The Glen Rock Council is expected Wednesday night to again revise the borough’s approach to a potential expanded commercial zone on the Herold’s Farm property.
An ordinance had been before the council, on the planning board’s recommendation, to revise the zone to allow commercial use on the entirety of the property, part of which now lies in a residential zone.
Neighbors, who say they were unaware at the time that the planning board was considering the move, have come before the council in opposition to a rezoning of the property, last month requesting that the ordinance be revisited by the board.
After another presentation Monday, Glen Rock Mayor John van Keuren told Patch the council is expected to shelve the zoning ordinance Wednesday night, and put the process instead in the hands of the zoning board of adjustment.
“I believe that the council is going to dismiss that ordinance and not have it come to a second reading,” he said.
“I also believe that the council will in effect tell the planning board that the council does not believe that’s the right place, and that it should go to the zoning board.”
Rinaldo D’Argenio, an attorney who lives on Keith Place, near the Prospect Street farm, argued before the council at its Monday night work session that adding new commercial space, absent a broader discussion of the borough’s master plan, would set a bad precedent of “spot zoning.”
“If you do it in a piecemeal way you open up the prospect of creating bad precedent,” D’Argenio said in an interview Tuesday. “So what you do in this part of town could come back to haunt you on Maple Avenue or Glen Avenue or Rock Road.”
A petition objecting to the proposed zone change, circulated among residents of nearby streets in both Glen Rock and Fair Lawn, had accumulated 73 signatures when it was presented to the council last month, according to Herold Drive resident Paula Royak.
“The field right now on Herold’s Farm that they want to rezone as commercial has been there since the beginning of time,” she said.
“We want the residential to stay residential, we want the commercial to stay commercial.”
Royak said neighbors had quality of life concerns with expanded commercial development in the area .
Arc Development had made a presentation the planning board on its reasons for a rezoning, van Keuren said, but no plans have been formally presented to the borough. A Walgreens is believed to be part of the developer’s plan, based on documents D’Argenio said he obtained from neighboring Fair Lawn.
Before the zoning board, the developer could seek a variance allowing commercial use on the residential part of the property. D’Argenio believed that would be the proper procedure, and allow residents to testify on the perceived impact to their neighborhood.
“When you’re introducing a commercial use into a residential area, that’s dramatic,” he said. “In my personal opinion in local government…the two most important functions are to prepare a budget and to exercise control over zoning. The easiest way to destroy a community is through bad zoning.”