Bahr Redevelopment Meeting Thursday Night

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The former Bahr Lumber site is the large open rectangle below the red marker

It’s being billed as a regular meeting, but it is likely to be anything but:  The agenda for tonight’s gathering of the Verona Planning Board will feature a hearing on a proposal to redevelop the former Charles Bahr & Son lumber yard into a townhouse complex.

Lennar, a major national home builder, is looking to put 33 two-bedroom townhouses on the site, a complex that it has dubbed Huntington Park. The 3.6 acre property had been home to the Bahr business from 1924 until January 2011.

On April 10, a group of Durrell Street residents filed suit against the Township of Verona, the mayor and Town Council and the Planning Board to block the development. The action alleges that the town did not follow proper procedure when it reclassified the Bahr lot from an M-1 (manufacturing) zoning to A-3 residential in August 2011.

According to the lawsuit, Verona’s 2009 Master Plan had recommended the elimination of the Bahr yard’s M-1 designation in favor of  an R-70 zoning district, a  residential designation that would have permitted up to 5.2 single-family homes per acre to be built on the property. But in August 2011 the town adopted a resolution that re-classified the property as A-3, a residential/townhouse designation that permits 12 dwelling units per acre for properties under four acres in size. Ironically, perhaps, the Master Plan was supposed to reduce the possibility of development lawsuits against Verona by eliminating decades of non-conforming usage and establishing clearer zoning categories.

Attorney Michael S. Rubin of Caldwell is representing the plaintiffs, who include Barbara and Raymond Liptak, Emily McGrath and Camillus and Kimberly Mitchell. The meeting will be held at the Verona Community Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. It is open to the public.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

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