The Fort Lee Planning Board’s meeting on May 9, 2023, saw significant progression of two large development projects despite contention and outstanding issues. The meeting highlighted the ongoing struggle between local development needs and community concerns about traffic and infrastructure.
The application from 2130 Center Avenue, LLC, proposing a preliminary and final major site plan for a 24-unit residential building over parking, was met with concerns and delays. Chairman Sugarman expressed reservations, citing the application’s incompleteness due to unresolved issues with the Parking Authority and outstanding storm water easement approvals. Despite these concerns, the application will move forward to the next meeting scheduled for June 27, 2023.
The plan, which originated in 2021, presents a six-story building with two bottom levels for parking, accommodating 49 spaces — one more than required. An agreement with the Parking Authority is still pending over the loss of two public parking spaces on Bridge Plaza North. Furthermore, the proposed location on Bridge Plaza North for an access point drew criticism from Chairman Sugarman, who worries that this “right in-right out” setup could be hazardous, based on similar configurations elsewhere in Fort Lee.
In contrast, the application representative Mr. Tuvel argued that the project’s volume is low, with the number of vehicle trips anticipated to be minimal. Despite the contention, the board opted to continue the discussion at a later date.
Meanwhile, a proposed development at the former site of the Fort Lee Post Office moved closer to fruition. The plan, brought forth by 223 Main Fort Lee, LLC, calls for a three-story mixed-use building, with retail space on the ground floor and two residential units above. The proposed development’s plans comply with the Neglia report dated May 3, 2023, and have gained county approval. The board raised no significant objections to this project during the meeting.
In addition to these large-scale plans, the board approved various smaller development projects, including an addition to a single-family dwelling and multiple signage approvals. Furthermore, three proposals for two-unit dwellings and a window well for a single-family home were deemed complete and are set to proceed to the hearing stage.