EDISON, NJ - During the January 19 Zoom meeting, the Edison Zoning Board held 2021 elections. Chairperson Rosemary Feteric was reelected. Vice Chair Mike Comba, Secretary Cassandra Augustine, Attorney Bhavini Shah, Planner Hank Bignell, and Engineer Charlie Carley also returned to the board.
The members first held a brief moment of silence in honor of the 400,000+ Americans who lost their lives to COVID. Later, the board heard Fox & Foxx Development’s appeal for 292 Central Ave. (Case #Z11-2019). In November 2019, Fox & Foxx appeared before the board to propose a 3-story apartment complex with 12 units and 22 parking spaces. The plan was denied due to safety and traffic concerns.
Fox & Foxx, represented by attorney Jeff Lehrer, returned this year with a revised site plan—a 2-story building with 8 units and 18 parking spaces. The scaled-back plan reduced density from 12 units per acre to 6 units per acre. It also brought down impervious coverage from 57.9% to 48.8%.
Lehrer brought forth 4 witnesses to argue the benefits of the new plan. Fox & Foxx surveyor Jeff Kraeft addressed concerns the board had about the original application. He pointed out that the 8 unit apartment had more green space, a larger trash enclosure, and the addition of a bike rack. Architect Mark Marcille explained the exterior materials would be largely unchanged. “We’re still proposing heavy duty vinyl siding, vinyl shutters, and asphalt roof shingles. [We’ve] just reduced the size of the building.”
Traffic consultant Jerrid Dinnen stated that the apartment complex would be a “low trip generator,” meaning that it wouldn’t substantially impact traffic. Furthermore, he testified that the site plan allowed for more parking space than the national average. Lastly, the construction of a front sidewalk would promote walkability to the train station, which is approximately a quarter-mile from the proposed site.
The final witness, planner Kennam Hughes, concluded that the apartments would not be detrimental to the surrounding area. “The site is well landscaped, and there will be fencing to provide a visual stream. The 2-story building will be very much compatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood.” The Edison Zoning Board approved the application with the stipulation that each apartment would be capped at 2 adults.
The next Zoning Board meeting will be held on January 26 at 7pm via Zoom.