church sells property
Two houses will go up behind the First Congregational Church of Montclair.

By Jaimie Julia Winters
winters@montclairlocal.news

Two new homes will be built on Plymouth Street behind the First Congregational Church of Montclair. The church sold the property to developer Steven Plofker to raise funds.

On Oct. 24, the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the plans to build two new single-family dwellings on the two newly subdivided lots with 800-foot widths. The subdivision was previously approved by the board.

The lot has 294 feet of frontage along South Fullerton Avenue, 263 feet of frontage along The Crescent and about 386 feet of frontage along Plymouth Street.

Other plans presented by the developer called for four townhouses, a plan contested by neighbors in the single-family zone area.

Each two-and-half story dwelling will contain four bedrooms, five bathrooms and detached garages.

The developer will also create a new driveway for the church on The Crescent, with new fencing around the parking area to create a screen from adjacent properties. The applicant also proposes a new trash enclosure for the church in the parking area

The board approved three variances: setbacks of 25 feet and 30 feet where 37.5 is required, a setback for one garage, and the addition of a fence.

Another application presented on Oct. 24 by Plofker concerned turning the former Astro social club into a restaurant. Plans call for converting the storefront, which is attached to a residential dwelling at 112 Forest Street, into a take-out restaurant with some seating. No parking is currently available and the board calculated 10 spaces would be needed.

Plofker countered that parking would be available at the Montclair Bread Company building across the street, which he also owns. But a handful of residents concerned with the lack of parking and deliveries spoke out against the project. The application was carried over to the next meeting.