MANASQUAN — The planning board has approved plans by 120 South Street LLC to build two new houses on a lot at the southeast corner of Marcellus Avenue and South Street.
Several neighbors who objected to the plan complained about the sizes of homes going up around the neighborhood in general, which led board members to suggest they air those concerns before the borough council, which sets zoning ordinances.
At its meeting Tuesday, the planning board approved the minor subdivision of the 10,423-square-foot lot at 120 South Street into two lots. It also approved a variance for the frontage of one of the lots – 48.29 feet was requested, while 50 feet is required. However, the board turned down a variance sought for a 34.9-foot building height; a 30-foot maximum is allowed.
The vote on the subdivision was five to two; board members Robert Young, Frank DiRoma, Mark Apostolou, Mark Larkin and John Burke voted to approve, while members Leonard Sullivan and Greg Love voted no.
The property currently is a vacant lot. A small ranch-style house that had been there has been demolished.
According to conceptual plans, one of the new two-and-a-half story houses would have 3,258 square feet of living space, including five bedrooms, four full baths, a powder room, a bonus room and garage. The other house would have 3,140 square feet of living space, including four bedrooms, three full baths, two powder rooms, a bonus room and garage.
When the review of the application began on April 5, several neighboring residents spoke in opposition to the plan.
Subsequently last month, the builders invited a group of neighbors to meet informally with them on the property to discuss the plan.
“It was very casual. We just tried to be upfront with them and show them what we had planned for the property,” one of the company’s principals, Tom Herrmann, told The Coast Star. “We had it all laid out for them with all the setbacks that were necessary, so they could see what size houses were going on the lot.”
One of the concerns of the neighbors was the original plan to cut down a large oak tree between the two houses in order to accommodate a driveway. But Mr. Herrmann said the company agreed to reconfigure the driveway in order to save the oak.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the builders also agreed to provide more driveway parking space on one of the properties than originally proposed.
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