CHATHAM, NJ - On Dec. 6, Stanley Church and JMF Properties met with neighborhood residents and told them of the plan to build a 12-unit condominium building on the 2/3 acre property that used to house the Stanley Nursery School.
Stanley Church is selling the land to JMF Properties, contingent on the "land use" variance needed for the construction of such units in the single-family residential neighborhood.
On Monday night, about a dozen residents of Fairmount Avenue, Orchard Road and Oliver Street came before the Borough of Chatham Council to express their opposition to any such development.
"What they're asking to do breaks about every zoning rule," Dan McCarthy, a resident of Fairmount Avenue, said. "Every neighbor told them this is not a good idea and (Stanley representatives) told them that ship has sailed because we've already entered into an agreement with a developer and we're going forward, regardless of what you think.
"The neighborhood got organized to oppose the development. We think it's a really bad thing for Chatham and in a violation of the master plan. They showed us a diagram of it and it looked like a dormitory."
Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris explained that the council could not comment on the issue since they would be the body to hear an appeal if it were to be approved by the zoning board.
Chatham residents have set up a website preservefairmount.org to inform people of the project and also have hired a lawyer to fight the approval of the "land use" variance.
Graeme Dewar, a 20-year resident of Chatham, voices his opposition for the proposed condominiums on Fairmount Avenue
James Lott, Chatham Borough attorney, explains the process it would take to get a "use variance" for the construction of the condominiums in the residential neighborhood
Dan McCarthy informs the borough council that he has not found one person in favor of the proposed condominiums