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special meeting of the Board of Adjustment of the Township of Roxbury was
held on the above date at 7:30 p.m. with Chairperson Gail Robortaccio presiding. After a
salute to the Flag, Ms. Robortaccio read the “Open Public Meetings Act”.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Gail Robortaccio, Robert Kurtz, Mark Crowley, Kathy
DeFillippo, Joyce Dargel, Scott Meyer, Barbara Kinback, Heather Darling.
BA-4-05 – MERRY HEART NURSING HOME – AMENDED SITE PLAN FOR PROPERTY
LOCATED ON RT. 10/MAIN ST. BLOCK 5201, LOTS 9, 12, 13 IN PO/R ZONE
Paul Nusbaum represented the applicant. He stated this matter started in 1999
when we appeared before the Board and got a variance to construct the nursing
home and assisted living facility. We then obtained site plan approval. The
ordinance has changed since then, and assisted living facilities are now
permitted uses in the zone. The nursing home was constructed and is
operating. Under the approval provision, for phase 2 we were to build the
assisted living. In the intervening years, we hired a new architect, Doug
Coleman. He did the architecture for the nursing home and has prepared new
architectural renderings for the assisted living facility. We are here with
the revised plan tonight, which necessitated a slight modification to the site
plan itself, resulting in a reduction in impervious surface. At the time of
the original approval, there was approval for 100 beds in the assisted living
facility. At the time of the approval it read 84 beds. We believe that should
have been 84 rooms. This building is scheduled for 86 beds in 71 rooms.
J. Coleman, architect for the applicant, was sworn in.
T. McGrath, engineer for the applicant, was sworn in.
Bonifacio, a principle with Merry Heart, was sworn in.
Coleman distributed reduced copies of the color rendering to the Board members
(rear elevation A-1) (front elevation A-2).
Coleman said the previous Board had concerns about the existing architecture.
My firm was contacted to do a re-design of the building, which is the current
nursing home, which was built as phase 1 for the nursing home. The previous
nursing home has been taken down. The Board had concern about the original
approval they had given for the assisted living facility.
Coleman referred to the original rendering fore the assisted living facility
(marked A-3 - Route 10 elevation). He stated the Board had asked us to apply
the same type architecture as the nursing home building. We have done that. The
footprint is almost the same. We reduced impervious coverage. The State has a
model for an assisted living facility. If you need more than 2 ½ hours of care
per day, you need to go into a nursing home. There are many people who need
less time than that, and the assisted living model came out. We have tried to
design the project as if it were a large hotel. The architecture is
complementary to the nursing home, but is slightly different. We designed a
porte cochere entrance which allows people to pull up in inclement weather and
let people out of the car. We have created architectural interest. In the
rear elevation we have added some covered porch areas. The entrance to the
facility is off Route 10. The back of the building is the garden area. The
original design had a detention basin with a walking trail around the top.
Some people who use a facility such as this suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and
need repetition. In the therapy for that, walking is used, and a walking path
is used. They need stimuli when they walk. The original plan with the walkway
around the detention basin was not the best solution. We have now created a
walking path inside the building. We have added a lot of amenities to the
interior architecture. The building has a mansard shingled roof. We are using
many different materials for the façade. The attempt is to try to bring in a
residential character to the building. Exhibit A-1 shows the covered areas,
and Exhibit A-2 shows the porte cochere and the garden area.
Coleman referred to sheet A-1, sheet 1 of 7 of the plans that were submitted to
the Board and described the floor plan. In the previous plan we showed the
adult day care center. We previously came to the Board to move the day care
area to the existing building and received permission to move the day care
facility in temporarily. Over the last several months, it has slowed down
until there are not any people in it. Now, since there isn’t a need for it, we
have removed the adult medical day care from the proposal. We will use the
basement space for other amenities. Exhibit A-1 shows in the lower level there
will be a movie theater, a wellness center (with aquatic therapy), beauty
parlor, bistro, dining room, lounge and kitchen facility. There are also
administrative offices, break room, HVAC room, computer room and exam room.
Coleman referred to sheet A-2, first floor plan, which shows the porte cochere,
the lobby, tea room, sitting area, lounge with fireplace, and a series of
Coleman described sheet A-3, second floor plan, which has single and double
rooms, activities room, private dining room.
Coleman referred to sheet A-4, third floor plan, Alzheimer’s wing, which does
not allow free access to the elevators. The elevator lobby is closed off and
is controlled by the nursing staff. There is a country kitchen and dining and
activities area, and singe and double rooms.
Coleman said Ms. Bonifacio has found out that there is a demand for expanded
room size. We have increased the size of the rooms. Some of the residents
stay in their rooms and prepare meals. Activities are very important as well.
This facility is designed to accommodate those.
Coleman referred to sheet A-5 and A-6, which are the computer drawings for the
Route 10 elevation, the right side elevation, parking lot elevation, and Main Street
Nusbaum said the Historic Advisory Committee has reviewed the exterior plans
and finds them acceptable.
DeFillippo said the first floor plan indicates 28 beds. I only count 27. I
come up with a total of 85 beds.
Coleman said his assistant will count the beds.
Robortaccio asked if the adult day care will stay in the nursing home.
Nusbaum said the adult day care will be discontinued entirely.
Crowley asked where the service trucks will come in.
