Additional zoning changes may come to Paramus nursery developments –

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Two Paramus nurseries — one operating and one shut down years ago — are slated for housing projects, including townhouses and senior housing.

While neither plan has gone before the Paramus Planning Board yet, the Borough Council introduced amendments to a 2019 zoning ordinance last week that would make way for the projects. The changes have been sent to the Planning Board to review.

The 2019 ordinance had designated multiple nurseries in town as areas in need of rehabilitation, including Joy’s Farm, Eisele’s Nursery, Denny Wiggers Garden Center, a lot on the former Tree Land Nursery and a vacant lot near Parkway Elementary School.

The former Revicki Farms on Spring Valley Road, which hasn’t operated as a farm or nursery for years, would become 24 townhouses  under a scaled-back proposal.

Senior housing being proposed for Joy’s Farm would have two buildings: One would be similar to Brightview, an assisted-living facility on Forest Avenue, and the second would have age-restricted housing for people 55 and over.

The Borough Council already changed the 2019 zoning ordinance in October for the proposed Joy’s Farm project, but introduced an additional amendment last week that would alter the height.

The properties are among the few remaining developable sites in the borough, officials have said. Declaring an area in need of rehabilitation does not permit a municipality to force a property owner to move or yield the property through eminent domain.

The Planning Board reviewed the proposed changes to the zoning ordinance for both projects last Thursday night. They will later be sent back to the council. For Joy’s Farm, the main difference was increasing the height from 48 feet to 56 to accommodate a pitched roof instead of a flat roof.

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For Revicki Farms, there is language in the ordinance that refers to a maximum of eight units per acre, which would leave the project with 23.46 units. One change clarifies that it can be rounded up to 24 units.

In other changes, no dwelling would be permitted to have three bedrooms unless designated as affordable housing, and roof and balcony overhangs could extend 2 feet into the setback of the building. There was a request to move fencing back from the property line to spare trees.

The amendments now go to the Planning Board. If approved, both projects will eventually make their way to the Planning Board for review. 

While Chairman Peter Caminiti agreed that a pitched roof would look better than a flat roof, he made a recommendation to the mayor and council as part of the approvals that the developers for Joy’s Farm look into lowering the height of the building.

“The issue, of course, is not to change the heights in the interior of the building or the number of units, it’s just simply to see if we can soften up the building a bit,” Caminiti said.

Stephanie Noda is a local reporter for For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


Twitter: @snoda11