Developer Steven Plofker has filed plans with the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment to build four townhouses on land now owned by First Congregational Church of Montclair. They would face Plymouth Street. LINDA MOSS/STAFF

By LINDA MOSS
moss@montclairlocal.news

Local developer Steve Plofker has another residential project in the works, and is seeking township approval to build four townhouses on part of the property owned by First Congregational Church of Montclair.

Plofker’s company, Willow Street Properties LLC, has applied for four variances in order to subdivide part of the church’s land, a vacant area that faces Plymouth Street. The parcel is in front of an accessory parking lot for the house of worship, which is at 40 South Fullerton Ave.

The Township Board of Adjustment was scheduled to hear Plofker’s application, filed by attorney Alan Trembulak, at its meeting Wednesday night. But the matter was rescheduled for Nov. 8.

The Rev. Ann Ralosky said that the house of worship is selling part of its property in order to help fund its ministry and to pay for work on its building.

“First Congregational Church is a growing and dynamic congregation in Montclair and we take pride in the meaningful roles that our congregation and facilities play in our community,” Ralosky said in an email. “We have the responsibility of maintaining a large, aging and complex building and have agreed to sell our back lawn parcel to Willow Street Properties to raise much needed capital to improve our physical plant and support our continued ministry work.”

Willow Street Properties declined to comment.

The subdivision that Plofker wants would be 14,460 square feet, and the three-story townhouses were designed by Montclair architect Paul Sionas.

The variances are for construction of the townhouses in an R-1 residential zone; permission to have eight on-site parking spaces instead of the 9.6 required by town ordinance; permission for a rear-yard setback of 20 feet, 4-inches, rather than the 23.54 feet required by the township; and approval to have building coverage of 4,286 square feet rather than the maximum of 3,615 set by the municipality.

The proposed townhouses would have a brick veneer, chimneys and be situated as pairs, with two next to each other.

The project is one of several multifamily developments that Plofker either has under construction, has approval for, or is seeking approval for.

He recently won the go-ahead from the township to build a mixed-use development with 11 residential units at the former site of the Diva Lounge on Bloomfield Avenue. And he will be looking to construct seven townhouses on Orange Road.

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