Coleman said it would be fore package deliveries. In the lower right corner of
the Route 10 elevation is a loading area. There is very little waste with this
type of facility, and Ms. Bonifacio can control the frequency of deliveries and
McGrath referred to a color rendering of the site plan (marked A-4). He
described the site and said we will limit the ability for a head-on garbage
truck. This is new to this site plan. the porte cochere is shown at the center
of the of the front elevation. Another change in the site plan is the rear
layout. There are a number of large patio areas which are not covered
porches. There is a grade change to give more window area. The walkway around
the detention pond has been eliminated. We have indicated that 3 of the major
trees were removed because they were damaged. They will be replaced with shade
trees. Regarding the building at the corner of Main Street and Hillside Avenue,
that will remain. It is being used as a staff residence, and during
construction that building will be renovated and closed during construction for
the assisted living facility.
DeFillippo asked about the access driveway on Hillside Avenue.
McGrath said that driveway only allows a right turn from Hillside Avenue.
Meyer asked if the dumpster area is screened from Route 10.
McGrath said it is screened from Hillside
Avenue. We are willing to offer more
plantings. From the Route 10 side, the structure is 10 feet tall. The
driveway slopes down a few feet. With the plantings and berm, it would be
difficult to see it from Route 10. The dumpster enclosure is shown on sheet
16. The enclosure will be brick, with a decorative wood gate at the front and
a pergola roof.
Bodolsky said the original testimony was that there was linkage to the sidewalk
system. The architect described the garden area. How do people access the
Coleman said the door brings you out to the covered porch area. Theoretically
that is the rear yard for the assisted living area. That will be an outside
space for the residents.
Bodolsky said sheet A-1 shows a sidewalk to the covered porch area. Where is
that on the site plan?
McGrath said that is correct. It is not shown on the site plan. We will add
it to the plan.
Bodolsky asked if the residents who are not Alzheimer’s patients will have an
Coleman said the covered porch areas will be used, and can be used in all types
of weather. The people who are not Alzheimer’s patients can go off the
property and walk around the block if they want to.
Bodolsky asked where the sidewalks are on Main
Street to allow residents to walk
around the block.
McGrath said there are no sidewalks along Main
Street, but residents could walk around
the building and on any streets and sidewalks along Route 10 and within the
Bodolsky suggested adding sidewalk within the site to create a circuit.
Kurtz said as he recalls, we were discouraging sidewalk along Hillside Avenue
as there was no place to connect on the other side of the street.
applicant addressed Mr. Stern’s report updated 2/24/05:
Coleman stated in answer to Ms. DeFillippo’s earlier question, the bed count is
86 beds, 71 rooms.
– lower level
– adult day care will be
eliminated. If there is a need in the future, applicant will return to the
– there will be van service – van
will be parked in larger lot
– service tunnel will be
eliminated as shared services are not permitted by the State for the nursing
home and assisted living facility
– no objection from Board
to 1.18 – addressed
– will comply
Bodolsky asked where parking will be during construction.
McGrath said there are 14 parking spaces on the westerly side that can be used
applicant addressed Mr. Bodolsky’s report:
–done – will comply
– agree, pursuant to engineer’s
letter of 1/27/05
– done, will comply
– design waiver agreed to
– design waiver agreed to
– separate containers – to be located in dumpster area
– addressed – if tractor trailer, it would go to the nursing home
Robortaccio asked if tractor trailers are currently restricted.
Bonifacio said we don’t allow them now, and will restrict it in the future for
this building. We would agree to post a sign restricting them from the Hillside Avenue
– agree as per 1/29/05 letter
– agree with architect letter of 1/27/05
– will comply
– will comply
, 4.2, 4.3 – done
– agreed to work out with Mr. Stern
– will work out with Mr. Stern
applicant addressed Mr. Bodolsky’s second report:
2, 3 – done
Bodolsky said the size of the dumpster facility is about the same size as for a
small office building. I have concern that it is undersized.
Coleman said we can expand it over the drainage area. The enclosure at the
nursing home is actually too large. We have the ability to use either
facility. We can also control the number of pick-ups.
It was determined the dumpster enclosure will remain as shown.
6 – ambulances will come in under the porte cochere
7 – done
8 – discussed
9 – done
10 – agreed
11 – agreed – modifications will be reviewed by the Historical Advisory
12 – yes
13 – done
14 – done
15 – will be submitted
16 – yes
17 – yes
18 – will be revised
19 – done
20 – agreed
21, 22, 23 – done
24 – agreed
25 - will be done by Thursday – no requirement for any further approvals from
D.O.T. Applicant will resubmit sequence of construction.
17A – agreed
Crowley asked if automatic door buttons will be put at the entrances and exits.
Coleman said he would assume that will happen.
DeFillippo asked if the residents have cars.
Coleman said most of the time they don’t drive.
DeFillippo asked where the residents with cars will park.
Coleman said they would probably park in the lot on the westerly side of the
DeFillippo asked if the rooms will be furnished.
Coleman said there will be furnished models, and residents will have the option
to purchase the furniture.
one stepped forward.
Meyer made a motion to approve the application and variances and design waivers
and stipulations as discussed. Ms. DeFillippo seconded.
as follows: Mr. Meyer, yes; Ms. DeFillippo, yes; Ms. Darling, yes; Ms.
Kinback, yes; Ms. Dargel, yes. Ms. Dargel said the first building is
attractive, and this is an improvement. Mr. Crowley, yes; Mr. Kurtz, yes; Ms.
meeting was adjourned by motion at 9:35