Tensions rose over a 33-unit development planned for the Palisades Highlands neighborhood during a community meeting Thursday, Nov. 13.
Located at 1525 Palisades Drive, the multi-family project being proposed for 1525 Palisades Drive will include 33 “apartment-like units” featuring two parking spacing each and .05 per guest unit for a total of 82.5 parkings spaces.
Palisades Highlands President’s Council Member David Dwyer said that the developer originally wanted to construct a mixed-use building, with the first floor being commercial and the second dedicated to residential spaces.
But after reviewing the matter, the council presidents, who each represent one of 14 HOAs in the Highlands, voted 13 to 1 to support a residential development rather than one with commercial elements.
Dwyer said he came to the PPCC to ask for support in the form of a letter they could present to City Planning, asking for the parcel’s zoning to be changed from mixed-use to residential.
The change needs to be approved by the zoning department before the developer can move forward, Gaskin said, adding that he supported the zone change request because he believe this will equal less traffic than an office building or something similar.
Developer Rony Shram said that he had followed the processes laid before him by the Highlands community and that he came to the council to receive broader community support.
But after the presentation was done, several residents in the audience loudly voiced opposition to the project despite not being called to speak on the matter. A heated back and forth ensued as the community council attempted to maintain order. SEE ATTACHED VIDEO
Palisades Highlands resident Chris Irkin said his HOA president never sought his opinion on the development, a sentiment that was shared by many others in the audience.
The proposal is much larger than the originally proposed mix-used development, which would have included eight units of residential living space above a first-floor of commercial.
There is no such thing as an apartment-style condominium, he said. This will just be another apartment building, Irkin said.
Dennis Gaskin, who cast the only no vote on the Presidents Council, said that the HOA presidents were supposed to go to their individual members and ask for their opinion before voting on the matter. But not all the presidents were as active, he said.
PPCC President Chris Spitz said the council cannot make any kind of decision on the matter until a broader consensus is reached within the Palisades Highlands community.
Spitz said homeowners should meet again with their respective HOA presidents to discuss the issue, and offered to reschedule a separate PPCC meeting to serve as platform for the discussion.
No decision was made by the PPCC on the matter.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.