rayrap 090315 1A house at the corner of Harding Road and Hudson Avenue, above, is one of five that would be demolished if  the plan is approved. Below, neighbors examined exhibits during a break in Thursday’s hearing. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


rayrap 090315 3After a nine-month pause, Ray Rapcavage returned to the Red Bank zoning board Thursday night with his plan to create 22 homes on the eastern edge of the downtown.

Given the passage of time, plan revisions and the fact that three members weren’t on the board when hearings began 13 months ago, the Rumson-based builder agreed to start his presentation anew. But after some two hours of testimony, the hearing adjourned again without a decision. And it won’t resume for at least six more weeks.

david carnevale 090315Architect David Carnivale discusses his design for the condo building, which previously was to have held a greenmarket. Below, the site plan submitted by RayRap in July. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rayrap site plan 072815An engineer and two architects testified in support of the proposal by Rapcavage, owner of RayRap Realty, to build 22 condo and townhouse units on adjoining lots on Harding, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

The project would replace five single- and two-family homes Rapcavage owns on Harding and Hudson, including the shell of a house destroyed by fire in May, 2012. He needs a variance because the zoning allows for an office building or other commercial structure, but not multifamily housing.

Architect David Carnivale detailed his concept of what was to have been a greenmarket fronting on Harding Road, where there’s now a dilapidated house and an empty lot that was once home to a gas station. The market was eliminated from the plan in July, and replaced by six condos, though much of the exterior design was unchanged.

Cathy Zukerman, of CDZ Architects, testified about changes to her designs for two buildings of eight townhouses each, fronting on Clay Street and Hudson Avenue. Each would have a first-floor garage for two vehicles, with access via a center driveway between the two buildings. Unlike the earlier plan, the new one does not call for garages facing the street, she said.

The strongest lines of questioning from board members concerned the provision for garbage can storage at the condo building, and whether the loft spaces on the three-and-a-half-story townhouses would be livable space.

Board member Sean Murphy also grilled Carnivale on setbacks, which he said don’t match those of existing homes just to the north of the site on Hudson Avenue.

“Basically, you’re sitting on the sidewalk, almost,” he said.”I’m not sure that’s fitting in with the neighborhood. I have a concern with that.”

The project previously dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ has been rebranded as ‘Le Belle Vue Village,’ though neither name was uttered at the hearing.

The case was scheduled to resume on October 15.

ICYMI: Here’s a redbankgreen post that explains how RayRap assembled the properties and shows the demolition of the gas station in 2007.