During the Fort Lee Board of Adjustment meeting held on August 22, 2023, several site plans were discussed and approved, with much attention on details regarding building specifications and adherence to the local zoning codes. Notably, discussions on site plans were fruitful, with agreements reached on adjustments and improvements to be undertaken in various proposals, including green space incorporation and drainage system installations. The meeting was spearheaded by Chairman Douglas Sugarman, with council members including Harry Liapes, Dennis M. Conway, Howard Joh, Sebastian J. Tropea, Luis Pacheco, Joseph Luppino, and Eun Ju Hong present, along with Board Attorney Joseph Marinello and other staff members. John Nitti was absent.
One of the prominent topics discussed involved a site plan by 136 Myrtle Avenue, LLC concerning a four-unit dwelling at 136 Myrtle Avenue. The site plan, continued from the public hearing of August 8, 2023, underwent meticulous scrutiny. A significant concern was raised by Howard Joh regarding the presence of a full bath and an egress door on the ground floor, a feature not commonly approved in previous deliberations. Despite the objections, the board approved the preliminary and final major site plan with a vote of 6-0, with Mr. Joh dissenting.
Following this, the discussion shifted to a proposal presented by 214 Columbia, LLC, aimed at renovating a triplex at 212-214 Columbia Avenue. This project intends to substantially upgrade the existing building, adding green space, new sidewalks, and a modernized drainage system. The plan also involves installing new curbs along Columbia Avenue, alongside other improvements. Mark Martins and Vassilios Cocoros provided expert inputs on the building layout and the architectural plan. Following a detailed presentation and addressing the board’s queries, the proposal was unanimously approved with a 7-0 vote, marking a positive step towards the area’s development.
Earlier in the meeting, the board deemed two applications complete, which included plans by 135 OPR, LLC for a three-unit dwelling at 135 Old Palisade Road and Oak Tree Fort Lee, LLC’s proposal for restaurant and signage at 2016 Center Avenue. These applications were approved to move forward, setting the stage for more detailed discussions in future meetings. However, an application by 1550 Bergen Boulevard, LLC for a thirty-two-unit multi-family building at 1550 Bergen Boulevard was deemed incomplete due to a missing survey.
Additionally, an extension of time approval until July 13, 2024, was granted for a minor site plan involving an LED billboard sign at 175 Bridge Plaza North presented by JEM Associates. The request, which aimed to extend the municipal approvals by a year, was passed with a unanimous vote.