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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thunderbird Cafe "very pleased" with expansion approval

Posted By on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

As we noted yesterday, the city's Zoning Board of Adjustment has approved the expansion plans of Lawrenceville's Thunderbird Cafe.

In its ruling, the ZBA ruled that there would be no detrimental impact on the neighborhood — as some opponents of the plan fear.

The board granted the adjustments and variances sought by Lawrenceville Holdings VI LP as long as the city's zoning administrator reviews the final site plans and that developers provide a plan for valet parking within 30 days.

In response to the ruling, community groups Lawrenceville United and Lawrenceville Corporation sent out a statement yesterday saying they would appeal the decision.

Thunderbird owners and developers say they are pleased with the ruling and are flummoxed by the LC/LU response. Chris Lasky, Vice President of Massaro CM Services LLC and designer/consultant on the plan, sent us this statement:

"We are very pleased, but not surprised, that the ZBA ruled as they did. Lawrenceville Holdings and The Thunderbird in particular have been integral to the transformation that has taken place in Lawrenceville over the last dozen years. Lawrenceville Holdings has, and will continue to work with the community to ensure that responsible development continues in Lawrenceville.

It should be noted that we worked with the community from the very beginnings of the project and have addressed all of their concerns. However, we recently learned that LU and LC believe that there are "...a variety of issues that could have a serious detrimental impacts on the quality of life of adjacent resident and businesses, as well as the community at-large"

As determined by the ZBA, at the end of paragraph 1 in the Conclusion of Law, "....the proposed use would not be contrary to public interest- it would, in fact enhance public interest."

We are having a difficult time understanding what issues related to zoning remain. Lawrenceville Holdings is excited about moving forward now that we have approval from the ZBA."

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