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Battle Over Proposed Saddle Brook, NJ, Self-Storage Facility Continues


Update 9/27/13 – Despite assurances that the proposed Lackland Self Storage facility in Saddle Brook, N.J., will not add to the area’s flooding problems and the willingness of developer Storage Assets LLC to give easements to Bergen County for drainage systems, the project still faces several hurdles to approval.

During a special meeting with the Saddle Brook Zoning Board on Tuesday, project engineer Calisto Bertin told members the project would not add to flooding issues. The proposed development would use a sand-bottom detention basin capable of holding any water falling on the site in a 24-hour period, including a 100-Year-Storm scenario, he said. While some water currently flows northwest off the property, water from the basin would be piped in the opposite direction into an industrial area.

Storage Assets attorney Mark Madaio told the board the developer would agree to give the easement to the county as a condition of the plan’s approval. The easement would cross both parts of what would be a subdivided property as well as another neighboring property with the same owner.

The easement would enable either the county or neighboring Fair Lawn officials to extend an existing drainage system but would also require additional easements from the owners of neighboring properties. A plan would also have to be made to steer the drainage system past numerous other utilities, according to the source.

Bruce Rosenberg, an attorney representing the Fair Lawn Zoning Board, called Storage Asset’s application “defective,” arguing that since a driveway and storage tank on the far side of the property are currently used by a neighboring building, the developer would need an additional variance for the expansion of a nonconforming use, since the property is in a residential zone.

Madaio said he would investigate whether or not the driveway and tank are still used, acknowledging that Storage Asset may have to restart the application process.

The Saddle Brook Zoning Board scheduled another special meeting on Oct. 22.

9/6/13 – Self-storage developer Storage Assets LLC is facing opposition from residents over the construction of a new facility in Saddle Brook, N.J. The opponents, from the bordering borough of Fair Lawn, are concerned the project will blemish the landscape and increase flooding in the neighborhood.

Storage Assets filed an application this summer with the Saddle Brook Zoning Board to build a 121,275-square-foot facility at 635 N. Midland Ave., a pair of empty lots near the convenience store Quik Chek. The three-story building, which will be branded Lackland Self Storage, will be nearly 40 feet tall and include 967 units. It will also offer U-Haul truck-rental services.

Fair Lawn residents raised their objections during a planning meeting in June and again during a local council meeting earlier this week. They fear the building will tower over nearby homes, lower property values and worsen chronic flooding on the adjacent Arcadia Road. Council members agreed to send the borough’s zoning-board attorney, Bruce Rosenberg, to all future hearings about the application to represent their interests.

Storage Assets will need several variance approvals from the Saddle Brook Zoning Board to build the facility, including one for height and a use variance to allow self-storage and truck rental. The site is currently zoned residential. The developer will also need permission to combine and divide the two lots.

A hearing to discuss the development is scheduled for a Sept. 9 zoning-board meeting.

Headquartered in Greenbook, N.J., Storage Assets operates 26 facilities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 


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