New Construction Approved for Bisque Property, Restaurant Usage No Longer Permitted

By Gina G. Scala | Oct 02, 2019
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Ship Bottom — The Ship Bottom Land Use Board unanimously approved a mixed-use redevelopment plan for the northeast corner of 21st Street and Long Beach Boulevard, the current home of the 120-seat Bisque restaurant and a second-story single-unit apartment, over the summer. The property is located in the Shore Commercial Zone, which allows for mixed use.

Approved plans by Triton Partners LLC include demolishing the existing structure and constructing a two-story, raised building containing two conforming commercial uses on the first floor. In approving the plans, the board stipulated the commercial use of the first floor, which is proposed at 2,116 square feet, must comply with the terms and requirements of the borough’s municipal code. Some of the permitted uses for the Shore Commercial Zone include banks, offices and office buildings, child-care centers, theaters, funeral homes and garden centers.

Restaurants are also an approved usage in the zone, but residential units are not permitted above a restaurant, theater, dry cleaners or any other commercial establishment that uses either a condenser or compressor within its net habitable floor area, according to municipal code. New construction removes any previously approved usage from the site. A request for comment from Michael Leising of Bisque restaurant was unanswered as of deadline.

The construction plans call for four condominium units to be constructed on the second floor of the new building. One residential unit is permitted by ordinance. As a result, Triton sought a special reasons variance from the density requirements of the ordinance for the additional residential space proposed above the commercial area.

Each apartment will have three bedrooms, two baths, and its own means of access and egress, according to the August land use board resolution that memorialized its approval.

The proposed plans call for 18 parking spaces, including eight on the west side of the drive aisle in the rear of the building and another nine spaces on the east side. One handicap accessible space is proposed on the north end.

While the permitted building height in the Shore Commercial Zone is 35 feet, architect Michael Pagnotta said the top of the building is 32 feet and is in line with other structures in the area. He also testified July 17 that the rooftop railings bring the total height to 33.1 feet. The building will be flood-proofed to an elevation of 9 feet to conform to FEMA requirements and will be constructed 2.5 feet above grade, according to the July 17 testimony of professionals for Triton Partners.

The board also granted variances for front yard setback on Long Beach Boulevard, which is 0.6 feet. Triton proposes 0.3 feet. The 0.3 feet setback is also proposed for the front yard setback on 21st Street, where it’s 0.8 feet. The proposed side yard setback of 5.7 feet and rear yard setback of 41.5 feet are in compliance with the local ordinance.

“Many of the commercial buildings fronting on Long Beach Boulevard maintain minimal setbacks. In this instance the minimal setbacks provide for adequate parking in the rear, and open space to the adjoining residential development to the east,” according to the August resolution memorializing the approval. “Applicant is providing a 5-foot landscaped buffer to the residential property to the east. They propose to plant Leyland Cypress trees; as reflected on the plan.”

While the applicant is planning to increase the building coverage to 54.2 percent, the lot coverage will conform at 84.27 percent. The parking area will be surfaced with crushed shells. The existing building coverage is non-conforming, at 41.62 percent.

The only public comment on the application came from Anthony Pessolano, one of the owners of Joe Pop’s Shore Bar and Restaurant, a mainstay in the borough since the 1930s. His comments were in favor of the planned redevelopment, but requested that full disclosure be provided to prospective residential tenants that a bar and restaurant that provides live entertainment and maintains hours into the early morning is in the neighborhood.

— Gina G. Scala

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