CEDAR GROVE, NJ – The Cedar Grove Zoning Board heard summations for attorneys representing St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church, as well the neighborhood residents at Tuesday’s meeting, but still no decision has been made.
The church located off of Bradford Avenue on Woodstone Drive is seeking approval from the board to expand the church to offer more seating and more parking. The proposed plan required 16 variances to address parking regulations, building height and a variety of other exceptions to current zoning laws.
The application has been before the Zoning Board and under discussion for several years. Residents of the neighborhood have voiced many concerns, including an increase in traffic, which is reportedly already bad, the potential changes to property value and the community, the number of variances needed to pass the application, environmental impact as the plan calls for cutting down 110 trees, and parking concerns.
At the end of the lengthy meeting on Tuesday night, several board members expressed the opinion that while the church did show a need for the renovation, the broad scope of the project made it difficult to grant approval.
Robert Gaccione, the attorney representing St. Mark’s, agreed to submit another plan to the board, reducing the scope of the project so that the board could vote at the May 10 meeting. Proper procedure requires any amended site plan to be filed with the Cedar Grove Zoning Board 10 days prior to a scheduled meeting.