EDGEWATER, N.J. — The Edgewater Zoning Board this week approved the reconstruction of the apartment complex that burned down last year, but experts say the new safety measures are not enough.
The new AvalonBay complex will have the same lightweight wood-frame methodology that was destroyed by the 2015 blaze that destroyed the 240-unit complex — leaving 500 homeless — as well as the fire that burned the complex down in 2000, NorthJersey.com reports.
“AvalonBay deserves praise for adjusting their plans to include fire-safety measures beyond what the state requires," Build With Strength spokesperson Kevin Lawlor told Daily Voice.
"However, residents in these structures will never be truly safe until the New Jersey state legislature improves the building codes to eliminate or significantly draw back the use of combustible wood and wood products."
Daily Voice placed a phone call and sent a text message Thursday afternoon to Edgewater attorney Denise Travers, and spoke with Edgewater building department director, who redirected us to state officials.
Daily Voice sent an email to the New Jersey public informations officer on Thursday afternoon.
A poll released in September found that 95% of New Jersey voters support changes to construction codes in the wake of the 2015 Avalon complex fire in Edgewater.
Legislation currently before the New Jersey State Assembly would "go a long way in protecting residents from the type of devastation that displaced hundreds back in 2015," Lawlor said.