Cherry Hill Township Council addressed residents’ concerns about parking and property value in regard to the plan for the Park Boulevard gateway redevelopment area at its Feb. 12 meeting.
Cherry Hill Township Council addressed residents’ concerns about parking and property value in regard to the plan for the Park Boulevard gateway redevelopment area at its Feb.12 meeting.
Residents received a notice for application from the developer, First Montgomery Group, for a flood hazard area individual permit. The notice was sent to those within 200 feet of the development site for approximately fewer than 20 square feet of the corner edge of the parking lot that was part of the preliminary investigation and redevelopment plan since 2014, according to the township. Residents expressed they were alarmed and blind-sided and said this was the only notice they received about the upcoming project, which raised other concerns such as potential parking issues for those living close by.
The redevelopment plan, adopted two years ago, will replace the abandoned motel with a 192-unit residential development, most of which consists of a 176-unit apartment building. The building will reach three to four stories high and will be constructed along the Park Boulevard side of the property, with many of the units overlooking Cooper River Park and parking spaces complying with Residential Site Improvement Standards standards and with ADA standards.
“With this many units and being such a small street, when you have company or family, where are people going to park?” resident Michael Villari asked.
Resident Karen Cooper, who lives down the road from the development, echoed Villari’s concerns over the number of people in comparison to the limited number of parking spaces when events in town take place.
“When they used to have the fireworks there, people would park in your driveway,” Cooper said. “So now these people are going to be permanent.”
Parking is required on site, so enough parking is available to all residents as well as guests, Mayor Chuck Cahn said. Cahn encouraged residents to present their concerns to the planning board and continue a dialogue with the mayor’s chief of staff, Erin Gill, on any issues or questions regarding the site.
According to Villari, the parking would not only be an issue for those who live in close proximity to the site, but it would also be an issue for residents with potentially obstructed views of the lake.
“I mean four stories up?” Villari said, referring to the complex. “That’s going to destroy the whole dynamic of the street.”
The site plan consists of two sets of three-story townhouses, according to the plan. Cahn offered a solution to find a time to discuss the concerns residents would have about parking or the plan itself.
“I don’t think this is the place to be talking about the nuts and bolts of what it is, but it has been approved,” Cahn said. “You should come in … go through the plan and let’s discuss all of the issues and see how we can address it.”
“There is no action on council tonight on that plan. We want you to be able to have a back-and-forth dialogue with the professionals where everyone is looking at the plan at the same time,” Council President David Fleisher added.
Once the application is reviewed and approved by community development, it will be scheduled for a planning board hearing.
In other news:
• Charles Murphy, recipient of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Camden County Freedom Award, received a proclamation for his years of service as an AARP tax aide.
“Charles Murphy serves as a role model for all of our citizens and exemplifies the core values that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to teaching, and for that, he has made the township of Cherry Hill extremely proud,” Councilwoman Melinda Kane said.
• Recipient Muqaddas Ejaz also received a proclamation for her community involvement and success as a sergeant at the Camden County College Public Safety Department and co-leader of the Southern New Jersey Chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom since September 2016, among other accomplishments.
“Through those areas of social justice, Mookie has served as a role model for all citizens,” Councilwoman Sara Lipsett said.