Development to replace vacant Washington Street buildings
for Montclair Local
An application to demolish two vacant, dilapidated two-family dwellings at 11 and 13 Washington St. and construct new two-family building on each lot has been approved.
Schreck Development, LLC revised plans to unify both lots and build a four family, three-story structure. The Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the scaled back plan on April 17. The property owners are Brandon Brett and Blake Schreck of Woodland Park.
The configuration now indicates that one building will be located on each lot. Each structure will contain two full units — one in the front and one in the rear — with three bedrooms (one on each floor, including basement) and three full bathrooms. Loft space in each building would add a half unit of housing in each structure. The kitchens would be located on the second floors. The basement level in each building will also include a storage and laundry area. A shared 12-feet wide driveway along the common property line between the two lots will connect to a rear parking area with two parking spaces for each lot.
Traffic expert Charles Olivo and architect Anthony D’Agosta answered board questions about the site plans. Olivo noted that the four parking spaces provided as opposed to the required eight would not negatively impact the neighborhood. The property currently has no off-street parking, and the proximity to mass transit on Bloomfield Avenue helps.
“Public transit is a five- or six-minute walk from the site. It’s a quality versus quantity issue in terms of parking. We utilize alternative parking standards when the property is within walking distance to mass transit,” Olivo said. “On-street parking demand is high in the area because few two-family homes provide off-street parking.”
Board member and former fire department chief Kevin Allen voted no. He wanted to see fire sprinklers for the basement, despite no requirement for both building structures, he acknowledged.
Board chair William Harrison wanted HVAC units hidden, a two-foot walkway for rear units, and a six-feet high fence, which the applicant agreed to provide.
Variances granted were for a 60-foot lot width, where the existing lots have 25-foot widths; six and 10-foot side yard setbacks where the applicant proposed five and six for each dwelling; 25-foot front yard setback where the applicant proposed 12.5 feet; two parking spaces on each lot, where a total of four are required; and one-foot for driveways and four feet for parking areas setback, where the applicant proposed no setback for the shared driveway and a 2.5-foot setback for the rear parking area.