By LINDA MOSS
The owner of Catcom Computers Inc. and its tiny building on Valley Road last week won zoning approval to lease some of his space to either a retail or personal-services tenant.
At its meeting last week the Township Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the variances sought by Catalin Ursu for his building at 25 Valley Road, which is across the street from the Montclair Board of Education offices. The property is in a zone that permits only office use for that space.
Ursu’s attorney, Alan Trembulak, told the zoning board that his client has been trying to lease 900 square feet of the 1,400 square feet on his first floor for two years, to no avail because of the current zoning.
Ursu testified that he has had 40 to 50 inquiries from potential tenants since 2016, but the only people interested want to open retail or service businesses there, not have offices. The building, which he purchased in 2006, dates to 1875, Ursu said. The building has an apartment on its second floor.
Previously Catcom Computers was in the building where Let’s Yo!, a frozen yogurt shop, is now.
Ursu also testified that there are three parking spaces behind the building, roughly half the number of spaces required by town ordinance for retail and service businesses.
Another witness, planner George Williams of Montclair, pointed out in his testimony that Ursu’s building is a storefront with a large window, an exterior compatible with a retail or personal-service business. He added that there is no detriment to the public good if one of those nonconforming uses opened up shop at Catcom’s building.