ROXBURY, NJ - A plan by Lake's End Marina in Landing to expand its business on property across the road from its current site is about to be debated by Roxbury Township officials.

The proposal, on the Roxbury Zoning Board's Jan. 8 meeting agenda, includes merging several lots on the west side of Mount Arlington Boulevard and using the property for the sale, display, repair and storage of boats.

Lake's End Marina owner David Gedicke, of Sparta, wants to convert -into a boat showroom and 2-bay boat service center - a building on the site that formerly housed a dry-cleaning business. He also wants to renovate a second building, the site of the former Lakeland Deli, to turn its upstairs apartments into office space.

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Additionally, Gedicke hopes to create a paved parking lot for 24 vehicles. He wants a boat display area, out by the road, that would hold seven to nine boats. Behind a 6-foot-wide landscaping bed, and a 6-foot-high fence, there will be an outdoor boat storage/seasonal parking lot.

In a letter to the township, an engineer for Lake’s End Marina asserted the proposal "represents a substantial aesthetic improvement to conditions on the site, would affirmatively advance the public good and would produce no substantial impairment" to the community.

The idea is not exactly new. In 2006, Lake’s End won township approval to erect a new, 3,400-square-foot building on the site that would have been used for boat sales, display and service. The building was never built and has been eliminated from the new proposal.

Limited outdoor boat storage and seasonal parking were permitted under the 2006 zoning board actions, but Gedicke “did not fulfill Resolution compliance,” noted Stern.

He now needs several zoning variances including a “D” use variance according to Roxbury Township Planner Russell Stern.

Gedicke, approached Friday, declined discussing the project.

A 'Catalyst' for Further Landing Upgrades

In approving Lake’s End’s 2006 proposal, “The Zoning Board recognized that Lake Hopatcong is a unique recreational resource and the encouragement of appropriate recreational uses is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Municipal Land Use Law and Zoning Ordinance,” wrote Stern in a report to the board.

Stern also told the board that development of the site the way the board envisioned in 2006 “would result in a much enhanced aesthetic upgrade.”

In its 2006 variance approval, the board said, “It is anticipated and hoped that the improvement and redevelopment of this site by the applicant will act as a catalyst for further improvements along this section of Mt. Arlington Boulevard,” according to Stern.

Along those lines, one group that has yet to formally weigh-in on Gedicke’s current proposal is the Landing Gateway and Streetscaping Committee. That advisory panel (Gedicke is a “citizen-at-large” member) discusses ways to improve Landing’s appearance and identity as a “gateway” into Roxbury.

The committee is likely to insist that Gedicke’s project blend with other Landing area upgrades including the restoration of the 104-year-old former Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad station, the new Landing Park Recreation Complex and a new Landing Road bridge being planned.

Gedicke’s plans call for dedicating to Roxbury a 10-foot-wide strip of land, between his property and the lot housing a real estate office on the corner. “It is envisioned that this dedication will serve as a pedestrian connection between the (New Jersey Transit) train station and Lake Hopatcong,” noted Stern.