B. Collaborative efforts with Age-Friendly Teaneck were highlighted, noting initiatives to cater to older residents living with disabilities.

The meeting also saw discussions on a new ordinance facilitating the hiring of “alternate route candidates” in the police force, aiming to save costs and expedite the hiring process. Public concerns raised in the meeting included worries about potential overdevelopment in specific areas of Teaneck and requests for increased investment in the town to retain spending within Teaneck.

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