Thursday, November 3, 2016

Planning Board

   On Monday-1-November the Bogota Planning Board  held a special meeting to continue to learn more about the planned redevelopment of the the former Hess/ Sifford  Ford site along W.Ft.Lee Rd.
Engineers  representing the River Development Corporation addressed the Board members and Borough professionals  about the redevelopment project.  This was a continuation of a previous planning meeting cover the same topic. Some of the main points discussed of the project, now called  "The River Club" was that it will consists of five buildings, A river walk along the Hackensack River, and a possible Dog Park.  Buildings 1-4 will be residential units only and be located on the South-West edge of the site. The Building will be arranged to follow the shore line of the river.  With the buildings being  rectangular  in shape, having the longest side facing the river. The buildings will start at the  Dillard Memorial Bridge  and will continue south to the NY&SW railroad tracks. The Fifth Building will be a  mixed unit structure with residential units and retail space on the first floor. There will be a total of 421 units  in all  they will consist of Studio, 1,2,& 3 bedroom apartments. 42 units be for affordable housing.  ( the 3 bedroom units will only be for affordable housing).
  There will be 852 parking spaces, 17 will be reversed for handicap parking. 742 parking will be for tenant use. The entrance to the tenant parking will have access through a secured gate, which will have also have visitor access.  If the board requires additional parking the plan of the dog park will be changed. There will be a 30'  wide "River Walk" between building 1-4 and the Hackensack River.  This will run the full length of the site along the river. This will be accessible to the public from dawn to dust. There will be a 12' sidewalk withing the river walk which will be strong and wide enough to accommodate all emergency equipment from both the Bogota & Hackensack Fire Dept. Between the sidewalk and the river, a landscape area will proved a "soft barrier" along the river while maintaining the view.  All the building and most of the parking areas will be raise to  10' above maximum flood stage, this is two feet higher than what is required by code.  Some of the parking areas will be below this elevation and will be signed to the possible of flooding.
  Another situation that was address is the need for a pumping system to connect the sites sewer system to the Borough's main line at River Rd. Due to the condition of the Borough sewer line a flow test has yet to still be performed. The Borough will now contract out the cleaning of their line in order to perform a 30 day flow test. The flow test is needed to provide information on the suitability of the planned pump system.  W. Ft Lee rd will be expanded with dedicated left turn lanes for access into the site. One will be the resident parking, the other for the retail parking. Two shelter bus stops will be added, one in each direction which will have a cut in to allow the normal flow of traffic. A third site entrance will be near the southern most part of the site  will allow for maintenance, trash removal and emergency service access when need.
    River Development partner Warren Waters spoke to the board towards the end of the meeting. Mr. Waters thanked the board for the opportunity to address the board and the public. He told the board about his commitment to  this project and on how it  will be beneficial to the residents of Bogota. Some of his ideas for the "The River Club" is to create an appealing  new "Front Door" to Bogota. He said that this comes with the responsibility have a visual pleasing development as well as a safe one for the tenant and the resident of Bogota. To this end  "The River Club"will have it's own security officers capability of monitoring the site in real time.  He also talked about how "The River Club" will be responsible for other concerns such as snow removal, unarraigned overnight parking  and access to the river walk after hours. The River Walk will be open to the public from dawn to dust with only tenant with key access available to it after that.
  Mr. Waters briefly talked about the amenities  of "The River Club"  such as a full size pool and patio area, and the dog park.
   In an interview with Mr Water by Bogota Blog NJ  he also talked about other ideas to assist "The River Club" to become more environmentally sustainable.  The use of runoff water from all the buildings to provide irrigation to the site gardens and lawns. The integration of a construction system which will allow solar panels to be added in the furture and the addition of chargers station for electric cars with a a space for "Zip Cars" to be available for use. He also talked about the idea for the retail space to be used by local business, including the possibility of food service " higher quality pizza, or deli" in order to serve the tenant and citizens of Bogota but in a way to maintain the visual appeal and provide a quality product.
    Due to time restraints  this hearing will continue at  the  next planning board meeting on Tuesday 22-November. This will be held in the second floor senior center located at 375 Larch Ave Ave Bogota, NJ. This meeting will start at 7:30p and is open to the public. While this will be at least the third hearing on this project which is a multi 100's of million of dollar invest by River Development  and along with the fact that the 13 acre site will be 2.5% of the area of the Borough, and upon completion, with all units occupied will add over 1% to the Bogota population there is a very cautious approach being taken.  But there is also the march of time which will play apart in the completion of this project to its ultimate goal of positive growth for Bogota.


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