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Self Storage Facility Wouldn't Worsen Flooding, Engineer Says

A developer has applied to build a new Lackland Self Storage on the border of Saddle Brook and Fair Lawn, near flood-prone homes.

An application to build a self storage facility on this property next to the Midland Avenue Quik Chek has some Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook residents concerned about flooding and their property values. Photo credit: Jim Leggate.
An application to build a self storage facility on this property next to the Midland Avenue Quik Chek has some Fair Lawn and Saddle Brook residents concerned about flooding and their property values. Photo credit: Jim Leggate.
The developer of a proposed 121,275-square-foot Midland Avenue self storage facility in Saddle Brook next to Fair Lawn will give easements to the county for drainage systems, but that won't necessarily fix nearby residents' flooding problem.

Mark Madaio, the attorney representing Storage Assets, LLC 's application to build the Lackland Self Storage and truck rental facility, said during a special Saddle Brook Zoning Board meeting Tuesday that they would agree to give the easement to Bergen County as a condition of the plan's approval. The easement would cross both pieces of the proposed-to-be subdivided property and another neighboring property with the same owner.

With the easement, either the county or Fair Lawn would be able to extend a drainage system that ends at Arcadia Road, but only if they can also obtain easements from the owners of the Quick Chek and Salerno's Kitchen Cabinets properties. They would also need to find a way to get their drainage system past the numerous other utilities which already follow Midland Avenue.

For flood-prone residents, that means relief from rising waters may not be coming anytime soon, even if the self storage plan is approved.

The proposed facility wouldn't add to the flooding problem, according to project engineer Calisto Bertin. The plan calls for a sand-bottom detention basin to be dug on the property, which would be capable of holding all the water that would fall on the site for 24 hours during a storm so severe it is likely to happen only once every 100 years.

Currently, some water flowing off the property flows northwest. The plan calls for water from the basin to be piped in the opposite direction, into an industrial area of Saddle Brook. 

"We heard loud and clear that there's a drainage problem in the area... so we're significantly decreasing what water flows off this property," Bertin said.

Fair Lawn Objects to Self Storage Plan

After Bertin testified and took questions from board members, Fair Lawn Zoning Board attorney Bruce Rosenberg raised an issue with the application.

Rosenberg was sent by Fair Lawn to oppose the application after residents brought their concerns to the borough council.

A driveway and storage tank on the far side of the property are currently used by a neighboring building, Bertin said. According to Rosenberg, that means the developer would require an additional variance for the expansion of a nonconforming use, as the property is located in a residential zone.

"I believe this application is defective," Rosenberg said.

Madaio said he would investigate whether or not the driveway and tank are still used. If they are, they make have to re-notice and restart the entire application.

Either way, the board will next hear testimony for the proposed self storage facility during a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. October 22 in the Saddle Brook Senior Center on Caldwell Avenue.
The Baron September 26, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Hope the Engineer put that in writting so any area residents have something to fall back upon after the next flooding event. The idea of a sand bottom basin is good if the water can get out, but if all the surrounding areas are flooded, you've got to wonder where the water will go ?

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