Update 3/20/17 – The East Rutherford Zoning Board has rejected plans for the proposed Extra Space self-storage facility. Though the Hampshire Cos. application received a 4-3 vote in favor of the project, approval required five “yes” votes because it asked for egress from the facility onto Paterson Avenue instead of Route 17, according to the source. Board members who voted against the project were wary of the potential for increased traffic on Paterson.
The egress deviation was problematic because the borough council last year approved a self-storage ordinance requiring facilities to be built on Route 17, with all customer traffic entering and exiting off the highway. However, the developer was told the state department of transportation wouldn’t allow vehicles to exit onto Route 17, requiring the use of Paterson, the source reported.
Many local residents opposed the plan due to the facility’s proximity to the neighborhood. Some board members also indicated they didn’t believe the facility would blend in with its surroundings.
Board engineer Arthur Senor spoke in favor of the project, telling board members the Hampshire Cos. had done everything asked of it, including improving traffic in the area and mitigating flooding. "I don't think we can ask more of them," Senor said during the meeting. "They diligently improved the site, and there are a lot of attributes they are bringing to the table."
2/21/17 – The zoning board continued to debate the proposed Extra Space self-storage facility along Route 17 and Paterson Plank Road last week, with much of the discussion focused on storm-water management at the site. Civil engineer Brett Skapinetz indicated he designed the basin and pipes in accordance with existing department of transportation drainage pipes and 100-year storm requirements from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, according to the source.
The piping will drain storm water from the self-storage site into Berry’s Creek across Route 17. Skapinetz’s design “significantly reduced the amount of impervious coverage of the site,” the source reported. The result is an “overdesigned catch basin,” which Skapinetz believes will benefit the site, even with the prospect of future development on nearby properties.
The applicant is listed as Hampshire Cos. LLC.
The length of the meeting prohibited the public from commenting, but the application is scheduled to be heard again on March 2.
2/7/17 – Extra Space Storage Inc., a publicly traded self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT), is facing opposition to a project it has proposed for East Rutherford, N.J. The operator presented an amended site plan to the zoning board and local residents on Feb. 2 for the five-story development that would be built along State Route 17 and Paterson Plank Road.
The project’s representatives spoke with officials and community members for three hours about the 96,569-square-foot project. The meeting included William Quintanilla, an associate with Frank G. Relf Architect P.C.; Brett Skapinetz, principal of Dynamic Engineering; and Thomas Bruinooge, principal of Bruinooge & Associates, the attorney representing the REIT, according to the source.
One the biggest changes to the site plan was the elimination of a Wawa fast-food restaurant and a gas station. The businesses were pulled because they required an egress onto Route 17. The New Jersey Department of Transportation stated in November it wouldn’t permit the exit, the source reported.
Additional changes included those to the building’s color, which was a major point of contention among residents. The Extra Space signature green was changed to a neutral grey in many places, including the roll-up doors on the bottom floor. The green would now only be used to highlight the facility’s office on the southeast corner facing Route 17, Quintanilla stated.
A city ordinance requires storage facilities to emulate office or residential structures. Quintanilla presented photos he found online of modern office buildings that incorporated materials similar to those planned for the self-storage facility. "Our goals with the redesign was to make it look more like a modern office building to keep up with the ordinance. The design does accomplish that goal,” Quintanilla said.
Robert Inglima, a lawyer representing a neighboring gas station, and resident Antonio Segalini claimed the facility’s design doesn’t imitate an office building. Inglima asked the architect if he knew whether the buildings in the photos contained offices, while Segalini asked if the buildings even existed. Zoning board chairman Phil Alberta said Quintanilla was only using the photos as a reference.
The new site plan also included a reduction of the building’s height. The stairs that would lead to the roof were changed, eliminating a 9.5-foot structure. A roof hatch and railing were added in its place, Quintanilla said.
The building will also meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) obstruction standards, said Skapinetz, who spoke with FAA officials about the flight paths from nearby Teterboro Airport. No special lighting would be required on the roof, the source reported.
Resident Sergio Segalini expressed concern the storage facility would block the sun at the high school located 100 feet away.
The zoning board voted to hold another meeting on Feb. 16 to continue the discussion.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Extra Space owns or operates 1,427 self-storage properties in 38 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. The company’s properties comprise approximately 960,000 units and 107 million square feet of rentable space.