City council on Monday approved a plan to build new townhouses on North Street after the developers agreed to address concerns raised by the police department.
Developers Todd Ladutko and Alan Schweizer plan to demolish a two-bedroom house and the four one-bedroom apartments behind it at 18 North Street and replace them with four townhouses containing four bedrooms each. The new townhouses will resemble the five townhouses they built at the rear of the one-acre property a decade ago.
The new townhouses will have 10 more bedrooms than what is there currently. The Newark Police Department believes the increase in tenants could add to problems with student partying on North Street and Kristen’s Way, the access road that runs through the property.
“Kristen’s Way is a known party location,” the department wrote in a city report. “We regularly respond to large parties with noise violations and litter on the property. The concern is this will add to that problem in that vicinity.”
City Manager Tom Coleman added that there have been eight citations issued at the property in question since 2016, and many more in the general area.
Several council members questioned Ladutko about the police department’s concerns.
“I’d like to make sure we don’t have a problem. What steps and processes are you putting in place?” Councilman Stu Markham asked. “That’s my biggest concern. The police have enough to do.”
Ladutko, who owns a number of student rentals around Newark, replied that he plans to improve the lighting at the site and install security cameras. He added that his standard lease prohibits tenants from having a gathering of more than 10 people without his permission and that when tenants are cited by police, he notifies their parents.
At the urging of Councilman James Horning Jr., Ladutko agreed to pay for the city to install a surveillance camera on North Street that would tie into the city’s existing network of cameras that can be monitored in real-time by the police department.
“You’ve gone an extra step,” Horning said, thanking Ladutko for working with the city to address the concerns.
The site is zoned properly, and council approved a minor subdivision without opposition, with Councilman Jason Lawhorn absent.
The developers had already received variances from the board of adjustment for setback, height and the size of the rear and side yards.