New plan for former Koza’s Bar site

Five years after a plan to build nine condominium units was approved for the former Koza’s Bar property, a new proposal seeks to construct 12 rental apartments. The Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hear the new application at its meeting Monday at 7 p.m.

An application to build nine condos at 197 W. Scott Ave. (Block 231, Lot 16) received Zoning Board approval in October 2008 but the project never got beyond the demolition of Koza’s Bar at the end of 2009. The Zoning Board rejected an application for 12 condos that was presented in December 2007.

Koza's site planThe site is in a B-1 Neighborhood Business Zone and would require variances for building height, density and maximum density. Current zoning requirements limit building height to 2.5 stories or 35 feet and the two proposed buildings would be 3 stories, or 41 feet. Density allows for 10 units per acre while 10.9 units are proposed at the nearly three-quarter-acre property.

The building would be constructed in a floodway, according to the application, but is smaller and parking would be relocated away from flood plaKoza's layoutin line. The proposal reduces the amount of impervious surface and relocates a substantial portion of the development outside of the floodway, adjacent to Allen Brook.

The application argues that under the previous approval as condominiums, homeowners would have been required to each obtain flood insurance and this new plan “represents a more efficient use of land.”

Brookside Court Apartments would feature two bedrooms ranging from 1,004 square feet in the rear to 1,030 square feet in the front, according to architectural plans filed with the application. The previous application had planned 1,600-square-foot, three-bedroom condos.

(2007 file photo)

Since demolition, the property has been assessed at $218,000, generating a property tax bill last year of about $13,200, according to property records. The property sold for $500,000 in October 2008.

2 thoughts on “New plan for former Koza’s Bar site”

  1. My 2 cents…

    Given the amount of flooding near rivers in recent years (Irene and Sandy) does it make sense to wittingly locate new development in flood plains?

    Parking is now relocated outside of the flood plain. I looked at the map here, and though I have not seen any previous layouts, doesn’t it make sense to put the building outside of the flood plain rather than the parking lot? You can move cars, after all…

    When considering the previous plan for 12 condos, the zoning board was uncomfortable with density proposed (according to Rahway Rising reportage). So it would seem that density is still an issue with this revised proposal.

    The number of parking spaces seems to be higher than required (24 for 12 units?). That’s good.

    Variances for height and density are needed for the plans here… I’d say keep higher, denser developments in the downtown area. There may already be plans for these areas, but what about the vast swath of area between Cherry Street and the railroad tracks?

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