The Bayonne Zoning Board voted down a four-story, 20-unit project that was seeking a bulk variance, which would’ve also required the demolition of two one-family homes, was voted down earlier this week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The applicant is seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval, use and bulk variance relief in order to demolish the two existing one-family houses on each of the lots and to construct a four-story, 20-unit building with 25 parking spaces,” the agenda item says.
The proposed building, proposed by Ramez Zaki, needed a bulk use variance as that neighborhood is located in a R-2 zone that only permits one and two-family homes.
“Once again Jimmy Davis takes the side of the developer over our neighbors. Anyone could see that a 20-unit building makes absolutely no sense on 32nd Street and would ruin the character of the neighborhood,” said 2nd Ward council candidate Georg Vinc, who is running on Council President Sharon Ashe-Nadrowski’s ticket.
After Vinc and other 2nd Ward residents spoke out against the project at Monday’s virtual meeting, the board voted 4-3 in favor of the project. However, since a bulk variance requires five affirmative votes, the project was still rejected.
Vice Chair Nick DiLullo and Secretary Louis Lombari joined Commissioners Joseph Pineiro and Ehab Gamal in voting yes, while Commissioners Arrigo De Ros, Jr. Cindi Sisk-Galvin, and Ryan Blake voted no.
“When I first got elected I knew that we needed to develop some parts of our City, especially the base and old industrial sites. 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,” Ashe-Nadrowski added.
Ashe-Nadrowski also said that she and her team found out about the “secretive plan” while going door-to-door and speaking to residents on Prospect Avenue about two weeks ago.
“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,” Vinc concluded.
Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski said Davis was also against the project, accusing Ashe-Nadrowski of again “trying to mislead voters.”
“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,” he 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.”
Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Mayor Jimmy Davis campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski.