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Developer working to appease neighbors in Jersey City zoning case

A developer could be headed back to the drawing board after residents of The Heights community in Jersey City balked at plans for a high-rise apartment building to be constructed on a site currently occupied by an aging two-story warehouse.

Representatives of the developer held an area meeting recently to explain the project, which would require a change of zoning before city officials could sign off on the building.

The industrial building sits at 107 New York Ave., and takes up about a city block. It is adjacent to one of the roads used to enter the residential neighborhood. Models of the proposed building show an aluminum and masonry structure that at nine stories tall would dwarf the surrounding homes.

The original plan called for an 18-story building with 128 residential units built above a community center. After opposition, the project was reduced to nine stories with primarily 96 one- and two-bedroom residences. The original structure would be incorporated into the new one. In all, there also would be 68 parking spots for cars and another 62 for bicycles, as well as three retail spaces.

For the project to proceed, the Jersey City zoning board would have to grant both a height and use variance. A representative for the developer said during the meeting that plans had not been submitted yet, and the Riverview Neighborhood Association expressed its opposition. The representative told the website Jersey Digs that the plan likely wouldn't move forward with this blueprint.

Zoning laws are there to make sure buildings fit the use of the neighborhood protect area property owners. The developer is within its rights to request a change in zoning; the residents are within theirs to challenge it. If you are a developer, you should consult with an attorney experienced in real estate in matters that involve zoning before moving forward with your project to review the laws and learn of the path ahead.

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