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New Townhomes OK'd, Seen as Big Improvement

"I think the neighbors are going to be thrilled to death," one zoning board member said of the planned eight-unit project on Elm Street.

Members of the Madison Zoning Board of Adjustment on Thursday approved an application to build an eight-unit townhouse development on Elm Street in place of a liquor store and apartments currently at the site that the owner's engineer described as being in "poor condition."

All six board members who voted on the project supported it. Diane Driscoll and Timothy Blair said they saw the plan as an "improvement" for the neighborhood.

"I think the neighbors are going to be thrilled to death," Driscoll said.

Although he said it wouldn't take much to improve what's on the site, Ronald Poeter said the proposal was a good one.

"Anything would be an improvement," he said. "I think overall they've come up with a great plan."

Apartments at the site , according to documents on file with the .

Partners in LVJJ Investments LLC said after the vote they did not have a specific timetable for developing the property, but now the approvals are in place, they will start to consult with professionals about proceeding with the project.

The plan calls for two buildings with four townhouse units in each.

The zoning board heard the application over the last few months because building the condos requires a variance to allow double the housing density allowed in the R-5 Multi-Family Residential zone. During Thursday's meeting, the applicant showed a modified plan with one fewer unit, two more parking spaces and additional drywells to improve drainage.

The properties sit on a total of about 0.7 acres. 6 Elm Street has Madison Liquor & Convenience with two apartments on the second floor, and two more apartments attached to a garage behind the store. 4 Elm Street is a two-story, single-family home, with an additional apartment attached to a garage behind the house. Between 32 and 37 people total were sleeping in the home and five apartments daily, the borough fire official wrote in a Jan. 25 inspection report.

Michael Lami said the project is a good example of how the give-and-take of the application process is supposed to work, and Joseph Santoro said the applicant's willingness to reduce the number of units "got everyone on board." John Ciulla said the property is the "perfect area for this type of development."

Madison Cyclist May 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Did the owner indicate what they are doing with the liquor license? (keep or sell it)
Colleen Bohensky May 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Still... going to miss having the convenient store right there. We were constantly running down the street to get milk or bread... or wine. :)
TiredofMadisonPolitics May 11, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Gary will probably try to buy it to prevent more competition, similar to what was done with the Captain's Galley license.
chris May 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM
wish Whole Foods would bring back thier wine
Madison Cyclist May 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Yeah - I miss being able to buy beer/wine there. I don't think they can get a liquor license because Whole Foods has maxed out the number of licenses one entity can hold in NJ, or something like that. I believe they dropped the Madison license so they could add one at the new Hackensack store which is much larger than ours.
carmen A pico May 11, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I hope they are going to have some units that the average person can afford we do not need any more Hi End units we need to keep people in madison .
CG's old license is now at Prospect Street Tavern.
carmen A pico May 11, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I have further concerns. How much moderate housing willbe set aside at the GVR site once sold ? . Also there is a state mandate that says every town needs to set aside 10% of the units for moderate income housing when they devolop, so for example if we build at the GVR site 100 units 10 units would need to be set aside. I would like to know what are the plans ? Madisons affordable housing plan is to sell the units but what about the people who cant afford to buy but only rent are they going to be left out in the cold?. We need to keep the middle class and senior citizens in madison, moderate housing will do that. Our senior citizens and the middle class made madison what it is today the best place to live.
Madison Matters May 11, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Gov Christie suspendd that 10% quota a long time ago. All state COAH mandates were suspended. There are no more requirements from the state.
carmen A pico May 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM
If the Gov suspended those requirements I was unaware of that but lets get real here it seems the only thing the rich care about is how much money they can suck from the poor and middle class lets not forget the seniors.
been there done that May 12, 2012 at 04:30 PM
carmen: really? let me guess...you work for a municipality, right? that means you probably have union representation, which means the town or state is greatly overpaying for your services/pension/healthcare/etc.; which has driven up property & income taxes in NJ to the point where we are the most expensive state to live in in the U.S.; and somehow the RICH are to blame for this morass? Forest thru the tress, my man....
formercorpdirector May 13, 2012 at 03:30 PM
BTDT, let me guess, you are a newbie, right? Just for the record, Carmen is qite successfully self-employed. Madison was built and maintained by generations of families who still live there. Where are your roots?
been there done that May 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Twenty years in Madison, plenty active as a volunteer, paid enormous taxes to send your kids to a great school district, but that still makes me a "newbie", at least based on the backwards views of the people who "built" Madison. Btw, I'm not the one who made the class warfare comment!

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