Application for parking lot pushed back

The application for the First Church of Christ, Scientist site plan and variance use for a parking area has been pushed back to next month and will be heard by the zoning board.

Haddonfield Zoning Board Chair David Hunt announced at the Oct. 15 zoning board meeting that the application had once again been pushed back to the next zoning board meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Township administrator Sharon McCullough said after the meeting that from her understanding the church is currently in the process of changing attorneys and still has a few pieces of paperwork to fill out before it can go before the zoning board.

Zoning officer Steve Walko also explained that the applicant’s engineer, as well as the borough engineer must first meet to correct plans before the application can move forward.

This is the second time the application has been pushed back, after the hearing was originally expected to take place on Sept. 17.

Following approval from the Historical Preservation Committee on July 24, the plans must be approved by the zoning board in order for the church, located at 355 E. Kings Highway, to construct a grass parking lot on Sylvan Lake Avenue.

Clif Quay, an engineer hired by the church to work on site plans, said previously that the proposed lot is planned to hold 22 cars, which includes two handicapped spaces. He also said that the handicapped spaces would be created with a concrete paving material and that landscaping would be created.

However, during the July 24 meeting, the parking lot met opposition from members of the public, including resident Joe Haro.

Haro later submitted a letter to The Haddonfield Sun that expounded on his opposition to the proposed lot.

“We have fought hard since the passing of the Historic Preservation Ordinance in 1971 to protect the historic, architectural and aesthetic integrity of his community. I hope that after careful consideration of the use variance request that it will be denied by the Zoning Board,” Haro wrote.

The plans for the lot were denied in 2011 due to the plan’s inability to meet the demands of uniformity in that portion of the historic district.

The church’s attorney at that time, Jim Burns, said at the July 24 meeting that the plans for the lot do not alter the property and that landscaping would act as a buffer, so not to disturb residents in the area.