Wayne zoning board OKs warehouse use adjacent to William Paterson University

WAYNE — The Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved the use of a 4.4-acre property on the east end of the township for a new warehouse.

But the developer, a limited liability company from Harrison, New York, will have to return to the zoning board for a thorough review of its site plan, including landscaping, lighting and traffic impact.

The proposed warehouse, at 438 Pompton Road, would be constructed in place of the vacant industrial buildings between William Paterson University and a QuickChek convenience store and gas station.

The university initially fought the project, but later withdrew its opposition.

Jerome Vogel, an attorney for the developer, told the zoning board when it last met that his client came to an agreement with William Paterson to alleviate its concerns.

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Vehicles would not be permitted to turn left out of the site, toward the university, Vogel said in a closing statement to the zoning board, and on top of that, his client would increase the landscaped buffer between the properties.

He said his client would also update its traffic study prior to the review of its site plan.

The 60,000-square-foot warehouse would be “dwarfed” by “everything around it,” Vogel said, noting that the property is just south of St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital on Hamburg Turnpike.

“No matter what’s built on this property,” he said, “it’s not visible.”

This is a chance to “make viable a piece of property that’s derelict and not producing,” Vogel said.

Engineer's rendering of proposed warehouse.
Engineer's rendering of proposed warehouse.

The zoning board approved the use variance by a vote of 6-1; board member Hilary Caruso cast the only dissenting vote.

The site is in a business zone.

A planner representing the developer had told the zoning board that the property’s limited street frontage would be a disadvantage for commercial entities, which is why an industrial use makes better sense.

In August 2021, the zoning board approved a proposal by the same developer to build a 71-unit housing complex for students of William Paterson.

That plan was scrapped, however, because the university’s enrollment was dropping, and an agent for the developer had said he did not think such a project was still feasible.

Philip DeVencentis is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.

Email: devencentis@northjersey.com

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Wayne zoning board approves warehouse use next to university