At the Planning Board's Minor Site Plan and Subdivision Committee meeting last Monday night, a non-profit group home requested and received approval for a few variances and waivers.
Special Homes of New Jersey, Inc. is looking to set roots at 1259 Littleton Road, at the intersection of Littleton Road and East Brooklawn Drive.
They received unanimousapproval with the following requirements:
- The bonding requirement be discussed with Township Engineer Gordon Meth
- Appropriate shielding of exterior lights
- Tree removal be done in coordination with the Parks Dept.
Attorney Ted Einhorn, who’s representing the applicant, said that it would be at an existing home there that used to be a doctor’s residence and business.
For the variances, “because of the nature of this home, we have to put in some ramps … we violate your setbacks requirements and we have a 1 percent violation of your impervious coverage requirements.”
For the impervious coverage variance, George Sincox, the planner and architect for the proposed group home, said they couldn’t reduce the impervious coverage by 1 percent and “not to have the house function properly. We tried to remove only what was necessary and replace only what was necessary to keep a minimal impact.”
Also, they needed a variance to put in two ramps to meet state requirements.
Einhorn added that this non-profit “has considerable experience in operating these types of homes” and the operations will be tightly regulated by the State.
Executive Director Terry McKeon gave some background on Special Homes:
- Based in Denville, established in 1986
- Currently operate two group homes in Boonton, one in Parsippany, Long Valley and Thornton. The other Parsippany location that SHNJ has is a supportive apartment for a woman in Troy Hills.
- Their mission is to provide residential services in the community to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
“We are right now in a period where the State of New Jersey is closing their large developmental centers,” said McKeon.
Four people will live at this proposed Parsippany home and they hope to have it ready in the spring or early summer of 2014.
Special Homes has “gone before the council and has received a portion of the funding for this particular operation. The rest of the funding … (will come from) the State of New Jersey,” said Einhorn.
They said that Special Needs Housing Partnership Loan program, which is an agreement between division of consumer affairs, NJ Department of union services and the NJ Home Mortgage Finance Agency.
“Those three agencies got together and they use dollar to dollar match to any municipal trust fund given from the township,” said Einhorn.
“I came in front of the committee last spring and Parsippany provided $375,000 to the project and (the program) will be providing an additional $250,000.
SHNJ is the title owner of these premises and “we get a yearly renewed contract to provide services for the operations after the house is opened,” said McKeon.
State officials will stop by the site during its build to ensure that it meets all standards.