Englewood could have single family homes on James Street

21 November 2011 26 views No Comment

Englewood could have single family homes on James Street

Sunday, November 20, 2011
The Record

ENGLEWOOD — Vacant lots and large multi-unit dilapidated homes on James Street could be replaced with new single-family houses.

At a special City Council meeting Tuesday night, representatives from GLF Realty are expected to present plans for some of the more than one dozen properties they own on James Street.

“This meeting is based on something that is actually pretty exciting, all single-family homes,” Mayor Frank Huttle said.

GLF Realty is affiliated with the ShopRite supermarket, which hopes to expand its store and parking lot into the properties it owns on the residential road. The company did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.

GLF sought Planning Board approval last year to rezone James Street, which consists of mostly single-family homes, to allow multi-family buildings. The company also wanted a 60-foot adjustment to the zone line, allowing the ShopRite and parking lot to expand into the rear of the residential lots. The plans called for a 22,000-square-foot store expansion and 48 additional parking spaces.

The Planning Board sent the issue back to the City Council last year. When Huttle took on the dual role of serving as council president this year, he listed the item for discussion.

In July, City Engineer Ken Albert presented conceptual plans that would replace the 23 units on 11 properties on the east side of James Street between Palisade Avenue and Tallman Place with no more than a dozen units.

The large homes split into multiple units on the street would have been turned into duplexes. Albert also suggested trimming the 140-foot-deep residential lots to 80 feet to allow for the ShopRite expansion.

Residents in the area took issue with the plans, saying they wanted single-family homes and were also concerned about the future of the properties GLF Realty owns on the west side of James Street.

Huttle has since held a meeting with several residents in that area and has asked GLF to come to Tuesday’s meeting.

“The owners are presenting to build only single-family homes on both sides of the street,” he said. “One of the major concerns of residents is that they don’t want multiple housing units on the west side.”

The council also is set to vote on a lease agreement with the Englewood Board of Education for use of the Russell C. Major Liberty School. The school board approved the contract in the early hours of Friday morning, following a lengthy meeting Thursday night.

The city purchased the Liberty and Lincoln schools from the district in 2003 for $11.5 million. When the district vacated the Lincoln School in 2008, it paid for that portion of the purchase, but has held the money for the Liberty School, which is still occupied by the district.

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