By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
Several residents of 601 Bangs Ave., Asbury Park attended this week’s Planning Board Meeting to voice concerns about a new application by developer Carter Sackman to add two stories of residential units to 527 Bangs Ave.
The building currently has two retail stories on the ground level.
Sackman’s attorney, Andrew Karas, presented the plans explaining that the ground level would still have retail space, but a parking garage, with 15 spots, were proposed.
The plans call for adding two more stories to the now two-story building to house 42 residential units.
Current requirements for parking mandate one and half spots be provided per unit, or developers must pay $15,000 per space for those not provided.
With 42 units being built the parking requirement would be 63. Because the plans include 15 parking spaces, it leaves a 48 space deficit.
When the floor was opened for public comment it quickly became evident that residents at 601 Bangs Avenue were not happy about the lack of parking spots.
Karas and some board members explained that the plan complies with the law which was enacted during the early stages of the city’s redevelopment as a way to bring developers into the city.
Many at the meeting, however, believe the ordinance should be changed to require more parking for residential complexes.
The law was devised as a way for the city to collect the funds and eventually build a municipal parking garage.
Many of those who spoke also asked when the parking deck would be built.
Karas said many people now living in cities don’t have cars and because the spaces are strictly for residential and not commercial use, there would not be a high turnover of cars coming and going.
One resident of 601 Bangs Ave. said he recently had to park seven blocks from his home.
“You are dumping more parking people in our neighborhood,” he said.
Emily Santangelo, also of 601 Bangs Ave., said the one way streets in the neighborhood could make navigating with more cars in the area difficult and asked the board to complete a traffic study.
Board Attorney Jack Serpico said the board would have to authorize a traffic study.
Mark Santangelo asked if providing only one third of the required parking and paying for the rest, spoke to the intent of the law saying he believed it was “abusive” and not keeping with the spirit of the law.
“What’s the precedent? Has this been done before?” he asked.
“Yes, too many times,” said Mayor John Moor.
Board Planner Fred Heyer said he believed the time has come for a parking deck in the city.
David Barber, who moved from Allenhurst to 601 Bangs Ave. year ago, said after the meeting that he and his wife love living in the city but in addition to parking problems cited garbage problems.
“You look down Bangs Avenue there are 40 garbage bins, it’s very congested,” he said. “If they do this it will become Gotham City.”
The application was carried and will be discussed again by the board on June 26.