New Westwood Development Defined as 'Townhouse'

A developer plans to replace a house with a five-unit building on Crest Street.

A developer wants to build a "townhouse" at 53 Crest Street. Photo: Jim Leggate.
A developer wants to build a "townhouse" at 53 Crest Street. Photo: Jim Leggate.
A proposed development on Crest Street to replace an existing house with a five-unit building counts as a "townhouse" under the Westwood ordinance, members of the Westwood Zoning Board decided Monday night.

That means applicant John Ferrara won't need to seek a use variance for the project, though he will still need a lesser variance for the existing non-conforming lot size.

The proposed 32-foot-tall building would take up 5,806 square feet of the 7,634-square-foot lot. Townhouses are permitted in the zone where the property is located, while single-family homes — like that one that currently exists there — are not.

The plan is opposed by the Westwood Manor Association, whose property borders the house on three sides. Michael Kates, the attorney representing them, said he believed the plan should count, at least partially, as a "multifamily dwelling" under the borough ordinance and that the notice that had gone out to nearby property owners had been incorrect.

Robert Mancinelli, the applicant's attorney, said he had reviewed which term they should use with the board's planner prior to the hearings.

The board voted unanimously to consider the project a "townhouse" because the plan matches the vertical separation between units described in the ordinance.

The hearing is scheduled to continue at the board's meeting on January 6, 2014.


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