City Board Denies 17-Unit Project

By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI

Plans for a four-story, 17-unit residential property on the 300 block of First Avenue in Asbury Park were denied unanimously by the Board of Adjustment this week.

The applicant, who was asking for use and bulk variances,  began the process one year ago testifying before the board four times including three hours on Tues., Oct. 8

But Advanced Development Group, LLC  could not convince the board that the project was a good fit for the 100 by 100 foot lot on the corner of First and Asbury Avenues.

The site is the combination of two 50 by 100 foot lots, with the  Delmonte Hotel, a 52 bedroom rooming house, situated on one of the lots.

Board members believed that the building was just too large for the site, but suggested other larger, properties including the Asbury Avenue site of the former, now demolished, Metropolitan Hotel.

Board Chair Chris Avallone said, “It’s too much, the size, the density…and it’s important to maintain zoning.”

Board member Eric Galipo agreed.

“It’s not designed to fit this particular site,” he said.

Board Member Brittany Ashman, citing the lot coverage, said, “I don’t think this advances the property…the project has 81 percent building coverage when only 25 percent is allowed.”

Several First Avenue residents also testified that they believed the project is just too big.

Only one resident, whose main reason for his approval of the project is to see the Delmonte Hotel closed, was in favor of approving the application.

Several residents complained about the frequent police activity at the rooming house, where they say crime is high.

Other residents said although they would like to see the Delmonte closed they did not want it to be “at any cost.”

The proposed project included 17 units, four one bedroom and 13 two bedroom residences. Also a rooftop garden and recreation area.

The ground level was to have 33.2 parking spaces in the form of a stacked parking system with each unit having two stacked spaces with a mechanism for raising one car above the other.

The process of lowering the upper car would involve having the lower car back out of the space and the upper car lowered.

The applicants architect Nicholas Netta said he has worked with this parking system at other high density areas including Jersey City and it works well.

However, Netta could not explain how the electrical hydraulic system would be maintained.

Board member Daniel Harris said the lack of a maintenance plan was part of the reason he denied the application.

As a remedy to the applicant the board suggested choosing another, larger site for the project or appealing to the mayor and council to change the zoning of the property which is in close proximity of the Waterfront Redevelopment Area where the application would have a better chance of being approved.

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