Borough Weighs Future of Old Rescue Squad Site
What would you like to see done with the site of the old Rescue Squad building on Heights Avenue? Vote in the poll.
After tossing around a variety of ideas for how to redevelop a plot of land on Heights Avenue where the Rescue Squad building once stood, the Fair Lawn council decided Tuesday it would seek public input from nearby residents before deciding how to proceed.
At Tuesday's council work session, Metzler and the council discussed four options for the empty Heights lot, which is located at the corner of Heights and Loretto avenues: 1) convert it into a pocket park; 2) convert it into a community garden; 3) convert it into a permit parking lot; or 4) auction it off to the highest bidder.
Council previously attempted the auction option at a public meeting last spring to no avail. The property, for which the borough sought a $150,000 minimum price tag, had no takers.
When Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski suggested auctioning the property again this spring, Metzler balked.
"Why are we buying properties that we collect taxes on, tearing them down and making them parks, and then we have land that we own that we could make parks and we want to auction it off?" he said. "I’m just trying to understand that concept."
Rather than putting it up for auction, Metzler suggested either converting the space into a pocket park or, as one local resident had suggested, making it a pay parking lot that would generate revenue for the borough.
“Maybe the borough would want to make it a parking lot and charge for people to park overnight because there is a shortage of parking spaces over in the Heights," he said. "Perhaps you could sell permits.”
Councilman Kurt Peluso proposed turning the space into a community garden that would complement the one on Sampson Road across the street from the Knollcroft and Hollow Run Apartments on the eastern side of town.
"We're running out of space [at the Sampson Park Community Garden]," Peluso said, "so maybe we could build another community garden on that section of town, as something different."
Council ultimately decided to consult nearby residents about the plan before proceeding with any of the four options.
As a result, residents who live within 200 feet of the property should soon receive a letter asking for feedback on the council's plan to make an improvement to the area, borough manager Tom Metzler said.
What do you think should be done with the lot? Vote in the poll below