By LINDA MOSS
Township zoning officials on Wednesday night gave JPMorgan Chase Bank site-plan approval to build a new bank branch on North Fullerton Avenue and to permit T-Mobile to reposition and add several rooftop cellphone antennas on the Olympic building.
The Zoning Board of Approval passed a resolution at its meeting approving JPMorgan Chase’s plan to construct a bank building on a nearly 1-acre site at 15-19 North Fullerton Ave., where the company currently has a 2,700-square-foot Chase branch with two drive-up tellers, a drive-up ATM, a walk-up ATM and a 49-space parking lot and garage.
JPMorgan Chase will be building a 4,500-square-foot, one-story bank building with a drive-up lane with one ATM, a 36-space parking lot, loading space, a bike rack and three benches. The banking giant will raze its existing building to make way for its new one and do additional landscaping on the property, in part to buffer it from the apartment buildings behind it on Forest Street.
JPMorgan Chase needed township approval because the site is in an area zoned for office buildings and apartments.
“The board agreed with the applicant that the existing bank building and teller kiosks are old … unattractive and not conducive to modern banking practices,” the resolution said. “Approval of this application will eliminate an eyesore and constitutes an appropriate revitalization of the site.”
The location is not far from the intersection of Bloomfield and Fullerton avenues and Church Street.
The Township Zoning Board of Adjustment granted T-Mobile approval to move two of its three existing cellphone antennas to different spots on the Olympic building at 630 Valley Road and to install three more. LINDA MOSS/STAFF PHOTO
The zoning board also took action on an application filed by T-Mobile regarding installation of additional antennas at 630 Valley Road, the so-called Olympic building that has Williams-Sonoma as a tenant on its ground floor. The wireless provider already has three antennas on top of the building, among the 27 that have already been placed there by a variety of cellphone providers.
T-Mobile was seeking approval to relocate two of its existing antennas and to add three more, resulting in two each on the south, north and west facades of the building. The zoning board approved T-Mobile’s application on the condition that the company’s antennas not rise any more than an inch above the building’s parapet and be installed flush to and mounted on its facade, rather than on poles attached to the building.
T-Mobile’s attorney, Dean Stamos, called an engineer, Peter Ludas, as a witness during the meeting to talk about the cellphone provider’s plans. As a result of the board’s request at a prior hearing, T-Mobile revised its proposal and agreed to make all its antennas below or at the parapet height as a maximum.
T-Mobile also agreed to color its antennas to match the brick of the Olympic building.