Edison Zoning Board Debates Medical Office Expansion and Industrial Equipment Variance Request

The Edison Zoning Board grappled with significant zoning interpretation and variance requests at a recent meeting, including a proposal to expand operations at a medical office and a request by an industrial facility to install equipment exceeding height regulations. The interpretation review for a property on Oak Tree Road and the variance request by Eostar Chemicals LP for the installation of new equipment in the LI Zone were the focal points of the meeting, drawing extensive discussion and public interest.

The evening began with Chairman Kumba underscoring the board’s commitment to impartiality and adherence to zoning ordinances. The first major issue addressed was case Z44-2023, concerning Dr. Arana Joi and her husband Nesh Joi’s request for an interpretation of a 1989 resolution. The Jois sought to add a second medical professional to their practice, who would operate during alternate hours from the existing professional to mitigate parking concerns. Attorney Bernard Shire and expert Mr. Dupont argued that the additional professional would not violate the original resolution’s stipulations since the resolution did not specify operating hours. However, the board expressed apprehension about potential overlaps in operation and the subsequent impact on parking. A public hearing was suggested by board members to thoroughly assess the proposal’s implications.

Bell insisted on the importance of a review of the facility’s impact on the neighborhood. He recommended a minor site plan or site plan approval and a use variance to enforce the number of doctors at the facility. Echoing this sentiment, Mr. Char advocated for a public hearing given changes in regulations and the neighborhood. A motion by Mr. Joshi declared the proposal inconsistent with the resolution.

Attention then shifted to Eostar Chemicals LP’s request for variance approvals to replace outdated equipment with a new process scrubber to enhance environmental emissions. The height of the new equipment exceeded current zoning limits by more than 10 feet, necessitating a D6 use variance. Daniel Fster, the site manager, emphasized the ecological benefits of the update, asserting it would not increase the facility’s operations or workforce. Board members inquired about the facility’s operations, transportation of chemicals, and the precedent set by granting a height variance. Project engineer and planner Robert Walsh provided detailed exhibits and testimony.

Mr. Walsh, in his professional planning opinion, identified both positive and negative statutory criteria for the variance, noting the benefits to public health and safety and the minimal impact on the industrial zone. The planning consultant, Mr. Bignell, raised concerns about the applicant’s past compliance with permits and certificates of occupancy, mandating these issues be resolved before final approval. The engineering report from Delaware Engineering addressed compliance with solid waste management and recycling mandates, which the applicant agreed to discuss in the next meeting.

The board entertained a request from the applicant to postpone the vote until additional board members were present, setting the date for the next meeting on February 27th. The public segment of the meeting was opened briefly, followed by a motion to close and the scheduling of the next vote for February 27th.

The meeting concluded with routine items, such as the roll call, approval of minutes, and a brief recess before addressing other cases, including Divia Properties’ variance request for a second-story deck.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Sam Joshi
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