BAYONNE, NJ – A developer’s plan to build five two-family houses at the former site of one of Bayonne’s most historic houses was shelved until June as Bayonne Planning Board commissioners voted unanimously that he come back with an alternate plan.
The Board voted 8-0 on Tuesday, April 12 to table the application of Mitchell Burakovsky of Skye Development to divide the property at 124 West 5th Street into five lots. Board member Eneas Mulcahy resigned from his seat prior to the meeting and did not participate in the vote.
The board will hear the matter again on June 14 at 6 p.m.
The property was a source of controversy last fall when area residents fought to keep the colonial revival mansion built in 1898 at the site from being torn down. Burakovsky had discussed a compromise at a Dec. 1 Bayonne Historic Preservation meeting, but the house was ultimately demolished on Dec. 21 to make way for the development.
Residents’ comments at the meeting focused on the reduced parking the development would bring and about how the look of the neighborhood would be affected by the project.
Before voting on the measure, Chairman Ted Garelick polled board commissioners about their feelings regarding the project as outlined. Most said they thought five houses were too many to be built at the site, and some thought additional effort could be made to make them more architecturally attractive.
“I would like to see four houses, instead of five, to keep the integrity of the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Juan Perez, also a city councilman.
Commissioner Laura Marsella and others thanked Burakovsky for his continued interest in developing in the city, and for reconsidering his 5th Street project.
“After hearing the comments of the board, we’re willing to compromise on our plan to make the neighbors feel better about the on-street parking,” Burakovsky said. “We’re resubmitting a plan with four two-family homes and more parking offsite. We look forward to going before the board in June and getting a positive result.”