Three-story building OK’d for Raritan Road

Brook Side Manor on Raritan Road near the Clark Village shopping center in Clark will have 42 apartments when it is completed.

CLARK, N.J. — A three-story apartment building will be going up on Raritan Road next to the Clark Village Shopping Center after the planning board unanimously approved a 42-unit structure for the 2.68-acre site at its Jan. 9 reorganization meeting.

The building, north of the intersection with Westfield Avenue, will occupy 18,000 square feet and have 96 parking spaces.

The building will feature colonial-style LED lights on the outside, which will be shielded so as to not affect adjoining property. Landscaping will be featured on all the islands on the outskirts of the property, which will leave the area in its natural state, representatives of the developers, Brook Side Manor, testified.

With the Clark Recreation Center, and its tennis courts, basketball courts and baseball fields, located to the southeast on the backside of the property, questions arose as to issues with a “wetland,” a stream that runs parallel to Raritan Road in front of the building and connects to the Clark Reservoir.

“Are you reasonably confident that what we’re proposing is going to be approved by DEP without any significant modification?” board Chairman Kevin Koch asked Edward Dec, the project’s engineer, of Guarriello & Dec Associates.

Dec said he had met with officials from the Department of Environmental Protection and was fairly confident.

“In short, to answer your question, yes.”

The variances will allow Brook Side to change the slope of the site but not the flow of the water. “It has a lineated flood hazard area,” he said. “We are, by law, required to maintain the same volume of flooding that’s on the property presently. We had to stop building before the flood hazard area.”
The flood hazard area will cause the building to be pushed toward Raritan Road, he said.
Dec gave an overview of the plans for stormwater.

“We’re going to collect the runoff from the building and collect runoff from the pavement and direct that to a filtering system, which treats the water and all to NJDEP standards.”
Attorney Robert Renaud, who represented Brook Side at the hearing, described that his clients asked for a four-foot variance in the height of the building to 44 feet, which was within “variance parameters.”

“This property wraps around a bank and office building property that it’s on,” he said, describing the project. “I guess it would be the Northeast corner of Westfield Avenue and Raritan. The only permitted uses in this zone, in which the property is situated, are multifamily residential uses, and this is a multifamily residential development.”

The building will include Mount Laurel housing units so as to meet the town’s “fair share housing plan.”

Traffic engineer Joseph Staiger, president of Dynamic Traffic, stated that there will be about 14 cars leaving during the peak hours in the morning and 18 cars returning in the peak hours in the
evening. There are still issues that need to be resolved with the fire department, including fire flows and the location of the fire hydrant.

“This site is going to be, 99 or 95 percent of the time, used by the residents themselves,” he said.