DMH2 LLC, the Sparta development company that wants to turn two wooded lots opposite Everett Field into a mixed-use commercial and residential building, will be back before the Verona Board of Adjustment tonight, Thursday, August 9.
At the July 13 hearing on the plans for 176 and 200 Bloomfield Avenue, DMH2 lawyer Alan Trembulak opened the meeting by asking for an adjournment. He told the board that, just before the meeting started, he had received a planning memorandum that raised issues about additional variances that might be needed. The memorandum had been prepared by Maplewood-based planned Peter Steck on behalf of Verona residents Jessica Pearson and Jack McEvoy. They live on Montclair Avenue, one of the three streets that border the proposed development.
The initial application made by the developer, DMH2 LLC of Sparta, included five variances to build 7,000 square feet of commercial space topped by 14 two-bedroom apartments. Tonight’s meeting will be a chance to hear what changes could be needed to the plan. Trembulak has not, as of this writing, returned a call for comment on tonight’s presentation.
A large group of residents of Montclair Avenue and Westview Road have been present at the two previous hearings on the development to voice their opposition to it. The original plan called for cutting down some 75 trees on the steeply sloping site, which will then be leveled, in part by blasting through the underlying bedrock. When completed, the plan calls for extensive retaining walls on two sides of the property, some nearly 30 feet high.