Weehawken Sued over “Unreasonable” Development Denial

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Aerial view of the proposed development at 115-117 Hackensack Plank Drive denied by the Weehawken Zoning Board. Rendering by Nastasi Architects.

A company that has been trying to develop a plot of land near the Lincoln Tunnel for years has taken its frustrations to court in a new lawsuit that is looking to finally obtain its long-sought approvals.

On March 12, ET Management & Investors LLC filed a complaint against Weehawken’s zoning board in Hudson County court’s civil division. The company owns two parcels at 115-117 Hackensack Plank Drive that span about 5,700 square feet and has pitched plans to develop a multi-family building at the site since 2017.

The company’s earliest proposals looked to build a five-story, 18-unit project on the land, but the lawsuit claims those plans were scrapped after the zoning board made initial recommendations in 2018. The latest scheme was drawn up by Hoboken-based Nastasi Architects last year and looked to construct a four-story building with 10 units and 12 off-street parking spaces.

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The most recently proposed design. Rendering by Nastasi Architects.

The properties are located in an R-4 zone where multi-family buildings are allowed, but the company’s plans were seeking six total variances. The most significant were for 49 feet in height where 40 are allowed, for lot coverage of 68% where 55% is allowed, and for providing 12 parking spaces where 18.5 are required under current zoning.

The zoning board eventually denied the company’s application on November 10 last year, writing in their resolution that the variances sought “would be a substantial detriment to the public good.” The board specifically claimed the proposed parking was “insufficient for the proposed number of units and the limited public parking in the area.”

ET Management & Investors claims in its four-page lawsuit that they “presented credible evidence to support the grant of the site plan” to the board and that the denial of their application was “arbitrary, capricious, and unreasonable.” They are asking the court to reverse the board’s decision and approve the application.

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The proposed design would require a total of six variances be granted. Rendering by Nastasi Architects.

Weehawken has not responded to an inquiry regarding the case, which is the second time in the last year development issues in Weehawken have ended up in court. A flurry of lawsuits led by Hartz Mountain were filed last year after a development along the Hudson River was rejected by the township’s planning board. A smaller version of the project was eventually approved.


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