NEWARK, NJ - A developer received variances from the city zoning board for two new residential apartment buildings in the Ironbound section after coming up with a better on-site parking plan.
YK Group Development Consulting first asked for three developments’ variances last month. The city zoning board gave its approval for a 28-residential development at 526- 532 Mulberry St. at that time, but told the developer to come back with more parking spaces for the other two five-story developments.
While a group of Ironbound residents last month raised concerns over depleting parking near the Mulberry Street development, no one objected to the additional two developments from last night's meeting.
“I have concerns here," said zoning board member Charles Auffant, although he appreciated the attentiveness of the developer. "Parking is a real concern. I think if you continue to push for density variances - especially in a part of the city that is suffering from high density - it continues to be a real concern. It’s something that the board has been concerned with for quite some time.”
The development on 529-531 Mulberry Street reduced the number of units from 16 to 15 and increased parking from six to nine spaces. It will be adjacent to the residential building that was approved at the meeting last month, should it be fully approved.
The other development at 166-170 Emmet St. also received variances from the board. It will still have the originally proposed 19 units, but the on-site parking increased from nine to 14 spaces.
Dynamic Traffic, which conducted the traffic study for all three projects, anticipated parking to be reduced by the use of public transportation and ride-sharing apps. John McCormack, the traffic engineer, said he observed dozens of available parking spaces throughout the course of the week and weekend during the study.
The zoning board asked McCormack if all three developments were considered when taking parking into account. Overall, the project is now slated to have 62 one and two-bedroom units with 39 on-site parking spaces.
“These three buildings are going to use up some of that surplus, there's no doubt about that,” McCormack responded. “There is -- as I mentioned -- sufficient parking. There's got to be at least two dozen, if not three dozen parking spaces within literally a thousand feet in less than two blocks of this owner.”