A presentation made by developer TDB Associates, Inc. during Tuesday night's Long Branch Council meeting to build a new condominium complex in the city's Beachfront North redevelopment zone was met with tremendous criticism from site's neighbors to the north and south.
"How is a wall con condos in Long Branch's best interests," Leslie Schneider of the Seaview Park Townhomes said.
The Seaview Park Townhomes are located to the north of the proposed development on Marine Terrace and the Promenade Beach Club is located directly south.
Residents of the townhomes raised concerns over the site's setback from OCean Avenue, side setbacks from neighbors, "inadequate" on-site parking, flooding and the overall impact to the neighborhood.
Resident Mitchell Storch said the fact that the proposed complex would have only one driveway for vehicles to enter and exit is dangerous, especially if an emergency vehicle had to enter it.
"The added parking is also a recipe for disaster," Storch said.
One of the owners of the Promenade, Jeff Chimento, said the balconies on the south end of the condos would give residents a direct view of the beach club's pool and bathers, and vice versa.
"You can see the faces of the people who are ogling us," Chimento said.
Chimento said he has meet with representatives from TDB to discuss his issues with the plan. Anthony Monzo, attorney for TBD Associates, said the discussions resolved some issues but that a compromise was not reached on all of them, including the balcony configuration.
The Long Branch Council listened to nearly two hours of public comment from neighbors who object the plan, but reminded the public that their sole purpose of the council is to approve a redeveloper's agreement with TDB if the plan meets the city's redevelopment guidelines.
The council unanimously agreed that it did and said the matter will now be decided by the Long Branch Planning Board, which must grant site plan approval to TDB before the condos can be built.
"All of your concerns are valid and reasonable, but these are really planning board issues," Council President Joy Bastelli told the crowd.
Monzo said the project does not require any variances or waivers after TDB worked with City Planner Pratap Talwar to make sure it conforms to the guidelines.
"The guidelines are met and we've done everything we can to meet each one," Monzo said.
The Long Branch Planning Board is expected to hear TDB's application at its next meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.