New Providence Planners Delay Riverbend Vote Until April 10

These old garages at 33 Marion Avenue wil b... Credits: Michael Daigle

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The long-delayed Riverbend housing development has been delayed again.

The Planning Board on Tuesday pushed the scheduled last public hearing on the 22-unit development to April 10 after a full complement of seven voting members was  not available.

Bartholomew Sheehan Jr., the attorney for the applicant, said Tuesday that while all the lingering issues raised at a Feb. 17 hearing had been resolved, he would like a full board to be present for the actual vote. The board consented without debate.

Sign Up for E-News

The board has held five sessions dating back to last summer to hear the application for the  four-building, 22-unit project at Marion Avenue and South Street.

The complex contains four affordable housing units which help the borough satisfy its state requirement.

The development was first proposed in 1988, and applications were sought in 1995 and 2003.The project is subject to a developer’s agreement from the late 1980s that resulted in the development being included in the borough’s affordable housing plan.

The issues from the  February hearing related to the height of two of the four buildings that would require zoning variances.

The board expressed  concerns in February about the height of buildings three and four related to the grading necessary to level the lot, and their perceived height from neighboring properties.

The borough requires these housing units to be no more than 30 feet tall, and while the project’s architect previously testified that the buildings were 27 feet tall, because of the need to level the property, some areas would be raised above current grade more than others, affecting the final height of the building.

Building four, for example, was measured at about 1.5 feet too tall, while building three was just a half-inch too tall.

Rather than haggle over how the building could be brought into compliance, Sheehan sought the continuance.

The other issues raised in February was a variation of the plans to address parking, ease of access to the driveways and drainage on the project site and on Lot 18, a property that will remain inside the U-shaped Riverbend project.

Lot 18 is at a lower grade than Riverbend, and creating a stormwater management plan off the site has been the subject of numerous hearings.

Engineer Thomas Murphy presented the board with two options to address the sticky issues.

First, he proposed to move a parking space from building four to the common parking area, and reconfigure a second parking space to an angled space. The suggestion was made to address safety concerns raised by board member Nadine Geoffroy.

Murphy also said that as part of the construction, the applicant would, with the permission of the owner of Lot 18, grade a small area of that lot near a wall that would be constructed along Riverbend’s western driveway, to allow for better drainage to an underground pipe that would be installed to carry away stormwater, and end the current ponding that occurs in that section of the lot.

Lot 18 owner Joseph Carrasco said he would allow the developer to grade his lot to address the ponding and drainage issues.

A second plan offered by Murphy – to narrow the western driveway to 18 feet from the existing 24 feet, and make it a one-way exit, and to relocate the wall and buffering shrubs along the line with Lot 18 – raised more concerns that it solved.

The board questioned the safety of the driveway, whether drivers would try to enter the site through the one-way exit, and how that would affect the drainage of Lot 18 and the Riverbend site.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Step Up and Build a Stronger Union County

July 22, 2018

Union County residents who are seeking a meaningful, high-impact way to volunteer in their community can sign up as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties.

The organization is currently seeking volunteer mentors for its best-known program, Community Based Mentoring. The program involves individual mentoring with a local child or teen, age 6 to 18, with a ...

Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot)

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The Shrewd Mechanicals from the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre will perform Shakespeare Gumbo in the parking lot of Berkeley Heights Public Library, 110 Roosevelt Ave.,  on Friday, July 27, at 7:00 pm. 

Bring lawn chairs.  Change of location will be announced in case of inclement weather.

Local people with disabilities measure success and shortcomings of Americans with Disabilities Act

Local people with disabilities this month are lauding progress made since enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 28 years ago, but also point to the remaining distance between where they stand today and equal access to all sectors of the community.

Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals based on ...

'Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too'

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Planning Board Approves Site Plan Application for Berkeley Heights YMCA Facility on Locust Avenue

July 21, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Plans by the Summit YMCA to build a new outdoor pool and a 32,000+ square-foot building at the site of the Community Pool on Locust Avenue are moving ahead.

It took a little more than two hours Wednesday night for the applicants to receive preliminary and final site plan approval from the planning board for the new building. During the course of the hearing, ...

Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 22, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Aroma Flow Vinyasa

Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 11:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Hatha Flow Yoga

Health & Wellness


Mon, July 23, 6:30 PM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow Yoga


Tue, July 24, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...