The Cranford zoning board last night rejected the final site plan for a six-unit apartment complex planned for Centennial Village. Residents came out to speak against the development, which sought several variances that some said went against the character of the neighborhood.
The Centennial Village area is zoned to help it develop into a downtown-style hub for "retail trade," commerce and pedestrian traffic, said board member William Montani.
The main point of contention for those on the board opposing it—only board member Barbara Ginsberg decided not to support the application denial— was that there would be units on the bottom floor, as opposed to stores, which would have been more in line with the zoning requirements.
Board Vice Chairman Jefferey Pistol said he didn't want to approve the application for the apartments because it would set a precedent for similar structures in the area. "I do appreciate the fact that Mr. [Antonio] Somma is trying to design a building that looks very nice in appearance," said Pistol, "trying to do what he thinks is good for the benefit of the Centennial Village. However, I believe that it's really a move in the wrong direction."