Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Border Wars in Woodland Park

From The Clifton Journal:

A real estate developer is still eyeing a residential road atop Garret Mountain for service to a Woodland Park (formerly West Paterson) housing project, despite a City zoning board's unanimous decision to reject the proposal.

Since October of 2006, Garret Pointe Associates, based in Short Hills, has been battling Clifton's Zoning Board of Adjustment for permission to use Paxton Street as an entrance to 144 housing units that would sit on approximately 9 acres of an old quarry in Woodland Park, formerly West Paterson. A small fraction of the units would be designated as low and moderate income housing.

Last month, the Board voted to deny an application for a use variance to turn Paxton Street into an ingress for the complex.

"The access to the site that existed in West Paterson was to be built on the side of a cliff in Clifton. In preserving our namesake, as per our Master Plan and as per the state plan in protecting the environment, we chose what we could do to protect the mountain," said City Planner Dennis Kirwan.

Frank Carlet, the Clifton-based attorney for Garret Pointe, said the developer is not finished pushing for use of the roadway. He said the firm would take their case to court because Paxton Street is the only option for access to the apartments.

Holzi and fellow neighbors formed Mountainside Organization and have been fighting against development along the mountain for about 30 years. The West Paterson planning board originally denied the Garret Pointe application in 2002, but a state judge overturned the ruling.

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