BRICK – Should the owners of a 64-year-old marina be granted a variance to build townhouses on their property that is currently zoned for single family homes?
That is the question before the township’s Board of Adjustment, who must decide if they should grant the developer a “D” variance, which would be necessary in order to build a proposed four-unit townhouse at the location of Starck’s Marina at 728 Princeton Ave., at the southeast foot of the Beaver Dam Bridge.
More than a dozen residents from the area have hired attorney Michele R. Donato to object to the application, which was presented during a recent Board of Adjustment meeting.
There were also about two dozen additional residents at the meeting, who had concerns about the application.
The applicant’s attorney, John Jackson, said there had been a slight modification to the original plan which showed a “fourplex,” or one building containing four units.
Due to a technicality with the State DEP (Department of Environmental Protection), the applicant would be required to construct two buildings instead of one, separated by just two inches, the attorney said.
“It does not affect the site plan or look,” Jackson said.
Attorney Donato said that since the application was now for two buildings on the lot instead of one, an additional variance would be required. She said the application should start over and new notices should be sent out to neighboring residents.
Township Planner Tara Paxton agreed with Donato, and said township zoning prohibits two principal buildings on one lot.
Jackson said he wanted to proceed with the original application for one building in order to move the case forward.
The applicant’s engineer Jeffrey Carr described the property on which there is currently a two-story single-family house, an inground pool, a deck, a boathouse that houses the marina rental facility, a concrete ramp/boat launch, and a T-dock.
He said the proposed fourplex townhouse complies with front, rear and side setbacks and lot coverage. The property is separated from the Beaver Dam Bridge by a 25-foot-wide strip of land that is owned by the county.
Board of Adjustment Attorney Ronald Cucchiara said it didn’t matter that the townhouse complies with setbacks because the use for a multi-family structure is not permitted in the single-family zone.
“Our ordinance does not set uses for structures that are not permitted in the zone,” Cucchiara said.
“If we were to build a large [single-family] house, is it conforming?” Jackson asked.
Carr said if it were a single-family home it could be even larger on the lot. He said the footprint for the fourplex is 3,046 square feet.
There will be at least two more hearings for the application. During the next hearing, the engineer would continue his testimony.
After all the professionals have completed their testimony and have been cross-examined by the opposing attorney, the public would have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments.
The next hearing will be at 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, at the municipal building.