New Providence Nixes Floral Avenue Apartment Plans
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 • 6:19am
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Board of Adjustment rejected on Monday night an application to add an apartment to an existing building at 43 Floral Avenue.
While the board voted three-to-two to approve the application, because the owner, Ganzie, LLC, was seeking a seeking a variance to expand an existing non-conforming use of the property, an approval required five votes.
Ganzie had proposed redeveloping the existing two-story building which sits on a quarter-acre lot, to allow the construction of a 1,600-square-foot commercial business on the first floor and the addition of a second apartment at the rear of the building. There is an existing apartment on the second floor. The height of the building would not change, but it would have been expanded in the rear.
The application called for widening of the driveway to 18 feet, bringing the number of parking spaces to 12, the addition of a garage and a loading space to serve the business.
The lot is surrounded by two condominiums complexes, Murray Hill Manor and Murray Hill Square, and is across the street from the Murray Hill NJ Transit station.
Gary Szelc, the project’s engineer and planner, said the project is allowed in the borough zoning, that mixed-use developments of this type are encouraged by the borough’s master plan and state planning models.
“This small project is an overall plus for the borough and meets the overall objectives of the State of New Jersey,” Szelc said.
The project would add one apartment to the area, he said. “This is not an undue hardship for the neighbors.”
The neighbors, residents of the adjacent condominium complexes, disagreed.
Mel Prager, president of Murray Hill Square, said the addition of vehicles to the site would add to an already dangerous and confusing traffic situation.
Hank Yaeger of Murray Hill Square said that his association would not be willing to agree to allow Ganzie LLC to access a borough easement for a storm water system that is located on the condominium property.
He also objected to the expansion of the existing non-conforming use.
In other business, the board memorialized an approval for the variances required to allow Wrist USA , a shipping supply company, to occupy 37,000 square feet of a multi-use building at 755 Central Avenue.