Planning consultant John Jahr addresses a question from Hudson Avenue resident William Hartigan as builder Ray Rapcavage props up an exhibit Thursday night. Below, a view of the six-unit condo building fronting on Harding Road, which was to have been a greenmarket. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
For the fifth time, developer Ray Rapcavage has revised his plans for a residential development on the edge of downtown Red Bank, this time to accommodate complaints that eight homes on Hudson Avenue were too close to the street.
But nearby residents voiced concerns at a zoning board hearing Thursday night that the 22-unit project would worsen traffic and parking on an already busy and narrow street.
Planners hired by Rapcavage told the board that eight townhomes fronting on Hudson would now be set back 16 feet from the sidewalk, or six feet more than last proposed. The change would align the facades with the average setback of existing homes on the block, they said.
“This provides a nice streetscape as well as additional opportunities for landscaping,” engineer Andrew French told the board.
Rapcavage, of Rumson, told redbankgreen that the change was achieved by shaving a foot of length off the building, plus another four from the eight townhomes along Clay Street they back up against. In the process, the Clay Street units had been reduced by up “well over a 1,000 square feet” of floor space, his lawyer, Armen McOmber, told the board.
But questions from the audience focused on why the developer was proposing having vehicles enter the site via Clay Street and exit onto Hudson, how many cars would be exiting the site, and where guests would park.
Traffic engineer John Jahr, of the borough-based Mazer Consulting, testified that the impact on traffic flow from the project would be “de minimis,” or trivial.
“Trip generation for peak hours is very, very small,” with an estimated 10 vehicles leaving the site at morning peak and 17 arriving at the evening peak, said Jahr.
And with two-car garages underneath each unit, onsite parking for residents is more than adequate, given that the largest unit is about 1,750 square feet, he and others testified.
Residents would be prohibited from using their garages for any other primary use than parking vehicles, said McOmber. “You can’t put in a work bench or turn your garage or a man cave and go an park on Elm Place,” he said.
Several audience members indicated a preference for two-way flow within the site to allow cars to exit onto Clay Street. But Rapcavage’s professionals said that would require widening the interior lane that links Clay and Hudson, putting additional squeeze on the site layout.
They also said that the one-way-to-Hudson option was safer because of the traffic light at Hudson and Harding.
The case was scheduled to resume on December 3.