AR-1 ordinance concerns residents

A lawn sign on Prospect Street advising people to sign a petition in protest of AR-1 Ordinance

Photo Credit: Jenny DeStefano

A lawn sign on Prospect Street advising people to sign a petition in protest of AR-1 Ordinance

by Jenny DeStefano, Staff Writer

An area of Prospect Street was set to be rezoned to offer age restricted housing, much to some local residents’ dismay, for profit.

Multiple homeowners in the area were shocked to hear of the potential construction for age restricted housing. The new community would be for those of 55 years and older. A petition was quickly formed in protest of the construction causing the proposal to be voted down 3-2 by the Glen Rock zoning board.

“There are two benefits: one is that the cost is very reasonable for the area, and the other is the community of people and the atmosphere and environment that thrives here,” said Glen Courts senior home manager Beth Dell. “This new entity probably wouldn’t have that; it would have all sorts of fancy amenities, but it wouldn’t have those two components that we have here.”

According to protesting residents, the building’s atmosphere isn’t the only concern they have with AR-1 Ordinance. Many believe that the construction of this building would lead to the assembly of various other similar buildings that they may find disruptive to the neighborhood.

In response to the pitched rezoning, the Glen Rockers Facebook page overflowed with concerns about issues, such as the detriment to the environment and excessive traffic. However, it was also evident of the positive features, including more lavish amenities for those living in the new building.

According to Dell, the proposed new building would have had a better appeal to tenants than the current senior home in Glen Rock. The apartments were said to contain more rooms than Glen Courts and additional opportunities for resident involvement. A clubhouse and gym were all offered. However, the buildings were to have a higher rental price.

“I believe there may have been two bathrooms in the apartments, whereas these just have one bathroom,” Dell said, “it limits our demographic of interested parties too, because a lot of people really want two bathrooms and so they decline moving in here, or decline any interest in this building because of that.”

Another concern of Prospect Street natives was the traffic caused by the large number of new neighbors. Being a quiet neighborhood, the drastic change in traffic would trouble many and evidently make driving through the area harder. Some believed it may even have led to accidents.

“I am concerned about the traffic impact and the precedent it sets,” resident Jamie Croake said. “I believe it would create future zoning issues.”

Another factor that proved important in the zoning board’s vote is how the construction would impact the environment. The area of land that would’ve been built on is inhabited by wildlife. Therefore, some residents were concerned for the sake of the animals, which would thereby be left with a reduced habitat.

“I think we should have a senior housing, but we don’t need one for over 55. We don’t need two of them,” resident Nancy Catanese said, “one is sufficient for the size of our town.”

Many residents of Prospect Street gathered attention to the subject and enlisted the help of their fellow civilians through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

This is not the only time that people have resorted to social media outlets to express their concerns and opinions on controversial town matters. In fact, many flock to Facebook to promote voting for all sorts of things, ranging from political positions to possible names for businesses.

“Those involved at the time, 35 or so years ago, recognized that they were losing a lot of dear families to other towns because we didn’t have apartment options here in this town,” Dell said, “so that’s what this building was built for and it really served that intention so beautifully and has since its inception.”