By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
When Red Bank’s zoning board meets tonight, it will hold a public hearing for final site plan approval on a West Side development that already has the board’s OK. Construction even started, too.
That’s what some people are saying about the return of the RW @ River’s Edge condominium project. And not many know why.
It appears the developer is trying to get what it couldn’t from the zoning board years ago more units on the riverside lot between Drs. James Parker Boulevard and Bank Street.
According to records from the zoning office, the developer is seeking an amendment to its already-approved, 11-unit site plan, to build 15 units. The board rejected a 14-unit proposal in 2006, saying it was too dense for the area it was to be built on.
After a long string of testimony and public hearings, RW gained approval to build 11 units 10 single-family condos and one two-family. This new plan calls for 14 single-family condos and one two-family, according to an application sent to the board, member Rosemary Minear said.
Work even got started on the project back in May. But it only last a couple weeks.
Details have been scarce since work stopped and the application was delivered to borough hall. Board members, even, aren’t sure why RW is returning to try and build more units.
Phone calls to Red Bank’s engineer and the developer’s attorney have not been returned.
“I have no idea why. It is not explicit at all as to why they’re changing their plans at all,” Minear said. “I’m very anxious to know myself.”
Brian Donohue, who lives on Bank Street across from the project site and has followed its developments since it came before the board in 2006, is equally confounded. He said given the drawn-out process just to get the 11 units approved, it’s puzzling to figure out why the developer is seeking a change that already has been denied.
In an email sent to redbankgreen Wednesday, Donohue wrote:
“I’m perplexed. We’ve gone through this entire process, and frankly, the system worked pretty well. Neighbors wanted a smaller number of homes built there, maybe 7 or 8. The developer wanted 14. He got approval for 11, so really, there was a meeting in the middle. We were excited to see them begin building and then to have them stop and come back asking for 15 – it’s confusing. I’m hoping to be wowed tomorrow night with a plan for how they’re going to fit 15 units in there, but I’m skeptical. The board was clear that 14 was too many in 2006. How is 15 going to work?”
Minear says it’s possible the site plan amendment could open the door for another series of hearings and delays to the project.
“It substantially changes the application,” she said. “It’s more than just a slight amendment.”
The zoning board meets tonight at 6:30p at borough hall. The agenda can be viewed here.