SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – A unanimous decision Thursday from the Scotch Plains Zoning Board of Adjustment shut down hopes of the proposed apartment complex on North Avenue in Scotch Plains near the Westfield border.
Developer Don Villane and others presented testimonies in front of the zoning board Thursday seeking approval for a variance that would ultimately allow the building company to erect a 20-unit apartment complex on North Avenue next to Charlie Brown’s.
Public concern was evident by the number of local citizens in attendance who voiced their opinions on the subject.
“I’ve seen what you guys are capable of building. Go ahead and put four beautiful single family homes on the lot, and you would not have to deal with all of this,” Michael Abate, a resident of Promenade, said during the public comment section.
Villane stirred some residents during his testimony by stating the lot in question does not necessarily lend itself to a neighborhood community.
“I’m offended,” said Maggie Yawger, who lives on North Avenue directly across from the property. “Every Thursday night in the summer we have ice cream socials and in September we throw a block party for the entire neighborhood.”
In the end the public outcry played an important role in the decision, as some Chris Thompson and Dan Sullivan cited the public opinion as part of their reasoning, ultimately voting against the variance.