Posts tagged Zoning
Zoning Regulating “Bulky Houses"

Clients: Villages of Scarsdale, Larchmont, and Roslyn, NY


A number of suburban communities in the New York metropolitan area are grappling with the development of houses that are out of scale and/or out of character with the established neighborhoods in which they are located. Several municipalities have retained Phillips Preiss to craft zoning controls to prevent the proliferation of these so-called “bulky houses." The firm concluded that the size (i.e., floor area and height) of the house is not always the problem, but that the design is equally important in determining how a bulky house appears. Phillips Preiss developed an innovative approach that imposed a baseline cap on building size, with a floor area bonus for architectural design that successfully avoids an oversized appearance.

Municipal Planning Services for New Milford, NJ

Client: Borough of New Milford, NJ


The Borough of New Milford is a nearly fully developed municipality located a short distance west of New York City. When the largest redevelopable parcel in the Borough became available for development, New Milford selected Phillips Preiss through a competitive process to evaluate the development application for the site and to advise the Mayor and Council on zoning and affordable housing matters. Phillips Preiss has assisted the New Milford Zoning Board of Adjustment with the review of a contentious application for the development of the property. The Borough’s Mayor and Council subsequently selected Phillips Preiss as the Borough Planner. The firm’s work has included analyzing zoning options for the property, evaluating changes to the municipality’s affordable housing plan, reviewing other development proposals, and preparing a thorough update of the Borough’s Master Plan.


The Borough has adopted zoning changes to implement various Master Plan recommendations.

Waldwick Zoning Ordinance Overhaul

Client: Borough of Waldwick, NJ


Phillips Preiss completed an overhaul of the Borough of Waldwick code that includes a merger of the subdivision, site plan, land use procedures, soil movement, and zoning chapters into a unified land use and development ordinance. Phillips Preiss also modernized the ordinance to eliminate any inconsistencies of the current text with general planning practice. This includes an evaluation of ordinance definitions, permitted uses, parking requirements, and an update of the zoning schedule. Additionally, Phillips Preiss added a new section regulating solar panels and wind energy devices.

Cranbury Master Plan

Client: Township of Cranbury, NJ



As the Township Planner, Phillips Preiss prepared Cranbury’s Master Plan, which recommended amendments to the Zoning Code to help preserve the Township’s rural character and historic Village center while ensuring a fiscally-sustainable future for the Township by encouraging non-residential development opportunities in appropriate locations (e.g., in the vicinity of Route 130).


Following the adoption of the plan, Phillips Preiss worked with the Township Committee on the preparation of zoning amendments to implement plan recommendations and strategies.

Master Plan Amendment for the Honeywell International Corporate Campus

Client: Morris Township, NJ



Honeywell International, Inc. has maintained its nearly 150-acre corporate headquarters in Morris Township, New Jersey for some time. Because of changing business needs coupled with a multitude of outdated and/or obsolete buildings on-site, Honeywell approached Morris Township to establish a more modern campus that could respond to current operational and technological demands as well as provide for other development opportunities within the campus. Phillips Preiss worked on behalf of the Morris Township Planning Board in master plan and zoning amendments designed to provide for a new mixed-use, planned development district that will allow Honeywell to refurbish existing buildings, construct new office and lab space, develop up to 235 townhouse units, and provide passive as well as active recreational space on-site.


The Planning Board adopted the Master Plan amendment and the governing body held public hearings on the zoning ordinance amendment.

Montclair Center Gateway Redevelopment Plan

Client: Township of Montclair, NJ


Phillips Preiss drafted the Montclair Center Gateway Redevelopment Plan to encourage a mixed-use development at the western edge of Montclair’s downtown which advances its sustainability and Smart Growth agenda. In early 2011, the Township formed a Redevelopment Subcommittee consisting of elected officials, business owners and other members of the Montclair community to work with Phillips Preiss on crafting the plan. A series of public meetings were held to gain input from the community on their vision for the site. A widely felt aspiration to attract a hotel to downtown Montclair, which could serve its cultural arts institutions, businesses and local residents, resulted in a density bonus provision in the plan. In fulfillment of Montclair Township’s environmental sustainability agenda, the project requires a minimum level of LEED certification, which must include on-site renewable energy facilities (i.e., roof-mounted solar panels), green roof areas and public transportation access (i.e., shuttles to train stations).


Since the adoption of the plan, the Township has designated Pinnacle Companies as the redeveloper. Pinnacle and the Township are currently moving forward on the first phase of the project.

Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Amendments for the Hudson River Valley

Clients: Villages of Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Ossining and South Nyack, NY



Phillips Preiss has prepared Comprehensive Plans and zoning amendments for several Hudson River villages in Westchester and Rockland Counties, advising these clients from the earliest phases of community outreach all the way through the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process and early implementation. While each community has its own distinct traits, all share a common set of planning and development issues: allowing for fiscally and environmentally sustainable development; providing diverse housing options; protecting neighborhood character, scenic views and historic resources; creating downtown vitalization strategies; minimizing traffic; and protecting natural resources. Through the Comprehensive Plan process, Phillips Preiss has developed innovative land use strategies based on a sound understanding of each community’s vision, key assets and market position.


Phillips Preiss' work on the Village of Ossining Comprehensive Plan and Amendments to the Zoning Code and LWRP received the 2010 achievement award for outstanding plan from the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation.

Saddle River Crossing

Client: Borough of Saddle River, New Jersey


The Borough of Saddle River has a small concentration of retail, civic, office and educational uses along the Saddle River at the crossing of its main roadways. In its role as Borough Planner, Phillips Preiss prepared a “Crossing Plan” which made the Saddle River the focal point of its historic hamlet by utilizing the river to figuratively stitch together the area through the creation of a trail system. Zoning Code amendments, designation of a local historic district, amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance, and creation of design guidelines were among the recommended strategies for implementation.


The Borough has begun to implement the trail system along the Saddle River by renovating an existing wooden walkway and requiring a recent development in the Crossing area to incorporate its landscaping and walkways into the trail system.

Newark Master Plan & Zoning Ordinance

Client: City of Newark, New Jersey



Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, hired Phillips Preiss in 2008 to lead a multi-disciplinary consulting team to prepare a Master Plan Reexamination that would lay the framework for a complete new Master Plan. After adopting the Reexamination, the City of Newark selected a consultant team to prepare the new Master Plan. Phillips Preiss was a key member of this team, with primary responsibility for land use and zoning issues in the Master Plan, and advised on other planning topics.


Phillips Preiss worked with City staff to prepare a series of immediate zoning changes to implement portions of the Reexamination. The new Master Plan was adopted in 2012. Phillips Preiss subsequently worked with City staff on a full overhaul of Newark's Zoning Ordinance - its first in over 60 years. The new Zoning & Land Use Regulations were adopted in 2015.

Larchmont Zoning and Design Guidelines

Client: Village of Larchmont, NY

An example of the large, older homes in the neighborhood.


Phillips Preiss worked for the Village of Larchmont, NY to prepare zoning and design guidelines for a residential neighborhood with large-lot single-family homes, challenging topography, and waterfront views. The firm's efforts focused on mitigating height, mass, and perceived bulk of single-family homes, particularly new construction. Revisions to zoning code and subdivision standards included grading, retaining walls, location and screening of parking, and building bulk and articulation.