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No Specific Plan For Future Senior Housing Developments In Mahwah

But, planners say it will be a big need in the township's future

Due to an increasing senior citizen population, Mahwah will likely need more housing developments for senior citizens, but its new Master Plan does not identify specific locations within the township that are right for that type of development.

“If you look at the demographics, there is going to be a need for [senior housing developments],” Planner Joe Burgis, whose firm put together the document, said at a public hearing on it Monday night. But, the plan “does not identify a specific area,” where such a development would be recommend.

Burgis’s explanation was in response to a question from resident Lynne McLewin, who recommended the planning board work into the document more specifics about where and how Mahwah could develop a senior housing community in the future.

One of the goals of the current Master Plan draft is to “encourage senior citizen community housing construction.” However, the document only recommends building them in “harmonious locations” throughout the township, and does not outline specifics on how or where that would be implemented. However, the Master Plan does contain the following Census data chart that shows the population of people 65 and older in the township jumping from 7.9 percent of the population in 1990 to 14.3 percent in 2010.

Age Characteristics - Mahwah

Age Group

1990 Total

1990 %

2000 Total

2000 %

2010 Total

2010 %

Under 5

1,156

6.5

1,672

6.9

1,081

4.1

5-14

1,814

10.1

3,012

12.5

3,066

11.8

15-24

2,951

16.5

2,991

12.4

5,182

20.0

25-34

3,842

21.5

3,260

13.5

2,182

8.4*

35-44

2,889

16.1

4,486

18.6

3,081

11.9

45-54

2,204

12.3

3,482

14.5

4,399

17.0

55-64

1,636

9.1

2,587

10.8

3,221

12.4

65-74

892

5.0

1,553

6.5

2,070

8.0

75-84

407

2.3

815

3.4

1,230

4.8

85+

114

0.6

204

0.8

378

1.5

TOTAL

17,905

100.0

24,062

100.0

25,890

100.0

*Recalculated; Percentage in Master Plan incorrectly stated as 84.2, instead of 8.42

Data from the Mahwah Master Plan, taken from US Census Data, Bergen County Data Book

An affordable housing unit that includes housing for both special needs adults and seniors is in the works for Ramapo Valley Road. However, the United Way development is only expected to contain 12 senior units.

Public hearings on the Master Plan will continue next month, as planning board members say suggestions like the one made by McLewin will be considered and possibly added to the document before it is finalized and adopted.

See the entire draft Master Plan here.

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Andy Schmidt October 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM
That's where strategic "downtown" planning can help. Small retail and restaurant businesses/street cafes, etc. depend on "downtown" residents. As Hackensack has learned - having a "main street" without main street residents, results in stores without customers. If you force people to use their cars, they'll tend to one of the highway businesses. That's why Hackensack now has a redevelopment plan to include resedential units at their main street district. Having senior housing (and studios for young professionals) integrated into the plans for a downtown gives senior citizens opportunity to shop, browse and most importantly socialize within walking distance - and avoids the area looking "deserted" and thus unattractive to other potential customers. Families with kids probably would tend more towards the traditional single home neighborhoods and won't mind maintaining their lawns and plantings. But they'll be attracted to visit "downtown" business, if the area already has a living/vibrant feel.
Andy Schmidt October 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Specially if there was a way to connect "downtown" with walking paths/pedestrian bridge to a path system along the river(s)...
Hank October 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Unless you start condemning property on Franklin Turnpike the best you can do is the A/P shopping center. ( I would knock down RZ and put a senior facility there) I doubt if you will ever turn Franklin Tpk frontage into New Hope,Pa or Main Street Disney. I often thought that if I had to develop crossroads I would make a replica old time downtown with small town houses with porches as well as senior housing etc. There are some great neighborhoods in Mahwah where it is friendly, people walking around and looks like a college campus. Ridge Gardens comes to mind. Unfortunately there is no retail there.
Mona Lot October 17, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Hey Hank what if we got rid of some gas stations on Franklin Trpk (6 in less than a mile)

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