first_img“I think we struck a good balance,” Taikina replied, concerning the plan’s changes.But it appeared to be of no avail. Board Chairwoman Joan Jay continued to object to the two exits onto River Road, as she and other board members said they would like to see traffic leave by way of Cedar. “There’s too many kids in that specific area,” feared Jay.Board member Jacob Rue felt the brick structure with stone accents, spoke to chain business styling, with Investors’ banks all looking the same. Rue made the comparison to McDonald’s golden arches and felt that uniformity wasn’t in keeping with the town’s character.Board member James Ingle agreed with Rue, believing “design-wise, it’s way off the palette.”“I think it’s a great looking building,” Taikina countered. By John BurtonFAIR HAVEN – It’s back to the drawing board for M&M Realty Partners, seeking additional time for its proposal to build an Investors Bank branch on River Road.Faced with a skeptical Planning Board and a possible denial of the proposal on Tuesday evening, John E. Taikina, director of real estate development for M&M, requested the board adjourn his application for at least 60 days to give the developers an opportunity to re-evaluate the proposal or other options for the site.Taikina faced a board that continued to express concerns over the plan to construct an approximately 2,700-square-foot Investors Bank branch with drive-thru windows on the site of a former Sunoco gas station, at 626 River Road, on the corner of Cedar Avenue.When the planning board began hearing this application on May 10, its first formal hearing on the bank proposal, board members had voiced concerns over the building’s design and with possible safety considerations for traffic entering and departing the bank.In response to those comments, the developer had tinkered with the plan, providing additional landscaping along the property buffer, scaling back lighting, having a lower fence, reduced to 3 1⁄2 feet from the original 6-foot, and moving the placement of the trash dumpsters. He further explained this is the style Investors has adopted around the state with the bank standing firm on the design – as well as with the exit onto River Road – putting him “in a box,” with no maneuver room on those issues.M&M Realty Partners, Rivers Edge, is the contract purchaser of the former Sunoco and now vacant site, with hopes of leasing the space to Investors Bank, Taikina said after the hearing adjourned.Taikina let his frustration show when addressing the planning board. “I’m asking you to tell me what you want and we can work with it,” he said. “Don’t just tell me you don’t like it.”With little wiggle room for Taikina and a board seeming to stand steadfast on these issues, Taikina asked for and received the adjournment for now.But Taikina informed the planning board “If it’s not a bank, it changes our whole thinking.” He suggested the next plan could be a restaurant with outside dining or a retail space, something that maybe more intensive of a use. “If it’s not a bank,” he again said, “it’ll be more.”“I think a planner of your skill will come back to dazzle us,” said Board member Peter Lucas.last_img

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