After an earlier decision to table to the first reading of Ordinance #1746 for a proposed zoning amendment for a group of along Kinderkamack Road, the River Edge Mayor and Council later changed their mind during Monday's meeting to move forward.
The ordinance was initially tabled due to additional questions by Councilmen John Cannon and Sandy Moscaritolo.
"I was on the council when we first rezoned this area," Cannon said. "My concern is at that point we rezoned a number of lots. Does this amendment address all of the properties so if someone wanted to come in and buy two houses and then redevelop."
But according to Borough Attorney Sam Cereste, the amended ordinance does not change the conditional use of the area in the R-1 district from Block 1005, Lots 6.01 through 12 and Block 1302, Lots 1 through 3 as part of a multi-family use.
"To build a complex of any sort, a developer would need 80,000 square feet of land," Cereste explained. "They would literally need two acres and then need 1700-square feet for each residential unit on site so as to include open space and not overcrowd the area. By making this a conditional use, the ordinance will preserve the integrity of the single-family area."
While David Listokin, a professor at the Center for Urban Policy Research of Rutgers University, estimated that the development could bring up to nine students to the local public school system, Moscaritolo requested clarification on the matter.
"The statistics presented were based on townhouses," Moscaritolo said. "If there is a chance any of the units would be market rentals, that would have a different impact on the school system."
Thomas Barrett, the attorney for the development project, was in attendance at the council meeting and stated that the intention is to avoid market rentals but it could be a possibility.
"The intent is to sell the units for profit," Barrett said. "If they are not sold there is a possibility they could be rented but that is not the intention. The lender will not lend funding if the developer is not successful in preselling a number of the units.
"I've been here in River Edge, living and working for 49 years now and the pace of development has always been slow. To the point where opportunities have been lost," Barrett continued. "I've seen opportunities come and go, but here is someone willing to do something. There is no risk to introduce the ordinance today and if any questions are not resolved in two weeks, you have the right to vote against it."
The zoning amendment, once reviewed by the Planning Board, would still need final approval by the governing body.
If approved, the developer for 230 Kinderkamack Road in River Edge could present a site plan review to the Planning Board for a three building project comprised of 46 two-bath, two-bedroom condominium's.