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Aisle Nine is carrying "until further notice" their Lakewood Zoning Board application for a building expansion, FAA News has learned.

Aisle Nine initially published legal notice of their Zoning Board application back in June. The hearing was then carried until the Board's meeting in July.

As first reported here on FAA News, their application sought to expand their current site, located on Route 9 between 9th and 10th Street, with a new 3-story building on the former Cheder School lot with additional warehouse storage space, food preparation rooms, offices and an off-road delivery truck loading area.

According to public records, they recently purchased this Cheder lot for $750,000 from Beth Medrash Govoha. The trailers and refuse on that site would be removed to make way for the Aisle Nine expansion.

According to the Site Plan designed by NewLines Engineering, the existing gas station would be eliminated and the existing parking lot will be reconfigured to provide only 1 driveway on Route 9, and 2 driveways on 10th Street. After completion, the parking lot will contain a total of 37 parking spaces, 6 of which will be narrow and in front of the store, and will be marked for "compact cars only".

As previously reported here, at the hearing in July, the Zoning Board halted the plans, demanding more transparency in the architectural plans and additional parking.

Board members pointed out that there is still a lot of "unmarked space" in the architectural plans. Noting that Aisle Nine has somehow burgeoned from the "walk in and out convenience store" the Board originally approved into a busy retail shopping center, board members inquired how can we trust that the "food prep areas" (for which they are only providing minimal amount of parking) won't be converted to additional retail space which will fit many more people.

Board member Moish Ingber also noted that many offices could be built in the "unmarked areas" and they are not providing any parking for offices.

Board Member Moish Lankry noted that as a proprietor of food establishment, he knows that food preparation areas are different from standard "industrial warehouses" as they often have a lot more employees at once and therefore, sufficient parking must be provided for them as well. Mr. Lankry commented "your plan will triple the size of the existing store, you need to triple the parking spaces as well".

The proposed building addition will include an off-road truck loading spot which will be accessed from 10th Street. Board members expressed concerns with the amount of delivery trucks already blocking multiple driveways on the block, saying that the proposed single delivery spot is insufficient. They also noted that the proposed delivery spot will be accessed only from 10th Street which is only 30 feet wide, and this will not suffice for a large truck to k-turn into the proposed loading spot.

At that point the application was carried to the September public hearing, to give Aisle Nine ample time to go back to the drawing board and revise their plans.

As previously reported here, after a few months of hard work at the drawing board, Aisle Nine submitted a scaled down expansion application.

The revised plan downsized to a 2-story building, as well as added an additional off-street truck unloading spot. Their new architectural floor plans are slightly more transparent and indicate that their existing 2 story building has a first floor area of 4,725 square feet of retail space and they are proposing an expansion of 1,806 square feet for a total of 6,531 square feet of retail space. The second floor currently contains offices, floor food storage and preparation area of 4,725 square feet and this is proposed to remain. Additionally, they are proposing a two story warehouse of 4,240 square feet.

Their revised plan keeps to their original parking plan to eliminate the gas station, and re-configure of the parking lot, including by rehabilitating the narrow parking spaces in front of the store which are now covered up by racks, for a total of 37 parking spaces.

According to a parking narrative submitted by Engineer Glen Lines of NewLines Engineering, they meet the Township's parking requirements for retail space which requires 1 space per 200 sq feet and their first floor will have a total of 6,531 sq feet of retail space (which requires 33 parking spaces), and they meet the Township's parking requirements for the warehouse space which requires 1 space per 1,000 sq feet of warehouse space and they have 4,240 sq feet of warehouse space (which requires 4 parking spaces).

Mr. Lines claims in his letter that the second floor office, floor food storage and preparation area of 4,725 square feet "has no parking requirement
as it is an ancillary use to the food store. The employees who will occupy this spaces are included in the requirement for the retail space. This is similar to the UDO requirement for a restaurant that requires one space for every 50 square feet of patron use, but no parking for the kitchen or wait staff".

This is quite an interesting argument as the Township Ordinance (18-807B) states:

"Retail trade or personal service establishments, other than in a shopping center of 100,000 square feet or more: one space for each 200 square feet of gross floor area."

The ordinance clearly states "gross floor area", and the Township's Definition of Terms ordinance (18-200) defines floor area as "the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of the building, measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the center line of walls separating two buildings", i.e. the sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of the building are clearly included in the Gross Floor Area and should therefore require parking as well.

Additionally, while Mr. Lines claims that the offices, food storage and prep area is an accessory use and does not require parking, he acknowledges that the warehouse space does require parking.

This acknowledgement further makes no sense as the Retail Shopping Center ordinance does not specify a parking requirement for warehouse space, and the only requirement for parking for warehouse space is in the wholesale trade establishments ordinance which requires one space for each 300 square feet of sales floor or display area and one space for every 1,000 square feet devoted to the warehouse.

Therefore, Mr. Lines' dueling calculations just don't seem to work hand in hand.

However, this application was not actually presented at the November public hearing. It was instead carried to the upcoming meeting this Monday, December 5th.

FAA News has now learned that Aisle Nine has been removed from the Zoning Board agenda as they have tabled their application until further notice.

If, and when, they wish to return to the Zoning Board, they will send the neighbors new legal notice.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is good news. That area is so dangerously congested that their expansion plans were beyond crazy!

Please keep us posted in case they try to come back again with another insane plan.