Bayonne Zoning Board rejects plans for 20-unit building on single family homes

Residents and candidates came out to oppose the planned four-story multi-family project

The Bayonne Zoning Board of Adjustment has rejected an application to construct a redevelopment on the site of single-family homes.

The proposal called for a four-story multi-family residential building with 25 parking spaces at the site of two single family homes at 73 and 77 West 32nd Street. Plans called for a parking garage on the ground floor, six one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom units on the second and third floors, and a small fourth floor that is setback to allow access to a rooftop patio.

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To make way for the project, the developer was planning to tear down two existing single-family homes. However, the proposed building needed a use variance as that neighborhood is located in a R-2 zone that only permits one and two-family homes, thus the appearance before the Zoning Board.

On Monday, March 21, the board voted 4-3 in favor of the application by Ramez Zaki of Abba Karas Realty, LLC. However, because it is a bulk variance, five affirmative votes were needed, and thus the application failed. Those who were in favor of the project included Vice Chairman Nicholas DiLullo, Secretary Louis Lombari, and Commissioners Joseph Pineiro and Ehab Gamal. Meanwhile Commissioners Arrigo DeRos, Cindi Sisk-Galvin, and Ryan Blake voted against the application.

During the hearing, residents spoke in opposition to the project, stating that the proposed building did not fit in with the homes on that street and that it would alter the character of the neighborhood. This including resident George Vinc, the Second Ward Council candidate running with City Council President and mayoral candidate Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski. Members of Team Nadrowski were made aware of the application from one of the neighbors who heard about the project.

Proposal sees residents protest

“Once again Jimmy Davis takes the side of the developer over our neighbors,” said Vinc. “Anyone could see that a 20 unit building makes absolutely no sense on 32nd Street and would ruin the character of the neighborhood.”

“When I first got elected I knew that we needed to develop some parts of our City, especially the base and old industrial sites,” said Ashe-Nadrowski. “But when we start allowing developers to tear down one and two-family homes that are occupied by working families I have a real problem with that.”

A redeveloper-submitted picture of the existing homes on the site at West 32nd Street.

Two weeks ago, Team Ashe-Nadrowski went door-to-door on Prospect Avenue speaking with residents about the plan.

“The lack of respect that the Davis administration has for Bayonne working families is truly remarkable,” said Vinc. “If it was not for our efforts to shine a spotlight on this development the public would only be aware after the building was approved and under construction. Enough is enough.”

In response, Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said Davis opposed the project.

“Once again Sharon Nadrowski is trying to mislead voters, so let’s make this very clear: Mayor Davis opposes this project and has publicly called for a pause on all new development in existing neighborhoods so that the city can study its impact on quality of life,” Swibinski said. “It’s laughable that the Nadrowski campaign is trying to attack Mayor Davis for a project that the Zoning Board rejected and that is not moving forward. With her record of voting in favor of dozens of long term tax abatements for developers and jeopardizing the revitalization of MOTBY, it’s no wonder Nadrowski is so desperate to change the subject.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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