Restaurant Expansion on Hold After Board Suspends Approval

Anticipating potential litigation, the New Milford Zoning Board suspends variance approvals and moves to re-open the hearing to re-examine the restaurant's floor plan and seating. Teaneck residents had opposed the expansion plan.

The New Milford Zoning Board of Adjustment on Monday suspended its approval of a variance to expand Sanzari's New Bridge Inn, saying the restaurant "misrepresented" the number of seats in the restaurant. 

The site plan represents 130 seats when, in fact, there are 200 existing seats, according to Zoning Board Attorney Scott Sproviero.

Citing significant objections to this application by the residents of Teaneck, Sproviero said the board "wants a clear record so if there's a legal challenge, the record is clear."

Although Sanzari's is in New Milford, the property borders Teaneck and faced opposition from the township and area residents. 

The board had initially proposed adopting an ordinance to rescind the approval, but agreed to suspend it and revisit the seating issue at a meeting next month, after objections from Sanzari's attorney, Carmine Alampi. 

"We don't want a re-hearing," Alampi said. "We want to re-open the hearing to discuss and reconcile the floor plan."

"A re-hearing would suggest that the case has to be re-heard from the beginning," Alampi said.

The board agreed to schedule a public hearing to discuss the floor plan next month. 

"The message is, 'Let's get it right,'" Sproviero said. "For our protection and for your client's protection."

The next hearing will be on Dec. 11 at 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers of New Milford Borough Hall.

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