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Posts Tagged ‘#58-60 Main Avenue’

Main Avenue Ocean Grove. The people want to preserve our lifestyle

Main Avenue Ocean Grove. The people want to preserve our lifestyle. Blogfinger photo. Eileen Goldfinger shot the video clip below: “Keep Ocean Grove historic and uncluttered.” ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Here is a link and a quote taken from our December 6 post about the Pizza Building (#58-60 Main Avenue) and its application for variances.

In that  article we say, “It seems that the owners want to finesse this project by having it sail through the calm waters of the Planning Board on Wednesday, December 14, 7 pm, in the Municipal Building.”

https://blogfinger.net/2016/12/06/what-is-planned-for-the-pizza-building-and-why-is-the-matter-going-before-the-planning-board-instead-of-the-board-of-adjustment/

Report from the Planning Board meeting.  Dec 14, 2016 in Neptune Township:

In June, when the lawyer for Sackman Co., the owner of the Pizza Building (#50-60 Main Ave,) first wanted to get a variance to add a third floor and use it to create five 2-bedroom condos, the Administrative Officer for the Neptune Twp. Planning and Zoning boards, Kristie Armour, decided that the lawyer, Andrew Karis, Esq,  should bring his application to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA.)  The application was marked “ZBA.”  But Karas  disagreed with her, insisting that the Planning Board was where he should be. It was not clear why he would not take her advice.

Then someone at Neptune Twp. reversed her decision, and the application was placed on the agenda for tonight’s Planning Board meeting. We don’t know who changed the Board selection , exactly how it got changed, or why, but the Mayor should look into the process. Sackman has every right to improve his property, but procedures should be followed to protect the best interests of the community of Ocean Grove.

So tonight, at the Planning Board regular meeting, the Sackman lawyer, dressed in a nice suit and carrying a large briefcase, showed up with a small entourage, confident that the Planning Board would hand him an easy variance for what he wanted.  He even said that he expected to sail right through.

But he ran into resistance. The Board wanted to know why he wouldn’t go to the obvious place, the ZBA, but his answer was unclear.

Karas’ confidence was shaken when he tried to debate the Board’s Planner Jennifer Beahm.  She told the Board’s Chair, Sharon Davis,  that “the applicant was before the wrong board.”    Ms. Beahm was not forgiving when Mr. Karas tried to persuade her to ignore the Township’s clear ordinance which said that adding 5 extra bedrooms and sharply increasing the density of that site would be illegal, so the  application must go to the ZBA for a D variance.

Karas cited some prior case as a precedent, but  Mark Kitrick, the Board’s attorney, was not impressed.

So Ms. Davis  rejected the application saying, “The Board would not accept the jurisdiction.”  But the Pizza attorney, rattled by the turn of events, continued to insist  that he was before the correct board.

For some reason, Kitrick  left the door open for Karas to return with a better prepared argument next month.  Why is Karas so afraid of the Board of Adjustment?

At the end of  the meeting, during the Public Portion, Jack Bredin went to the microphone to make some points regarding the procedures at play in cases like this one. The Board’s lawyer gave Jack a hard time over technicalities, and  Jack was  harassed and interrupted when he went to the microphone.  Yet Jack managed to make a few points before he had to sit down.

He said that the Sackman lawyer, who disagreed with the June ZBA decision, should have appealed to the ZBA within 20 days.  But somehow the applicant was able to go before the Planning Board without filing that appeal——What’s wrong with this picture?

JIMMY BUFFETT with “Stars Fell on Alabama.”  Do you have a few minutes to meditate on a hopeful turn of events last night?

“We lived our little drama
We kissed in a field of white
And stars fell on Alabama
Last night..”

 

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Who will care about light, air, lifestyles, and history in Ocean Grove? Paul Goldfinger photo. Click to enlarge. ©

Who will care about light, space, air, lifestyles, and history in Ocean Grove? Paul Goldfinger photo. Click to enlarge. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

That two-story building, #58-60 Main Avenue, has shops on the ground floor and 5 rental apartments on the second floor.

The owner, Sackman Enterprises, of NYC and Asbury Park, wants to add a third floor. They want to renovate the apartments and turn them into five (5) two-bedroom condominiums with one of the bedrooms on the third floor for each unit.

The third floor may be added according to the HD-B-1 historic mixed use zoning. The lot is double, 3,600 square feet  (60′ x 60′). The maximum building height is 35 feet.  Blogfinger got to review the site plan today at the Municipal Building.  Luckily they gave us more than five minutes to study it.

The lawyers for the owner requested that their application be heard by the Planning Board, but there is reason to believe that the correct place would be the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). That is what the Planning/Zoning office thought in the first place and that is how they initially marked the paper work—–The application and plan have “ZBA” written on them.

But later that department decided to send it to the Planning Board as requested by the applicant’s attorneys.  We do not know the dynamics of that decision, but we suspect legerdemain.

The reason  that the ZBA would be a proper destination is that the building is non-conforming, and the third floor addition is non-conforming. Only the ZBA can grant the proper variances for the addition and for its use as condominiums.

And part of the problem for approving this project is density. It will increase congestion and parking problems in a part of town where those issues already exist. The Planning Board might not be interested in those aspects, but the ZBA may be.

In addition, an RSIS parking waiver should be proffered if the applicant wants to increase density without offering off-street parking.  Of course Neptune Township will likely ignore this Land Use law as they have done for years in approving condominium projects sans parking, all over town.

It seems that the owners want to finesse this project by having it sail through the calm waters of the Planning Board on Wednesday, December 14, 7 pm, in the Municipal Building.

If you are cynical about the way that projects get approved in this town, and if you are resigned to having the citizens of Ocean Grove lose these battles due to the lack of opposition, at least you can be informed. Come to that meeting. You can stand up and ask a question or not, but you may find it interesting to hear the discussion which may actually become heated and thus great fun.

The PB chair is Sharon Davis—–please be kind to our man Jack.

Link to the BF article on this subject 12/3/16. There is a photo of the building:

https://blogfinger.net/2016/12/03/going-up-owners-of-58-60-main-avenue-wants-to-add-a-third-floor-a-neighbor-is-concerned/

FRANK SINATRA AND COUNT BASIE:

 

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