We have lived across the street from 41 Washington Avenue for 13 years. Mr. Lembeck’s mother lived in the house until her death. We fondly refer to this part of Washington Avenue as “J” way in honor of Julia Lembeck. It saddens me that Mr. Lembeck has decided to subdivide this property. A lot such as this is a rarity in West Park. This section of West Park is a quiet dead end with 6 houses. Mr. Lembeck’s proposed subdivision will make it seven. That house was built in 1957 and is 1870 square feet big. The proposed subdivision, while legal, is not in keeping with several points in Rumson’s master plan as adding an additional house where there has been one house for almost 60 years not only increases the population in this area, but alters the character of this neighborhood. And the houses proposed in this subdivision will exceed the current lot coverage limits.
The proposed subdivision also comes at a time when many West Park residents are still rebuilding from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. The neighborhood still has several issues with the flow of water during high tide, and I have to wonder how adding an additional home and sub-dividing this property will adversely affect the rest of the homes that the property borders. We have seen other lots that have been subdivided create extra run-off on the surrounding homes and often, new construction changes the water pattern. The subdivision will also affect the flow of traffic. This section of the neighborhood is an area where the children gather to safely ride their bike, play basketball and skateboard without the hazard of extra traffic. This subdivision would be adding at least two additional cars to the neighborhood and creating not only more traffic, but additional parking issues especially given the upcoming ordinance to make South Ward Avenue one side of the street parking. There will be parking “spillover” on Washington Avenue.
Since Hurricane Sandy, West Park has seen two additional sub-divisions along Waterman. That means we’ll have three new houses in an area that is prone to flooding (construction and development changes the water pattern) as well as three new families that are Rumson residents that will tax our school and municipal infrastructure.
As a life-long resident of Rumson, I would hope Mr. Lembeck would take these points and try to maintain the integrity of a street formally known as Washington Ave but fondly known as J Way. We would like to urge Mr. Lembeck to change his mind and build one nice home that will be in keeping with the context of the neighborhood as well as in keeping with the Master Plan of Rumson by not altering the current landscape and develop a single family residence that has been there for almost 60 years as one single family home and not two.