Summit Planning Board Recommends Railroad Avenue Parking Lot be Studied for Redevelopment
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • 6:50am
SUMMIT, NJ - After viewing a presentation by City Planner Kevin Kain Monday night on the Railroad Avenue parking lot, the Summit Planning Board voted to recommend that the space be studied for redevelopment.
Kain, an employee of Burgis Associates, presented a thorough study of the property explaining what is wrong with it and how it could be improved. The current space is 37,323 square feet, has 99 spaces. The post office is to the right of it, and the Gallo building is to the left.
While there was a lengthy discussion amongst the members about Kain’s findings, Planning Board Chairman Jeffrey Wagenbach emphasized it was only a presentation, and there is no plan yet.
The study found that the space has the potential for more parking and if structured parking is needed the architect’s design should appeal to the public and be safe. He said because this is city property, Summit does not have to follow zoning laws, which would make redevelopment easier. The space meets several zoning permits for community and retail use sand meets the criteria for obsolete site layout and smart growth planning principles.
Kain said the primary reasons for redevelopment are surface parking is being inefficiently used and the parking is at capacity on a daily basis. Furthermore, the lack of parking causes accidents when people are looking for spots and surface parking is bad for pedestrian activity. He said the renovation will create a walkable neighborhood and ultimately the goal is to produce an attractive community and put the space to more efficient use.
Some other deficiencies he pointed out are the Railroad Avenue right of way dead ends into a parking lot, the electric overhead approaching is in bad condition and the site lighting is not in good shape.
Wagenbach said it’s the first step in a long process that will benefit the town in the long run.
At the next meeting on Feb. 25, the planning board will vote on a redevelopment resolution that will, if approved, head to the Common Council.