Residential development is being proposed to replace commercial space along Grand Central Avenue (Route 35 north) in Lavallette.
The borough’s planning board, later this month, is scheduled to consider a proposal to tear down the commercial building at 1503 Grand Central Avenue, which currently houses offices for Birchler Realtors, and replace it with a new duplex residential building.
The residential building would include a self-contained parking area that would be enclosed on the first floor, below the living space. According to a public planning board notice, the developer, Eric J. Birchler, will request a variance that would allow the building to stand 35.4 feet from design flood elevation to top of ridge, or 38.8 height from ground level. The increased freeboard – the area under the building – is 5.80 feet to allow parking under the house. The borough’s zoning ordinance allows a maximum of 28 feet from “top of sill to ridge.”
More routine, minor “bulk” variances may also be requested for development on the 50-by-100 foot parcel.
Conversions of commercial space to residential development have occasionally drawn scrutiny in recent years as Jersey Shore towns have become concerned with a surge in residential real estate valuations affecting the presence of a vibrant business community. The property where the duplex is proposed is located within the B-1 business zoning district.
The planning board is scheduled to hear the application at its Dec. 14 meeting, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal courtroom at borough hall.